10th Anniversary of The Lazy Project Manager

September 12, 2019

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To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Lazy Project Manager the book is free on Amazon/Kindle around the world for the whole of September

A massive world-wide success (in the world of project management – we are not talking Harry Potter here) the work, by author Peter Taylor, explores the concept of ‘productive laziness’ or working smarter and not harder

Aided by Italian Economists, Monty Python, Fieldmarshalls in the Prussian army and dinosaurs (of course) the book was a ground-breaking work incorporating humour, brevity and honesty and has sold in its thousands around the world

Peter Taylor has delivered over 350 presentations in 25 countries and hasn’t stopped there

Grab your free copy today and tell everyone you know in the wonderful world of project management

Connect to me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterbtaylor/ and Twitter @thelazypm

Check out my website http://www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

Invite me to speak/train at your organisation

And finally, ‘be lazy’

Peter

The Lazy Project Manager is 10 years old!

September 10, 2019

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To celebrate this major milestone the book is free on Amazon (Kindle version only) for the whole of September – so grab your copy and tell everyone you know in the world of project management

Thank you – all of the ‘lazy’ project managers around the world

It has been an amazing 10 years

 

Peter

http://www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

Free Project Management Software Selection Advice

July 29, 2019

No Meerkats (or Opera Singers)

Crozdesk.com is the most advanced business software discovery platform out there.

https://crozdesk.com/operations-management/project-management-software/quote-form/the-lazy-pm

Check it our for free AI powered selection recommendations, based on your input criteria, for you and your organisation – today

No Singing Required

The Balanced PMO

July 25, 2019

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As with most things in life (and business) getting a balance right can prove far more effective, especially in the long run, than having a single focus that ignores other key elements.

The same is true of the PMO.

A balanced approach will definitely pay dividends and will not only ensure that the PMO is as effective and efficient as possible but will also aid the acceptance of the PMO by the rest of the organisation.

For example, if your PMO is created solely with the purpose of being the ‘project police’ then you will be in for a very short run. No doubt the role of policing projects is one part of the PMOs responsibility but not the only part, such an approach may work for a short period of time but it is not sustainable. And if your PMO is focused on firefighting then again it will work for a while but not beyond a certan point as it is demoralising to only work on problem projects and deal with escalating issues. Far better is to prevent the fires from even starting.

One way to achieve such a balance in the PMO is to consider structuring your efforts under what I call the ‘5 Ps’:

  • P = People
  • P = Process
  • P = Promotion
  • P = Performance
  • P = Project Management Information System

5Ps

It may be tempting to just think of the PMO as all about the process, the means to ensure that good project management is achieved through methodology and quality assurance etc but that ignores the people side.

And it may be that your consideration is towards the project management community and your focus is drawn towards the people (projects are all about people after all) and so you direct your efforts as a PMO leader towards training and team building etc but this ignores the project mechanics.

You may also accept the need to build a good tracking and reporting system, supported by an investment in a project management information system, to deliver the visibility of project health and progress towards business goals.

But without the inclusion of a promotional program it could well be the case that all of the good work you, and your team, achieve in the areas of process and people will go unnoticed and unappreciated by both your peers and the executive.

As for what tools to use, well that can be tricky to work out (and time consuming) but you do need the right tools for the job – as an idea why not check out this neat way of getting some tools suggestions that really fit your needs https://crozdesk.com/operations-management/project-management-software/quote-form/the-lazy-pm

The best PMOs balance all of this to achieve the most effective development of capability, representation of capability and sharing of capability and achievement.  

Author:

Peter Taylor is a PMO expert who has built and led five global PMOs across several industries and 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’, along with many other books on project leadership, PMO development, project marketing, project challenges and executive sponsorship.

In the last few years, he has delivered over 350 lectures 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 www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

Help! I am stuck in the toaster of life!

