The Lazy Project Manager

by
Peter Taylor is the author of two best-selling books on ‘Productive Laziness’ – ‘The Lazy Winner’ and ‘The Lazy Project Manager’. In the last 4 years he has focused on writing and lecturing with over 200 presentations around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’. His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance. More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

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January 10, 2018 05:26 AM

I need your Presentation Experience

The Project Manager who Smiled

The Lazy Project Manager Podcast

Catsuits and Parachutes

Jan 10, 2018

As the new year kicks off and I look ahead at my wish list diary I came up with three things I would love to be able to do in this year. Well to be precise, three places I would love to visit - ideally speaking about what I love, project management, whilst I am there.

So, if you are part of a company or project organisation in these places (and others to be honest, it is a big, big world after all and I really haven't been anywhere near everywhere yet...) then I would love to hear from you right away - www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

  1. UAE,Dubai - I had such an amazing time at the Dubai Internation Project Management Forum in 2015 that I would truly love the opportunity to return!
  2. Iceland, Reykjavik - Yes I keep putting this on my wish list, it so nearly happened in 2014 but sadly, it was not to be that time around - but hey, Iceland! I am ready, willing and able!
  3. Brazil, Rio - Having been twice I really want to return for a third time - Rio has a special place in my heart and besides, I never got to hang-glide down to the beach last time!

There you have it, three places on my wish list - two I want to return to and one I have never ever visited. Can you help? Then get in contact and let's talk about bringing productive laziness and all things project management to your part of the world.

And, of course, anywhere else in the world is equally interesting.

Peter

Posted on: January 10, 2018 05:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

I need your Presentation Experience

So here's the thing - I have, as it turn out, two slightly unexpected weeks free (before I start a new and exciting job) and I thought 'why not write a book?' - and why not indeed.

But that isn't too long so I then decided a) I would write a book where I had a lot of the material already and b) I would go and get some help from all the 'Lazy PM' fans out there in the world (see 'productive laziness' in action).

I decided to write a small book based on my very popular 'A Presentation on Presentations' - as the blurb says 'We aren’t born to be professional level presenters but through this entertaining presentation the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of good presentations are explored along with a ‘how to prepare’ for that all important event. With a few simple lessons taught through the very medium of ‘presentation’ the audience will take away some great ideas for improving their own technique and ‘death by PowerPoint’ is definitely not the outcome'.

And this is where I need your help.

I need your stories of presentation experience - the good, the bad, and the really ugly. I need your top tips for what makes a great presentation. I need anything that you feel would add to the value of this book to help other people deliver better presentations in the future - hey, you might be in the audience so it is really in your own best interests.

If it is a top tip leave you name and the tip in reply to this post, in the comment box - or if it is a longer story then contact me and I will let you have my email to send me your story/experience that way.

But I am moving fast - the book will be done by 14th January so if you want to share, then share today!

Thank you - Peter

Posted on: December 29, 2017 09:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

The Project Manager who Smiled

Probably the best gift you can give the Project Manager in your life ...

How many project managers does it take to change a light bulb?

A better question to ask is perhaps ‘how many project managers does it take to have a good project?’

I think just the one, if they have a real sense of humour and an appreciation for the value of ‘fun’ in a project team.

Richard Branson, Virgin Group said ‘Have fun, success will follow. If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. If you feel like getting up in the morning to work on your business is a chore, then it's time to try something else. If you are having a good time, there is a far greater chance a positive, innovative atmosphere will be nurtured… A smile and a joke can go a long way, so be quick to see the lighter side of life’.

Now whilst there are, quite rightly, lots of books about the serious side of the profession there are none that address the more enjoyable aspects, and so I give you ‘The Project Manager Who Smiled’.

A superb resource of inspiration and entertainment; you’ll find this book invaluable in creating successful projects since:

  • A good laugh not only reduces tension and relieves stress, but also helps to increase team bonding and boost morale;
  • When you’re happy, you are more productive, more creative, more open, more likeable and a better leader.

It is packed full with ideas and jokes, inspirational thoughts and quotes, suggestions and maxims, anecdotes and all manner of good material that I just know you will steal and use in your own projects – and that is exactly what I want you to do.

