Friday, January 27, 2017


One thing I have observed over the years is that a wise project manager does not spend all his time talking about problems and issues.  He gets on and does something about them and only speaks when it is necessary. He demonstrates what needs to be done by his behaviour rather than by what he does.

The poor project manager tries to impress his team and project stakeholders by talking about what he is doing, but it carries little weight. Being dramatic or egocentric neither does any good nor looks good. When we try and force things to happen, those things will go wrong. So what is the right way?

The Way  
When we do the right things by following the Way, we will be rewarded and the right things will happen. So the wise project manager trusts his team and in turn the team trust him.

The Tao  
Lao Tzu tells us: 

To talk little is natural.  
A whirlwinds does not last all morning.  
A rainstorm does not last all day.  
Why is this? Heaven and earth!  

Even heaven and earth cannot make things eternal,  
So how is it possible for man?  
He whose concern is Tao,  
His path is Tao oriented.  

He who is virtuous,  
Experiences virtue.  
He whose concern is error,  
Loses the way.  

When you are at one with the Tao,  
The Tao welcomes you.  
When you are at one with virtue,  
Virtue welcomes you.  

When you are at one with error,  
Error welcomes you.  
He who does not trust enough  
Will not be trusted.  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Letting Go

Things are very hectic at the rugby club at the moment, lots of things to try and sort out including preparing our budgets for next financial year. The last project (extension to the spectator viewing area and safety barrier) was completed successfully and we got a grant from the RFU towards the work, which was nice. Car park improvements and an electronic scoreboard come next. Meanwhile we've an away game down at Lanner, in deepest Cornwall on Saturday so a fun day out for all.

The Paradox of Letting Go  
When the going gets tough it is sometimes hard to let go, yet when we stop trying, things fall into place all by themselves. Poor project managers drive themselves and their team harder but that is not the way. 

The Way
The wise project manager adopts the Yin or feminine approach. By giving up trying and going with the flow they can overcome obstacles and achieve their objectives. When we give of ourselves we become more. When we feel exhausted we will grow strong again. But most importantly, when we desire little a great deal will come to us.  Let go in order to achieve, this is the wisdom of the feminine.

The Tao  
Lao Tzu tells us:  

Yield and overcome,  
Bend and be straight,  
Empty and be full,  
Wear out and be renewed,  
Have little and gain,  
Have much and be confused.  

Therefore the sage embraces the Tao,  
And is an example in the world.  
Not by nature conspicuous,  
Therefore they shine bright.  
Not by nature aggressive,  
Therefore they achieve recognition.  

They do not quarrel,  
So nothing can quarrel with them.  
Strange the saying “Wrong is the model for perfect.”  
Can this be an empty saying?  
Be truly whole,  
And return to the Tao.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

To Jump or not to Jump

Welcome to 2017
I trust you all have a happy and rewarding year. As usual I will be dripping in my thoughts, meditations and opinions as we go, with a little bit about life (or the continuous learning program as I like to think of it).

Speaking of continuous learning, I was contacted by Emily of Master of Project, regarding their training courses. I promised to take a look and I did. They do seem to have some good courses, both in terms of learning and towards accreditation, plus a very nice web site. Well done Emily. I will test out their free Agile Scrum Overview and report back. Meantime their web site is at: if you are interested.

For myself, I have a number of small projects on the go at the moment and was reflecting on the fact that projects can sometimes get very confusing and it is not always easy to see the way. If the way was simple, it would be easy to see that one option would be right and another wrong. But projects are not like that, they tend to be noisy and confused, with competing calls for attention coming from all sides. 

Poor project managers tend to jump every time someone yells. Wise project managers calmly point out that to jump would impact on other activities and asks the jumpee to consider which other project activities they would like to be put aside to allow the jumper time to plan and execute the jump on their behalf.  

The Way  
If we accept that everything is connected in some way (even the people asking us to jump), then we are always potentially on the way. If we struggle and fight against what is happening then we will surely loose the way. If we accept, in silence, that things are the way they are, then we move forward along the way. So in times of turmoil the wise project manager holds onto the belief that everything happens according to one universal principal.  
Be calm and clear, and think about the results of taking actions before reacting. Then take the actions that will gently steer the project back towards its objectives.

The Tao  
Lao Tzu tells us:  

The greatest virtue is to follow only the Tao.  
The Tao seems wild and obscure.  
So obscure, so wild,  
But within it there is form.  

So profound, so dark,  
But within it there is essence.  
This essence is very real,  
And within it there is truth.  

From the very beginning until now  
Its name has never been forgotten.  
To observe the source of all things.  
How do I know the nature of the source?  
Because of here and now.