The Lazy Project Manager

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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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Mentoring the Next Generation

January 10, 2018 05:26 AM

I need your Presentation Experience

The Project Manager who Smiled

The Lazy Project Manager Podcast

Mentoring the Next Generation

It was one of those moments. I was thinking that I really should get writing again and get some blogs out there in the big wide web of wonderment, but couldn’t think what to say or write about, and then ‘wham’, I get a message through my website contact form www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

It said ‘I would like to share my knowledge to the next generation PMs’ and asked for any guidance or advice in doing so.

Serendipitous or what? Well I think it was.

Mentoring is a long term relationship where the focus is on supporting the professional growth and business development of the recipient, the less experienced partner in the mentoring relationship, the mentee as it is officially known. The mentor should be a source of wisdom, teaching, and support, therefore real world experience is a must. You have to have put in the time and had the personal experience of the good, the bad and the ugly of project life in order to be a good mentor I believe. And the mentor is someone who observes, discuses, considers current behavior and issues and gently guides changes for the better where needed. Again, this is a call for a certain type of individual, we are not all cut out to be mentor material.

But let’s say you are the ‘right stuff’ and you do have some time to mentor others, how would you go about it?

At this point I would offer up, in not a call to action, but at least a call to comment, to the readers of this blog. How would you suggest someone with the experience, with the interest, with the time and with the general inclination to go about becoming a ‘mentor’?

Whilst I wait patiently for your input and general wisdom like contributions let me consider these questions:

  • Why do you want to be a mentor?
    • Altruism or profit?
    • That is do you just want to give back and it is all free and open, or do you want to profit financially from the effort – it is possible both can be true of course
  • One or many?
    • Do you want to offer a one to one mentorship engagement for just a lucky individual or do you want to offer a larger more mass gathering type of mentoring program? Or perhaps something in between?
  • What is the style of mentorship you are thinking of offering?
    • Face to face, remote/virtual, on-line?
  • And how long are you committing to?
    • What is your personal timeline of dedication to this program and/or each individual?
  • How will you set expectations amongst your mentees (or mentee)?
    • What is truly in it for them – especially if you are asking for money?

I spoke some time ago in an article entitled ‘Green Bean PMs’ about the three things that any newbie would benefit from and this included finding a mentor – so there is a real need out there for smart, experienced people to give back to their profession in some way:

  • Give them a safe place to start
    • Projects are, by their very nature, tricky beasts and for a ‘newbie’ to learn the practical skills of project management we should ensure that they enter the PM world in a controlled way. Hopefully being handed a new project to lead and being told to ‘get on with it’ (as I was when I became a PM) is long gone.
    • Rather we should allow the ‘Green beans’ to experience project reality by taking up a small part in another project managers project, and watching and learning and getting involved in a small way.
    • In addition, if there are project reviews, health checks, and retrospectives taking place (and I really hope that there are) then this is another great entry experience for the young ones to see and learn.
    • Another safe(r) environment might be internal projects – rather than external customer facing ones.
    • Key is to make the environment of learning a safe one.
  • Give them a friendly place to work
    • Where should they work and report when they first start out? Well don’t leave them out in the cold and without peers and project professionals around them. If you have a project practice then this is the place to nurture those ‘beans’.
    • Make it easy for them to ask the questions that they will need to ask and make it easy for them to see experienced project managers in action.
    • We all know that there is a world of difference between theory and practice so give them the support they need to move away from the theory.
    • Key is to make it easy for them to find out all of the stuff that will need to find out.
  • Give them a helping hand
    • Appoint a mentor from out there in project management land who will be there to listen to them from time to time and gently point them in the right direction when they need help – such a person will be invaluable to the ‘beans’ in the early days of being a project manager.
    • Encourage them to make the effort to look outside your organization and connect to some truly wonderful project managers and experts out there on the www. There is a huge amount of advice and guidance through local project management groups, through conferences and meetings, through the online discussions and blogs, and lots more. (It may be in this area the ‘Green’ ones might have the upper hand on us ‘Grey’ ones since all this social connectivity is second nature to them).
    • Key is to build the best possible network for now and the future and to use it wisely.

So thank you my website visitor for triggering this blog and subsequent conversation – and thank you all my lovely readers for sharing your ideas, thoughts, suggestions, experiences and general wisdom with regards to the value of mentorship, and the path to becoming a mentor.

 

Peter Taylor is a PMO expert who has built and led five 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 – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

Posted on: February 28, 2018 11:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

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 (5)

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 (7)

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)
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