Author Archive

Impress Clients and Executives

August 10, 2018

And the clock is ticking …


Too late, you have missed the moment since your clients and executive’s attention span is reducing rapidly!

A Canadian survey of media consumption, commissioned by Microsoft, noted that the average attention span had fallen yet again, it was now just eight seconds. In 2000 it was recorded as twelve seconds but is seems we may now have an even shorter attention span than a goldfish (or is that memory? I forget).

Attention span can be defined as ‘the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted’.

A quote from Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, is also worth noting I think, ‘The true scarce commodity … of the future … will be human attention’.

Have I lost you already?

My friends from Office Timeline have some useful thoughts about impressive, impactful and fast presentations to your clients and your executives:

Online Gantt Chart and Timeline Maker for Impressive Presentations


Overcome the limitations that arise from using different desktop operating systems and create outstanding visual graphics online by harnessing the flexibility of cloud technology. Enjoy the interactivity of cloud-based data visualization tools like Pincello and build, update and share project visuals directly from your browser to impress clients and executives.

Web-Based Project Management Tool for Unified Communication

You are the project coordinator overseeing seven other managers on civil engineering projects in several cities. Four of them have Windows laptops and the other three have Apple notebooks for their work while travelling, although they use Windows desktop computers at their home office. You, the project managers, and clients meet regularly in remote locations to communicate the details, changes, or special situations of each project’s status. When preparing plans or status reviews, you all need to be in sync as to what’s being reported, who is included, and how it’s being communicated to them. The problem is that none of the managers is using the same techniques to keep their teams and interested parties in the loop about the progress of each construction schedule.

When changes surface in the project life cycle stages, this information needs to be distributed among clients, employers, labor organizations, and your own company. For the projects to run smoothly, each member of the management team needs to move in sync to maintain the tempo. That means that ready access to your reporting tools is vital for the dissemination of that piece of information.

Experts agree that cloud technology has allowed distributed organizations such as yours to thrive despite the distances between the involved parties and the disparity in platforms used.

To solve this challenge, Bellevue-based software company Office Timeline has developed Pincello – a simple and accessible browser-based project management tool that anyone can use to build professional-looking visuals that make a data statement and also an impact on colleagues, clients and executives.

Impressive Gantt Charts and Timelines Right from Your Browser

Allowing you to generate summary views of Gantt charts and timelines right in your browser and export them as PowerPoint slides or .png images, Pincello combines web flexibility with the familiarity of the world’s most popular presentation software. With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, the cloud-based timeline maker enables the creation of unique visuals that are simple for clients and execs to understand and hard for them to forget.

As the only web-based timeline maker that creates native PowerPoint slides, Pincello helps users to build high-level views of their project straight away, as well as to easily share and present them in a way that is familiar to their audience.

The web-based graphical app comes in two versions – a free and a Plus one.

Using the free online timeline generator, you can start building graphics with no need to install complex software or create an account. Data can be added manually or imported from Excel straight in the browser and, after a few styling choices, your graphic will be ready in a matter of minutes.

Try It Now without Registration

The Pincello Plus edition offers access to extra features such as the ability to import up to 150 Excel records to save input time, and to export and store an unlimited number of timelines that you can access wherever you are.

Seeing that the online timelines created with Pincello are compatible with the Office Timeline add-in for PowerPoint, this means that you can further edit them even when you don’t have access to the web.


See How Easy It’s to Get Started Here


Avoid Communication Breakdown

July 31, 2018

Data Visualization Software for Effective Project Plan Communication

I was taught a truth in my early project management days – reporting is not communicating! The fact that the critical facts and important truths are buried somewhere in a report that the right people may be in possession of does not, in any way, mean that they have received the message.

I have also learnt that to waste time and effort in ‘defensive’ and ‘offensive’ communication, typically email these days, is truly pointless and will distract the project manager from the real issues. I know building an email trail that, to put it bluntly, ‘covers your ass’ is easy to do but far better results can come from directing those same efforts in really effective communication.

Effective communication is about isolating the critical information, identifying the person (or people) that you need to communicate with, and delivering that same information at the appropriate time.

All this plus delivering the information in the most effective way!

My friends from Office Timeline have some useful thoughts along these lines:

When it comes to communicating project plans effectively, the saying “an image is worth a thousand words” proves to be more valid than ever. Making presentations highly visual for client and executive meetings helps project managers get to the bottom line.

With Office Timeline, professionals can easily convert complex project data into straightforward, clear graphics that are easy to understand and follow by teams, stakeholders and customers.

Data-Rich Project Plans Turned into Simple, To-the-Point Visuals

Managers who lead multi-year projects and need to prepare joint plan reviews for customers, partners, stakeholders and their company executives know the huge role effective communication plays in demonstrating the progress of their work. To receive the complete buy-in or endorsement of each of these parties, project planners have to share their data in a direct and relevant way so that the essential information sticks with the audience. However, synthesizing the gist of a project for a presentation can be a real challenge when dealing with manifold processes and details at once.