July 18, 2019

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Over my daily cup of coffee, a fine cortado from Costa today, I read my horoscope in the copy of the Daily Express available in the coffee shop

Now I am not exactly sure why I do this as I absolutely don’t believe in it, but perhaps it is because the words each day range from the mildly entertaining to the bizarre with the occasional dollop of ‘well that fits’ – I’m sure I am not alone in this, be honest

Today was one of the ‘bizarre’ ones but it has led me to consider what was written and the result is this blog piece

Because today, my Virgo sign declared ‘Your slice of bread is stuck in the toaster of life. You can’t get it out. Even if you enlist the help of people around you, they can try as hard as they like, but they’re not going to have any more success than you. Legend tells of a heroic figure who will, one day, have the power to remove it; at which point, marmalade will once again be in abundance. You’re on a test that has echoes of an old myth about it. You’re going to need courage, but, most importantly, you need to keep your sense of humour!’

Credit: Oscar Cainer https://www.dailymail.co.uk/coffeebreak/horoscopes/index.html

And you know what, I am absolutely stuck in the toaster of life, wondering what to do next – whether to carry on doing what I have done for many years (PMO leadership at a global level), focus on my private world of project management leadership, speaking, writing, training, coaching etc, or head off to find something brand new

So, dear followers and those interested in such matters, what is your advice, what opportunities do you know about, what should I, the Lazy Project Manager, do next?

I may just need some heroic intervention because I do crave the taste of marmalade once again (preferably the lime with no bits in it version from Rose’s – but I’m open to experimentation)

As to keeping my sense of humour well that seems to be intact I think

The Lazy Project Manager – Conference and Corporate Speaker

January 4, 2019

As we all start the journey that is 2019, a few questions:

  • Are you investing in your project management community?
  • Does your team need better presentation skills?
  • Do your sponsors and executives need better understanding of business change impact?
  • Do you have plans for a business event in the coming months?
  • Do you need help in any, or all, of the above?

If so then I, and my team, would love to speak to you about how I might be able to help you

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I am the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book The Lazy Project Manager’along with many other books on project leadership, PMO development, project marketing, project challenges, presentation skills and executive sponsorship as well business transformation

In the last 5 years, I have delivered over 300 lectures 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’

I specialise in all things relating to project management and project leadership as well as presentation skills training, and executive coaching

My 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, as well delivering presentations, keynotes and lectures that are both fun and informative

More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com as well all of my contact details, or message me through LinkedIn

Contact me today to discuss how we can work together in 2019

 

Check me out today at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

The Presentation on Presentations

December 14, 2018

A new book for you and your team: How to become a more confident public speaker the ‘Lazy’ way – Available now on Amazon

Am I a public speaking expert?

An interesting thought and hardly one that I could answer myself.

I could say, with complete accuracy, that I have (at the time of writing this book) delivered 337 presentations of varying formats to a public audience of varying human formats, interests, locations and languages (to over 60,000 people in actual fact). I could also say that I continue to get interest and bookings for future events.

I could say that I really enjoy the buzz of being on stage and the feeling of a job well done and presentation well delivered, whilst also trying to get better each time.

I could add, with some humility, that there are many kind words from people around the world who have enjoyed my presentations and aren’t afraid to admit it in public (check out my LinkedIn profile).

But I can’t say I am an expert.

I am continually amazed when I see other people present, the good ones that is, the skill and gift that they have in this form of communication, and I always try and learn from them and these experiences.

But I was increasingly asked by people about public speaking. How did I start out? How do I manage to stand up on stage? What tips and techniques I can offer? That sort of thing.

And so I challenged myself to put together a presentation on, well on presentations.

The ‘Presentation on Presentations’ is my second most popular topic (after ‘The Lazy Project Manager’) and the abstract goes like this:

We aren’t born to be professional level presenters but through this entertaining presentation the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of good presentations are explored along with a ‘how to prepare’ for that all important event. With a few simple lessons taught through the very medium of ‘presentation’ the audience will take away some great ideas for improving their own technique and ‘death by PowerPoint’ is definitely not the outcome.

After a few deliveries of this I started making some notes to share with my audiences and this evolved in to a rough simple guide. It also evolved in to a one day ‘Presentation Skills’ workshop – see the end of this book.

And now, I have decided to take that simple guide and add some more words and experience notes and make it in to a book.

A short book you will note, after all, the essence of all my work is that ‘less is more’ and really you don’t need to read an 80,000 word epic tome when all you are actually doing is trying to present a message, of some form, in an effective, simple and efficient way.

