Friday, May 31, 2013

19: Self Improvement

No book or teacher can make you a better project manager.  There are no rules or techniques that can develop these qualities.  You need to discover things for yourself.  

The Way  
A poor project manager may go on lots of courses but this will only make him a sadder person while making the people selling the courses richer.  The wise project manager develops and improves through practicing silence and meditation.  These will gradually reveal his true self.  

Give up sainthood, renounce wisdom,  
And it will be a hundred times better for everyone.  
Give up kindness, renounce morality,  
And the people will go back to filial piety and compassion.  
Give up cunning, renounce profit,  
And robbers and thieves will disappear.  
If these three are not sufficient in themselves,  
Consider natural simplicity,
Cherish nature’s work,
And let things take their course.

“The Way of the Project Manager” by John Carroll (ISBN 978-1481076111), is published by CreateSpace and available from Amazon in hard copy and on Amazon Kindle.

Friday, May 24, 2013

18: Staying Calm

After some initial problems with DropBox, I finally managed to get Project 2013 in easy steps uploaded on Saturday and took off for a few days at Rye. Lovely spot, shame about the weather but we did manage to get a few nice walks in.

The Way  
The way represents the single principle of how everything works.  When we keep it simple and follow the path there will be harmony in the team and people get on with the project.  When we leave the way, the team will start to argue begin to lose their motivation.  The wise project manager recognizes what is happening and returns to first principles.  He needs to calm the team, reassure them and bring them back to the way.  

When the great Tao is neglected,  
Humanity and righteousness arise.  
When wisdom and knowledge appear,  
They beget great falseness.  
When there is no peace within the family,  
Filial piety and maternal love arise.  
When the country is confused and in chaos,  
Patriotism is born.  

“The Way of the Project Manager” by John Carroll (ISBN 978-1481076111), is published by CreateSpace and available from Amazon in hard copy and on Amazon Kindle.

Friday, May 17, 2013

17: Facilitation

Project 2013 in easy steps is now ready to upload. I'm just waiting for the publishers to set up an account in DropBox for me to upload it to.  

The Way
Lao Tzu tells us that there are four types of leaders and that equates to project managers:  

The worst are the weak, ineffectual ones that have been promoted to their level of incompetence.  

Next are those that are feared and who get their way by threatening and browbeating their team.  

Then we come to the charismatic leaders, who lead from the front and are popular, but they are not wise project managers, for the team will be too reliant on them.  

The wise project manager is barely noticed.  He does not intervene unless it is absolutely necessary and allows the team to run itself.  He trusts in his team and they, in turn, trust in him.  Greatness does not come to those who go looking for it, it comes out of humility, for this is the way of the project manager.  

When the best ruler governs,  
The people are barely aware he exists.  
The next best is a leader which they know and love.  
Then one who is feared.  
The worst is one who is despised.  

If the ruler does not trust the people,  
There will be no trust in him.  
The best ruler doesn’t talk, he acts.  
When his work is done,  
The people say “We did it!”  

“The Way of the Project Manager” by John Carroll (ISBN 978-1481076111), is published by CreateSpace and available from Amazon in hard copy and on Amazon Kindle.

Friday, May 10, 2013

PMI Netherlands Summit

I'm pleased to see that the PMI Netherlands Summit now features a page on the "Exclusive Blog Team", which includes yours truly. I'm really looking forward to it. These are thye main topics:

Team learning in projects: why some project teams learn new insights and apply them while others don’t sounds particularly interesting to me. 

Project strategy rooted in dynamic capabilities: a discussion on how project strategy can enable your organization to be adaptable. 

Learning from outside the box: learning from experiences (another of my hot topics) from outside of your own mindset. What will work for you? "Listen and shiver" sounds fun.

Co-creating recipes for successful Project Management: a workshop based on the theory of single, double and triple loop learning.

Learning on the fly: how project managers can access lessons learned on the fly, at the right moment and addressing a specific issue. 

Community Sources Learning adds Value: How can an organization capture and apply knowledge which are of strategic importance for the organization?

Constructing Your Parachute On The Way Down: (I particularly like the sound of this one!) Overcoming Organizational Gravity For Smarties.

Be inspired by Lynn Crawford and Terry Cooke-Davies: your opportunity to align with international thought leaders on project management competences. 

Project Management and the human factor: little attention has been paid until now to the art of undermining  and manipulating projects. But each project has its opponents; the dominant motive is survival.

Program, Governance and its flip side: the relevance of Program and Portfolio Governance in organizations and an updated Agile Governance approach.

Retrospectives: your lessons learned on steroids to help your team/project in continuous improvement.

How agile projects measure up, what this means to you: how organizations can measure their own projects, agile or not, and how to communicate results to decision makers who face investment decisions.

The Afsluitdijk: the world-famous Enclosure dam doesn’t meet present safety standards and needs a makeover. Joost van de Beek (project manager) will share the critical points to success.

Intervision and coaching: a workshop approach to experience learning via interaction and dialogue. Learn by sharing experiences and by exposing your worries and insecurities. Open up and grow. 

Full details at:

Friday, May 03, 2013

16: Letting Go

I’m cracking on with the final run through “Project 2013 in easy steps”, doing some final tweaking and converting the images to CMYK. I’ve just heard from the publishers that they want one on Program and Portfolio Management next so the work continues.

The Way  
In project management there is no point trying to be perfect or admired as these are not things that make the team or the project any more successful.  By letting go of all emotional baggage and just being part of the team we not only benefit the rest of the team and the project but we benefit ourselves.  

Empty your mind of everything.  
Let the mind rest at peace.  
The ten thousand things rise and fall.

Being open-minded, you will act in a kingly manner.  
Being kingly, you will attain the divine.  
Being divine, you will be at one with the Tao.  
Being at one with the Tao is eternal.  
And though the body dies, you are ready.  

The term ‘kingly’ is used in the Tao as an alternative to ‘the sage’.  It indicates possessing the clarity of knowledge, being open-hearted and open-minded.  

“The Way of the Project Manager” by John Carroll (ISBN 978-1481076111), is published by CreateSpace and available from Amazon in hard copy and on Amazon Kindle.