Designed around the need for clarity and precision in getting the message across, Office Timeline comes as an ideal solution for project management professionals who seek to effectively format material and emphasize data-driven information.

An easy-to-use project visualization software that integrates with familiar business presentation tools like PowerPoint, Office Timeline produces summary views of project plans and schedules, simplifying the tedious underlying tasks of creating reports, product roadmaps and other similar reviews.

Using an intuitive interface and offering a variety of pre-formatted templates, the PowerPoint add-in automatically processes the input and instantly turns it into crisp, clear graphics that can be easily customized, updated and shared. The diverse range of design options lets users eliminate clutter by keeping only the most important milestones and tasks, or add emphasis to certain items by changing colors, using special shapes or extra-large icons.

Discover Templates You can Use for Your Project Plans

Building and Editing Neat Project Plans Fast

Designed to help professionals manage and present their projects in an easier and more impressive way, the PowerPoint timeline maker is available in two versions, a free and a Plus one.

The free edition is great for building simple visuals fast, requiring only a quick download to allow users to start making timelines.

See How to Use the Free Edition

With the Plus edition, users gain access to extra features such as detailed customization of their graphics, data import from programs such as Excel, MS Project, Smartsheet and Wrike, and advanced layout options for organizing tasks into categories or subdividing events into phases.

Get Free Trial of Office Timeline Plus

Executives don’t want your project reports

July 20, 2018

Right Information, Right Time, Right Person and in the Right Way

You have a project, you need Executive support for that project and the Executives want to know what is happening to the investment in change that they have approved through that project, but they are busy. You are busy as well, of course, but they are really busy. The challenge is to communicate the right way but so many project managers communicate the wrong way, or try to and spectacularly fail in their efforts.

A well-known project management law, Cohn’s law, sums this up so well. ‘The more time you spend in reporting on what you are doing, the less time you have to do anything. Stability is achieved when you spend all your time doing nothing but reporting on the nothing you are doing’.

Putting together fantastically accurate and detailed reports and sending them to anyone and everyone, is most definitely not communicating, especially if the ‘Right Person’ happens to be an Executive. They won’t be read, no one has the time or interest to do this, and they won’t be valued and worse, when they do contain project critical information, they will be ignored. You are wasting your time, you aren’t wasting anyone else’s time because they won’t be read, but you are definitely wasting your time. Reporting is not communicating.

So what is the answer?

Keep it simple! Keep is short! Keep it relevant! And keep it visual!

My friends from Timeline have some useful thoughts along these lines:

Gantt Chart and Timeline Maker for Business Presentations

Creating unique, impressive business presentations shouldn’t take forever. With Office Timeline, project visuals are generated, customized and updated with only a few clicks.

Professional-Looking Project Visuals Made Effortlessly

No matter the line of work in which a project manager operates, the successful planning and execution of a project is definitely a demanding endeavor. With all the regular reports, product roadmaps and high-level presentations required of project planners, even the most experienced ones find effectively communicating project plans to be time-consuming and daunting without the proper means.

To meet the need for a simple yet efficient project management visualization tool, Bellevue-based software company Office Timeline has developed a desktop add-in that anyone can use to generate summary views of Gantt charts and timelines right inside PowerPoint. Launched in 2012, the Office Timeline add-in already reached 1 million downloads by 2015 and it is currently used by over 50% of the Fortune 500 companies.

User-Friendly Interface, Impactful Results

Unlike other similar project software that often proves burdensome to use or produces an output too complicated to be showcased to prospects and managers, the app is developed as an extension for PowerPoint, one of the most popular presentation programs used for business presentations. Apart from the seamless integration with PowerPoint, Office Timeline also comes with a gallery of pre-formatted templates and styles, which enables the fast creation of familiar project visuals as native PowerPoint slides that customers, teams and stakeholders can easily follow and understand.

Explore Timelines You Can Create with the Add-In

With an intuitive interface and smart layout engine that optimizes space and automates processes, the PowerPoint timeline maker allows users to instantly build professional-looking graphics that are easy to share and update on the fly, saving time and effort.

Providing a clean, simple way to present project plans and schedules, Office Timeline comes as a freemium product with a perpetually free version and a Plus one.

The free edition is fully functional and fit for creating and editing simple visuals fast. Users simply need to download the add-in to instantly start building their first graphic.

See How Easy Is to Get Started

The Plus edition gives users access to powerful features, such as the ability to customize graphics to the smallest details and update them instantly, and to import data from Project management programs like Excel, Microsoft Project, Wrike and Smartsheet. This means more time saved in building distinctive project visuals that will impress the audience.

Get Free Trial of Office Timeline Plus

3 Books for £10 from The Lazy Project Manager

June 25, 2018

Book Sale

3 books from The Lazy Project Manager for only £10 (eBooks only – pdf format)

Just select your 3 choices from the below list and then email me at  (or message me) and I will send out the simple PayPal payment options and then email your 3 books – easy!

