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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The Complex World

Is your business life ‘Complex’?

Well don’t panic, you are certainly not alone, but you should accept that you are part the ‘VUCA’ world today!

C = Complexity: the multiplex of forces, the confounding of issues, no cause-and-effect chain and confusion that surrounds organization.

Meaning: Consisting of many different and connected parts - not easy to analyse or understand; complicated or intricate.

In a Forbes article ‘What Does VUCA Really Mean?’ Jeroen Kraaijenbrink writes: ‘Complexity refers to the number of factors that we need to take into account, their variety and the relationships between them. The more factors, the greater their variety and the more they are interconnected, the more complex an environment is. Under high complexity, it is impossible to fully analyze the environment and come to rational conclusions. The more complex the world is, the harder it is to analyze’.

The key here is whole messy interconnectedness of, it seems, everything to everything not, necessarily, that any one point of connection is, in itself, complicated but that by connecting that point to another point, and both those points to each other, and then doing that over and over again many, many times that what you end up with a very scary looking piece of perceived ‘complexity’.

Harvard Business News noted, in an article called ‘Learning to Live with Complexity’ by Gökçe Surgut and Rita Gunther McGrath that there are two major problems of complexity (and you do need to know the difference between complicated and complex by the way). They said, ‘We’ve observed two problems commonly faced by managers of complex systems: unintended consequences and difficulty making sense of a situation’.

·       Unintended consequences: In a complex environment, even small decisions can have surprising effects.

·       Making sense of a situation: It is very difficult, if not impossible, for an individual decision maker to see an entire complex system. This is essentially a vantage point problem: It’s hard to observe and comprehend a highly diverse array of relationships from any one location.

So, the first concern is along the lines of ‘impact any one point and who knows what this might lead to’, which is a very worrying situation many would agree.

The second is that ‘nobody can actually see the big picture’ even though we have all been trained for years to ‘look at the big picture’, which is fine until now, because the picture itself cannot be seen in its entirety or ‘complexity’.

And so, the question has to be ‘How can we understand what can’t, apparently, been viewed?’.

Which leads us naturally to the appreciation that alone, we can’t. But in the company of the many, in the land of true collaboration, the impossible becomes more than possible thanks to our colleagues and compatriots at work.



Join myself and Neil Derbyshire from Clarizen on the morning of 5th December where we will address the 4 main challenges of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) and how working in a business agile mind-set can bring the rewards of stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity to your day-to-day work.

Join this free webinar to learn first-hand how:

1.    VUCA can be used as a catalyst to bringing change in your day-to-day world

2.    How a business agile mind-set will help bring stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity to your role

3.    How technology can help you overcome challenges in a VUCA world

4.    What can businesses do today to prepare for challenges in the future

Register your interest today to avoid VUCA now and in the future!

Let’s Un-VUCA the VUCA world!


Peter Taylor is a change expert who has advised many other organisations on Change and Project strategy.

He is also the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’.

More information can be found at

Posted on: November 25, 2019 04:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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