Therefore this is a more a reference guide with ‘simple to adopt tips and techniques’ on the main points of good presentation.

Peter Taylor:

Peter Taylor is a PMO expert who has built and led five global PMOs across several industries, and has advised many other organisations in PMO and PM strategy.

He is also the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’, along with many other books on project leadership, PMO development, project marketing, project challenges and executive sponsorship.

In the last 5 years, he has delivered over 350 lectures 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 www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

The Meaningless Blog

December 4, 2018

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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 reed.co.uk

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!

Top 5 Project Management Certifications To Become A Great Project Manager!

September 10, 2018

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Are you working as a project manager? You may want to improve your prospect. There are many certification courses for project manager you should do. We here bring the great options in project management certification. Here you can know the various options available in certification and how to continue in your post.

You as a project manager can increase your skill and prospects of job sharp with certifications. A project manager who combines certification with their degree get opportunities. In the past few years, the PM jobs have got increased to 425%.

Behind all IT projects success, you can find a highly talented and capable project manager. From software to hardware upgrades to security patches, application development and software itself, a project manager has to keep their teams on task and production.

Almost all IT professional can benefit from adding a certification to their IT credentials. It shows how you plan, schedule the budget, execute it, deliver and report them on IT initiatives. If you want a hike in your salary, a certification can give you this.

If you are looking to gain all the above-mentioned points, you can analyze and choose the best project manager certification for your requirements.

First of all, you should know which the best certification is. The top 5 certifications for project manager available are:

  1. PMP
  2. PRINCE2
  3. CAPM
  4. CSM
  5. PMI-ACP

Let us see, what all these courses have to offer you in details:

Project Management Professional (PMP)

One of the top credentials is the PMP certification (Project Management Professional) for project managers. This is the most widely accepted and popular certification you can find anywhere. The Project Management Institute is the accreditation body for the PMP certification.

About the PMP certification exam structure

The PMP training certification examination can be passed only if you are perfect with all the techniques needed to plan and monitor a project from its start to finish. According to the 8th edition salary survey of Project management, a project manager who has PMP certification should get 17% more monetary benefit than others.

The PMP exam isn’t easy to clear. To be successful, you need to spend about +35 hours to prepare for the exam.

The exam has about 200 MCQs and runs for 4 hours. No extra time is given to you for the exam unless specified otherwise.

No negative marking is awarded, so it’s best you answer everything; even if you aren’t sure of the correct answer.

PMP certification prerequisites

To be able to do the PMP certification, you need to have:

  • A 4-year degree
  • 4500 hours or 3 years experience in guiding and managing projects
  • 35+ hours of PM education

Or

  • A secondary degree
  • 7500 hours or 5 years experience in guiding or managing projects
  • +35 hours of PM education

You can pick a PMP training either from a university or from an online training provider. In fact, in many cases, PMP is integrated into certain master’s degree programs.

This project management certification ensures you possess certain skill and qualification that is necessary for successfully managing all phases of the project. This includes planning, initiating, controlling, monitoring and closing the project.

A manager certified in PMP will be highly equipped in managing every aspect of the constraints of cost, time and scope. The employers will depend on the project manager to manage the budget, track costs and expenditure, ensure there is no scope creep and to identify potential risk factors that could impact the project and minimize such risk to protect the investment of a project.

 

  1. PRINCE2

The PRINCE2 certification course is another important project management credential project managers can take.  was first introduced for the government offices of UK. After the huge success, it came into the corporate world. Now it has become an important certification program in much organization all over the world.

PRINCE2 is accredited by AXELOS and focuses on managing, directing and delivering projects throughout all phases from pre-project to initiation, delivery, and the final delivery.

About the PRINCE2 Certification exam structure

PRINCE2 is divided into two: foundation and practitioner. The entry-level credential is Foundation that tests your basic methodology and terminology of project management while in Practitioner tests the advanced project manager who has passed PRINCE2 Foundation. The key features of this exam are:

  • Focuses on business justification
  • Product-based planning and approach
  • Defined organization structure
  • Emphasis is given on projects division into controllable and manageable stages

The Prince2 exam consists of 50 objective-type questions, each of which weighs about 1 mark. The duration of this exam is two and a half hours, with no extra time given for breaks. 30 marks or 60% is required to clear the exam and get certified.