Walt Disney said ‘It's kind of fun to do the impossible’ but, unfortunately, many project managers seem to think, or have been trained to think, that ‘It’s kind of impossible to do the fun’ when in reality I say ‘It’s kind of not possible to not do the fun when you’re trying to do the impossible, or something close to the impossible’.

I do really believe in all of this fun stuff you know. Time flies when you are having fun and project work gets delivered, and delivered well, when the project team is having a jolly good time.

This book is packed full with ideas and jokes, inspirational thoughts and quotes, suggestions and maxims, anecdotes and all manner of good material that I just know you will steal and use in your own projects – and that is exactly what I want you to do.

Go ahead and don’t be shy out there – fill your boots!

In between all of my personal thoughts and the great submissions I received from project managers all over the world there are some superb contributions under the heading of ‘PM Celebrity Gossip’ from some project management experts that I have had the pleasure of meeting, and in some cases, working with, in the past. I know you will love these.

And there are two fabulous case studies of organisations ‘walking’ with joy on the fun side of the project world, and not only that, seeing some real return on the investment as a result.

Serious: Peter Taylor is the author of two best-selling books on ‘Productive Laziness’ – ‘The Lazy Winner’ and ‘The Lazy Project Manager’.

In the last 4 years he has focused on writing and lecturing with over 350 presentations around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’.

Fun: Peter Taylor is a recovering second generation Virgo with a penchant for occasionally dressing up as a root vegetable and generally getting bored when there hasn’t been a laugh or a smile in the last 60 minutes.

Posted on: December 15, 2017 12:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

The Lazy Project Manager Podcast

Have you checked out my podcast? 

Well episode 183 included two fascinating interviews with Cedric Waldburger (a man with no office and no home but with many enterprising initiatives going on in his life) and Parikshit Basrur - Executive | Academic | Researcher (another really interesting guy)

Interested? Check it out here http://www.thelazyprojectmanager.com/podcaster

Peter Taylor is a PMO expert who has built and led four global PMOs across several industries, and has advised many other organisations in PMO and PM strategy.

He is also the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’, along with many other books on project leadership, PMO development, project marketing, project challenges and executive sponsorship.

In the last 5 years, he has delivered over 350 lectures around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’.

His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance.

More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com



LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/parikshitbasrur/

Twitter @parikshitbasrur 

LinkedIn https://ch.linkedin.com/in/cedricwaldburger

FB: https://www.facebook.com/sendtask.io/

Posted on: December 07, 2017 11:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Catsuits and Parachutes

The following is an extract from my new book ‘How to get Fired at the C-Level: Why mismanaging change is the biggest risk of all’ in association with my friends at Tailwind Project Solutions – previous extracts followed a series of 5 Challenges that I think every organisation should consider, and consider very carefully – and now we will look at the 5 tests of control:

Challenge 4, if you remember, was all about investing in good analysis and in good reporting so that the precious portfolio of change is well looked after and cared for, in a kind of management by exception sort of way.

This book is not the book to advise you on what portfolio reporting or dashboard solution to choose and it is not about how you should go about implementing such a solution (I did suggest one specific dashboard view you might ask for from any supplier and/or solution though so make sure you lock that one down).

But I would like to offer some general advice and it is in the area of scale or being ‘fit for purpose’.

There is a great presentation by Tom Peters where he talks about some organisations that get so big that they forget about some of the basic, simple, everyday stuff.[1]

He produces a tiny shampoo bottle that he has taken from a hotel bathroom and he asks, rhetorically, ‘who was the average user of this bottle?’ The answer being that most likely this was going to be used by a middle-aged business traveller who more than likely wore reading glasses. He then asked, still rhetorically, ‘where was this likely to be used?’ And the answer this time was of course it would be used when the middle aged business traveller, who most likely wore reading glasses, was taking a shower. He paused for effect and summed up; this product was most likely to be used by this guy in a shower without his reading glasses in in steamy environment with water running and when he wanted to decipher between the two almost identical bottles of shower gel and shampoo. Result: frustration and improper use of products.

A definition of ‘fit for purpose’ is ‘something that is fit for purpose is good enough to do the job it was designed to do’, but you could argue that the shampoo bottle, standing next to the shower gel bottle, and sometimes also next to a ‘body lotion’ bottle, is fit for purpose. The trouble is you need to distinguish the shampoo bottle first to then use it and for it to truly become ‘fit for purpose’.

