Project Management

The Lazy Project Manager

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 – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

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Can I borrow you for a sec because I’m stacked? It will be a win-win situation. I have been blue sky thinking and want to keep you in the loop on my thinking outside of the box, as well as picking your brains, I’m just playing devils’ advocate on this teamwork/dreamwork idea. Will it work? Well how long is a piece of string?

Have I lost you? I suspect I have as the above paragraph includes all ten of the most annoying things people say in the office according to a survey of 2,000 people by recruitment website

Rubbish aren’t they – time for a paradigm shift, we can’t boil the ocean with limited bandwidth but there is low hanging fruit out there so let’s tee it up, circle back, take it offline and do more with less. We need to break the silos to move the needle because it is what it is. What we must do at the end of the day is run it up the flagpole, bite the bullet, peel back the layers of the onion and take it, if push comes to shove, to the bleeding edge. Making sure we are not out of pocket, which is par for the course, let’s get one throat to choke whilst opening the kimono, and synergise as we all drink the Kool Aid. Awesome!

Clearer? I think not, you have no idea what I am on about do you and no surprise. That paragraph included twenty five of the most overused phrases from Business Insider UK. The thing is that they were all once a neat and creative way of expressing a thought or an idea but overuse has made them into at first clichés and then just bloody annoying things that some of our work colleagues roll out regularly on calls and at meetings, presumably because they can’t think of anything intelligent to say instead. Clichés appear to make you connected to what is going on without actually having to have any real understanding or anything of value to contribute. It is like a code that just gets you out of a tricky moment.

Question: ‘What do think of this new approach?’

Answer: ‘You have my buy-in on this particular swim lane, I like the core competency and feel empowered as a result’

Yes, I am back at it again, this time looking at the Forbes most annoying business jargon list.

There are lots of moving parts when you put your best practice ducks in a row and leverage the scalable solution from the burning platform. It is imperative that we drill down and smell the coffee in this one-stop shop because today is the day, all 24/7 of it, and tomorrow, like our children, is our future.

Oh my, it is addictive isn’t it?

So please, be a rock star … and stop! 

Posted on: December 04, 2018 07:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (12)


Communication was always the key differentiator for good project managers but what is ‘new’ in the world of effective communication in this modern ‘social’ and ‘distributed’ world – what do ‘real’ project managers think?

‘Like most project managers, I have had both successes and failures in my projects. In post project analysis communication is still at the heart of both success and failure. In my discussions with project managers, I hear the same thing on every project, regardless of the project size, what has doomed the failed projects is not learning how to effectively communicate with the intended audience, ensuring that each communication is complete and understood’

And others felt that in this ‘new’ project world there was a ‘new’ challenge (and presumably then, opportunity):

‘Communication skills become even more important as the Digital Generation comes of age in project management’

‘As project managers we learn there are many ways to communicate, however the most effective communication is face to face and this is where I see problems with the digital natives. They have grown up with casual communications across all types of media, but lack the maturity and understanding to manage formal business and face to face communications with diverse audiences’

‘For anyone who is looking to become a successful project manager the ability to learn and practice communicating in all types of media is important, but face to face communication is critical’

Just take a look at these recent statistics:

Facebook continues to grow (numbers from earnings call for the first quarter of 2013) -

  • Daily active users have reached 665 million
  • Monthly active users have passed 1.1 billion for the first time
  • 751 million mobile users access Facebook every month
  • Mobile only active users total 189 million

Twitter is the fastest growing social network in the world by active users according to a 2013 GlobalWebIndex Study -

  • 44% growth from June 2012 to March 2013
  • 288 million monthly active users
  • Over 500 million registered accounts
  • Twitter’s fastest growing age demographic is 55 to 64 year olds

YouTube (from YouTube’s own blog) shows its reach into our culture (and our time) -

  • 1 billion unique monthly visitors
  • 6 billion hours of videos are watched every month
  • YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network

Google+ is making an impact on the social media universe and is now the second largest social network

  • 359 million monthly active users according to a GlobalWebIndex study

My personal favourite (feel free to send me an invitation to connect) LinkedIn, which is the largest business network

  • Over 200 million users

Throw in webinar tools and instant messaging and podcasts, blogs, and a whole bunch more that are no doubt ‘really hot’ but that are currently passing me by (where is a Gen Y when you need one?) and you get a whole lot of new and old ways to communicate as a project manager.

That seems to be the essence of the problem, communication has always been a challenge, even when you had only a few ways of doing it, but now there is an explosion of means and project managers are confused over what to use and when.

Dealing with the mass of traditional and social communication channels is causing problems. ‘I want to keep with all the new ways of ‘talking’ to my team and stakeholders and not miss out on a better way of providing updates, reports or team exchanges but I just don’t have the time to learn all the new stuff without dropping other important things’

Are you feeling the challenge of the 'Tweetfacelinkblogpodoogle' world?


The above is an extract from ‘Real Project Management’ published by Kogan Page (2015)  Amazon you can also find out more with the PMI hosted webinar  I presented based on this book.

I will explore this subject in a lot more detail in my new book ‘The Social Project Manager’ due to be published by Gower in December 2015

Posted on: September 10, 2015 02:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

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