Friday, October 25, 2013

37: Doing Little

The Project
I am now well into the new book “Project Program and Portfolio Management in easy steps”. I’ve got the material together for the introduction and the first three chapters. Still a lot more to get together before I can start turning it into easy steps. It’s been quite a hard week so I smiled when I saw my topic for today.

Many years ago I coined the phrase “constructive laziness” to describe my approach to work, which some people find difficult to understand.  I don’t always take the easiest option but I do take the option that will require the least effort in the long run.  So it sometimes appears to people that I do very little.  They are of course absolutely right; I do as little as possible.  

The Way  
Some people get confused when a project manager appears to be doing very little and yet things still seem to get done.  But the wise project manager knows that is how things work.  The Tao does nothing, yet everything gets done.  

The poor project manager appears to be too busy, always rushing about so nothing actually gets done.  When the wise project manager finds himself getting too busy, he takes a step back, returns to selfless silence and centers himself.  Being centered creates order and when there is order, there is little to do.  

Tao abides in non-action,  
Yet nothing is left undone.  
When kings are able to conform to this,  
The ten thousand things will develop naturally.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

PMI Netherlands Summit 2014

Inspiring Project, Program and Portfolio Management
The thin line between project failure and project success

I have  again been invited to join the PMI Netherlands Summit in June 2014 as part of their blogging team and hope that I can make it this year. I was particularly pleased to see that the theme is “Inspiring Project, Program and Portfolio Management” as I have just started work on a new book “Project Program and Portfolio Management in easy steps” for my usual publishers. 

PMI have issued a call for papers, so if you are interested check out the details on their web site (see below) and submit your paper before November 11th 2013.

Not interested in presenting, but interested in visiting the Summit on June 12th 2014, then take advantage of their Early Bird Discount. See the web site at: 

And I hope to see you there.

Friday, October 11, 2013

36: Subtle Insight

Just heard from my publisher at the Frankfurt Book Fair, there does seem to be sufficient interest in Project Program and Portfolio Management (P3M) so that’s my next project up and running again.

As we get further into a project it is not unusual to find out that we don’t have enough human resources or budget to achieve everything that we would like to accomplish.  A poor project manager might try and push the team to achieve more that they are capable of and they will probably fail.  A wise project manager will work out the available options and take them to the business for a decision on which to take.  

The Way  
The wise project manager knows that if he wishes to prosper he needs to be generous.  Pushy, bullying project managers often have disastrous projects.  As they say: be nice to people on the way up as you are likely to meet them again on the way back down.  The quiet project manager will be successful.

Strength ensured,   
Weakening may be considered.  
Prosperity ensured,  
Ruin may be considered.  
Possession ensured,  
Theft may be considered.  

This might be called a subtle insight.  
Weakness conquers strength.  
And a country’s weapons,  
Should be hidden from the people.  

“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, October 04, 2013

35: Keep It Simple

Last week I took part in a mass Flash blog where 70 project management bloggers simultaneously blogged on “What Project Management Means to Me”. Some of the blogs were pretty good and if you want to take a look at them there is a link at the end of my previous blog.

As a project manager I always tried to keep things simple.  Yes I had a detailed project schedule for myself but I create a simplified high-level version for the project stakeholders and extract detailed deliverables lists (features lists in agile projects) for the project team to work from.  Keeping things simple means they are easy to follow. 

The Way  
The good project manager stays with the single principle and understands the team process.  He keeps away from chaos and conflicts.  He keeps things simple and clear for the team and so the work of the team progresses smoothly and, when the project ends, the team are in good spirits and say “we did it”.  

Hold the great image,  
All under heaven will come.  
They come without harm,  
In happiness and peace.  

Trying to describe the Tao, insipid!  
Look, it cannot be seen.  
Listen, it cannot be heard.  
Use cannot exhaust 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.