PRINCE2 certification prerequisites

The Prince2 foundation exam has no prerequisites. The Prince2 practitioner exam, however,  needs proof that you have cleared at least one of the following exams.

  • PRINCE2 Foundation
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)®
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
  • IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director)
  • IPMA Level B® (Certified Senior Project Manager)
  • IPMA Level C® (Certified Project Manager)
  • IPMA Level D® (Certified Project Management Associate)

  1. CAPM

The CAPM certification or Certified Associate in Project Management is the precursor of the PMP certification and is also accredited by the PMI. If you are a professional without graduation or project management experience or you want to pursue PMP certification next all together, then CAPM is the first step toward this.

About the CAPM certification exam structure

The CAPM certification in project management is a renowned program for the IT professionals who want their career to grow as project manager. The CAPM certification exam has 150 MCQs that needs to be completed in 3 hours. A candidate needs to retake the exam every 5 years to maintain his or her CAPM credentials.

CAPM certification prerequisites

The eligibility for this certification is:

  • Secondary Degree or High School Diploma or an associate degree or any equivalent degree accepted globally
  • And you must have a 1500 hours project experience

or

  • Secondary Degree or High School Diploma or an associate degree or any equivalent degree accepted globally
  • 23 hours of project management education

If you are interested in shifting your career to the project management, get this certification done. When you get CAPM certification, it shows the commitment of yours learning new skills. This also shows you understand the processes and terminology used in this project management.

  1. CSM

We cannot mention project management without bringing up the CSM Certification. The Agile methodology has become the standard of all IT organizations. Therefore it is not at all surprising that IT professionals must be qualified uniquely to manage any projects. A CSM certification offers a big jump to project managers starting out as Scrum professionals.

Scrum Alliance is the parent organization that accredits the CSM certification. The Scrum Alliance helps organizations follow Scrum and Agile practices, promote user group and also provide resources for development professionally. CSM certified project managers can facilitate teams in using scrum effectively for successful project organization.

About the CSM certification exam structure

The CSM exam consists of 35 MCQs, out of which you need 24 or more correct answers to clear the exam. Candidates are given an hour to complete their tests, with extra time given for breaks. You can pause and take breaks as and when required.

CSM certification prerequisites

This is a great certification for anyone who is a beginner in the field of project management. There is no set prerequisite for candidates to take this course. While a working knowledge of how scrums work would be beneficial, this isn’t mandatory. Having said that, there are prerequisites that need to be fulfilled for you to take the exam.

These are:

  • Attend training sessions conducted by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)
  • Register and attend the exam within 90 days of completing the course
  • Clear the CSM exam

  1. PMI ACP

ACP stands for Agile Certified Practitioner. The PMI-ACP certification carries a high level of integrity professionally because it includes agile training by examining the tools and fundamentals of agile projects.

About the PMI-ACP certification exam structure

PMI-ACP helps people address the need of their organizations. It helps professionals apply their skill on different projects in a proper manner.

To get certified, you need to take the ACP test, which consists of 120 MCQs. To successfully clear the paper, you need to answer about 100 of these questions in 3 hours.

PMI-ACP certification prerequisites

If you are a project manager who works in rapidly changing environments, or if you have to deliver products in a short developmental cycle, then you should explore this certification. Its requirements are:

  • A secondary Degree
  • 2000 hours general experience in project management
  • 1500 hours experience in agile projects
  • 21 hours training on the agile practice

The PMI-ACP certification helps you discover techniques for managing the project scope actively and learn the principles of Agile to improve the performance of the team and collaborate that to ensure better delivery.

Regardless of choosing which certification is better for you, ensure they are well-versed in all concepts of the project methodology, and you are capable of handling all the aspects of all projects successfully. Now that you understood the basic principles of these top 5 certifications; it is going to be easier for you to choose anyone. You should prepare properly for appearing the certification examination.

It’s all in the Presentation

August 15, 2018

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I was once in a restaurant.