When it comes to reporting then this very much applies. Your portfolio reporting process and solution needs to be a good ‘fit’ for the purpose you wish to put it to, practical, usable, understandable, with the right data in it.

Yes, you can have the all-singing, all-dancing, let’s take this barn and put on a show with fireworks and banners approach and good luck to you – you might need it but almost certainly not. This is the ‘parachute approach’ making the solution so copious and all-covering that there is no danger in being exposed in any way - but guess what? You can’t move in it, well not very fast anyway, and it isn’t particularly suitable for most needs (unless you are actually jumping out of a plane of course but this is actually a metaphor so not relevant), and most of the material is wasted.

The alternative approach is to make it as minimal as possible, only the bare data available, lean and focused, tight as can be - this is the ‘cat-suit approach’ which does the job, precisely and nothing more – this is a good looking solution for sure and this may well work, but probably not, someone will want something extra (and justify that they need it) and suddenly you are making alterations, without any spare material to make that even remotely possible without causing an embarrassing rip.

The sensible approach is, of course, somewhere between the ‘parachute approach’ and the ‘cat-suit approach’ – perhaps the ‘It’s Friday dress down day in the office comfortable jeans with stretch denim approach’ or something like that.

Make it fit for purpose just don’t take the whole ‘fit for purpose’ too far:

In a circus, the Bearded Lady and the World's Strongest Man fell in love, and decided to start a family. Soon the Bearded Lady fell pregnant[2].

A few weeks before she was due to give birth the Bearded Lady and the Circus Ring-Master were talking.

‘How's it going?’ the Ring-Master asked, ‘Are you well?’

‘Yes thanks, we are very excited’ said the Bearded Lady ‘We have so many plans for the baby and we want to be supportive parents’.

‘That's great’ said the Ring-Master ‘Do you want a boy or a girl?’

‘Oh, we really don't mind as long as it's healthy’ said the Bearded Lady ‘Oh and it fits into the cannon…’

TAKE THE TEST: The action for you now is to look at your reporting and ensure that it is right for your needs, the executive team’s needs, and the business needs. Can you access the data you need to make the right decisions? Is that data accurate and timely? Does it truly represent the change underway inside your organisation?

If not then best do something about that fast or you will be making ill-informed decisions, or worse no decisions at all.

Tailwind Project Solutions was formed in 2014 to provide a bespoke approach to project leadership development.  Owned by Director & CEO Alex Marson, the organisation works with large FTSE 250 clients including some of the biggest companies in the world in the Asset Management, Professional Services, Software, Automotive, Finance and Pharmaceutical industry.  The company has a team of world-class experts who provide a bespoke approach to the challenges that our clients have, and the company was formed because of a gap in the market for expertise which truly gets to the heart of the issues clients are facing – providing a robust, expert solution to change the way that companies run their projects.

At the time, the market was becoming flooded with training companies, providing a ‘sheep dip’ approach to project management, and the consensus was that This didn’t solve the real challenges that businesses and individuals are experiencing in this ever-increasing complex world of project management.  The vision was to hand-pick and work with the very best consultants, trainers and coaches worldwide so that Tailwind could make a difference to their clients, to sit down with them, understand their pain points, what makes them tick, and what is driving their need for support.

These challenges being raised time and time again are in the project leadership space, from communication issues, not understanding stakeholder requirements or having the confidence to “push back”, lack of sponsorship support, working across different cultures, languages, levels of capability and complexity. We expect more from our project managers – we expect them to inspire, lead teams and be more confident.

Tailwind’s experience is vast, from providing interim resources in the project and programme management space, supporting the recruitment process, experiential workshops, coaching – from project managers through to executives, providing keynote speakers, implementing PPM Academies, PM Healthchecks and Leadership development.  The approach is created often uniquely – to solve the real challenges of each of their individual clients.

http://tailwindps.com/

 


[1] Originally published in ‘Project Branding: Using Marketing to Win the Hearts and Minds of Stakeholders’ (RMC Publications, Inc. 2014) – author Peter Taylor

[2] Originally published in ‘Project Branding: Using Marketing to Win the Hearts and Minds of Stakeholders’ (RMC Publications, Inc. 2014) – author Peter Taylor

Posted on: December 06, 2017 01:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
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If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith.

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