The location was good, the décor and ambience very acceptable, the company most enjoyable, and the snow fell softly outside providing a winter wonderland visual delight through the large windows.

But sadly all of that positive build-up for a great evening’s dining was almost outweighed by the food and service.

After an initial ordering experience the diners elected to eat the same main course but each agreed that the chef’s vegetable of choice for the evening was not to their personal liking. It was the humble Brussels sprout, a member of the brassica family that enjoys a somewhat tarnished image which, considering its status as a nutritional powerhouse, is perhaps a little unfair.

Anyway the request was made to replace said evil vegetable with an alternative, and asparagus tips were requested. And so the meal continued through a mediocre appetizer and on until the main course finally arrived … without Brussels sprouts (the good news) but also without anything in their place as requested (the bad news).

The waiter was recalled and cajoled and encouraged to resolve this rapidly, at which the staff applied all of their skills and training, by ignoring us and disappearing. Eventually after a long period, during which most of the meal was consumed, the waiter did reappear and proceeded to almost, but not quite, save the entire situation.

With a silver platter and a silver fork of delicate proportions the waiter proceeded to ceremoniously, and with great flourish, place two small asparagus tips across the centre of each diner’s remaining half-eaten meal.

It was theatrical and exaggerated and, had it not been for the sheer humour of the whole thing, he may just have got away with it. Presentation can win the day.

My friends from Office Timeline have some useful thoughts along these lines, well less about dining and waiters but more about impressive presentations to your clients and your executives:

Project Software for Presentations That Stand Out in Meetings

Even when relying on dense, data-rich content, business presentations can still be interesting for the audience if they come in the right package. The key to it lies in simplicity and relevance, along with the suitability of the media chosen to address the given audience. In other words, extracting what matters the most and presenting it in a proper format ensures the success of a presentation, no matter its nature.

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Simple Yet Stylish Project Visuals to Impress Your Audience

A good presentation grabs the audience’s attention, sends a clear message, and maintains the participants’ interest alive throughout its entire duration. This may seem intimidating and unrealistic for project planners who need to showcase content that is a bit more technical, especially if it’s a report or overview of a complex project. But it shouldn’t be so. Just because the presentation relies on dense material, it doesn’t have to end up with a bored audience or an output too complicated to understand on the spot.

Another factor that can make things even harder is the need to prepare joint presentations for the regular executive or client meetings. For instance, let’s say you and the project managers from other divisions are preparing the executive status reports for each of your projects. Your counterparts have finished presenting their well-documented reports, which were apparently produced using Microsoft Project or Excel and pasted into a PowerPoint slide. Now it’s your turn and you want to keep the same presentation format, but have a feeling that the audience is not going to appreciate any more charts and numbers.

Your team and colleagues all use MS Project and Excel, if not some other specialized project management programs such as Wrike or Smartsheet as well. Although you work with such software regularly, you wouldn’t use it for the due summary level presentation just because a previous presenter has done it. In such cases, a simple, familiar visual slide that shows only key data will help you get your message across and stand out.

Aiming to help business professionals who need to present their projects in a comprehensible way, Bellevue-based software developer Office Timeline offers a lightweight Gantt chart and timeline maker add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint that helps turn complex information into neat PowerPoint slides that show the big picture. The plug-in allows project planners to import data from any of the tools mentioned above and will update the results based on new input with a mouse click.

Powerful Data Processing for a Presentation-Ready Output

The key benefits of the Office Timeline software are not restricted solely to its broad data integration capabilities. While flexible and easy data-gathering is invaluable, the real advantage is in how that input can be presented so that it is visualized by the audience in the most impactful format possible.

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With a variety of built-in and downloadable templates to choose from, Office Timeline allows project managers to easily preview the impact of each timeline or Gantt chart style and then quickly tailor the visual to match their audience. Forget about the standard, inflexible timelines. The PowerPoint add-in helps users to make the data speak for itself with just minimal input. Countless adjustments can be made to the timeline, one object at a time or all at once.

See How Easy Is to Get Started

With simple to use controls, integration with popular PM tools, and numerous customization options, Office Timeline enables users to quickly turn complex data into easy-to-grasp visuals that stand out in meetings.

Try Office Timeline Plus Free for 14 Days