Get Fit with the Lazy Project Manager

How to make sure your project is as healthy as possible and does not become the ‘ex-project’ of tomorrow

How to get Fired at the C-Level

Why mismanaging change is the biggest risk of all

The Project Manager who Smiled

The value of fun in project management

The Lazy Winner

How to do more with less effort and succeed in their working and personal lives without rushing around like headless chickens or putting in 100 hour weeks

Why You Need to Become Business Agile

May 11, 2018

In the first of this 3-part webinar series, we will explore ways to not only significantly reduce change failures but also how to dramatically raise the capability, speed, and success rates of delivering strategic change in any organization through the adoption of a ‘business agile’ change structure.

Join our webinar to learn:

  • Evolution and Stasis of Project Management: Challenges and Failures
  • Best Practices and Pitfalls of Change Management
  • Business Agility and the Obstacles to “Going Business Agile”

Sign up today. Space is limited.

How to get fired at the c-level * All attendees who fill out a brief survey at the end of the webinar will receive an e-book copy of Peter Taylor’s: How to get Fired

Mentoring the Next Generation

March 1, 2018

It was one of those moments. I was thinking that I really should get writing again and get some blogs out there in the big wide web of wonderment, but couldn’t think what to say or write about, and then ‘wham’, I get a message through my website contact form

It said ‘I would like to share my knowledge to the next generation PMs’ and asked for any guidance or advice in doing so.

Serendipitous or what? Well I think it was.

Mentoring is a long term relationship where the focus is on supporting the professional growth and business development of the recipient, the less experienced partner in the mentoring relationship, the mentee as it is officially known. The mentor should be a source of wisdom, teaching, and support, therefore real world experience is a must. You have to have put in the time and had the personal experience of the good, the bad and the ugly of project life in order to be a good mentor I believe. And the mentor is someone who observes, discuses, considers current behavior and issues and gently guides changes for the better where needed. Again, this is a call for a certain type of individual, we are not all cut out to be mentor material.

But let’s say you are the ‘right stuff’ and you do have some time to mentor others, how would you go about it?

At this point I would offer up, in not a call to action, but at least a call to comment, to the readers of this blog. How would you suggest someone with the experience, with the interest, with the time and with the general inclination to go about becoming a ‘mentor’?

Whilst I wait patiently for your input and general wisdom like contributions let me consider these questions:

  • Why do you want to be a mentor?
    • Altruism or profit?
    • That is do you just want to give back and it is all free and open, or do you want to profit financially from the effort – it is possible both can be true of course
  • One or many?
    • Do you want to offer a one to one mentorship engagement for just a lucky individual or do you want to offer a larger more mass gathering type of mentoring program? Or perhaps something in between?
  • What is the style of mentorship you are thinking of offering?
    • Face to face, remote/virtual, on-line?
  • And how long are you committing to?
    • What is your personal timeline of dedication to this program and/or each individual?
  • How will you set expectations amongst your mentees (or mentee)?
    • What is truly in it for them – especially if you are asking for money?

I spoke some time ago in an article entitled ‘Green Bean PMs’ about the three things that any newbie would benefit from and this included finding a mentor – so there is a real need out there for smart, experienced people to give back to their profession in some way:

  • Give them a safe place to start
    • Projects are, by their very nature, tricky beasts and for a ‘newbie’ to learn the practical skills of project management we should ensure that they enter the PM world in a controlled way. Hopefully being handed a new project to lead and being told to ‘get on with it’ (as I was when I became a PM) is long gone.
    • Rather we should allow the ‘Green beans’ to experience project reality by taking up a small part in another project managers project, and watching and learning and getting involved in a small way.
    • In addition, if there are project reviews, health checks, and retrospectives taking place (and I really hope that there are) then this is another great entry experience for the young ones to see and learn.
    • Another safe(r) environment might be internal projects – rather than external customer facing ones.
    • Key is to make the environment of learning a safe one.
  • Give them a friendly place to work
    • Where should they work and report when they first start out? Well don’t leave them out in the cold and without peers and project professionals around them. If you have a project practice then this is the place to nurture those ‘beans’.
    • Make it easy for them to ask the questions that they will need to ask and make it easy for them to see experienced project managers in action.
    • We all know that there is a world of difference between theory and practice so give them the support they need to move away from the theory.
    • Key is to make it easy for them to find out all of the stuff that will need to find out.
  • Give them a helping hand
    • Appoint a mentor from out there in project management land who will be there to listen to them from time to time and gently point them in the right direction when they need help – such a person will be invaluable to the ‘beans’ in the early days of being a project manager.
    • Encourage them to make the effort to look outside your organization and connect to some truly wonderful project managers and experts out there on the www. There is a huge amount of advice and guidance through local project management groups, through conferences and meetings, through the online discussions and blogs, and lots more. (It may be in this area the ‘Green’ ones might have the upper hand on us ‘Grey’ ones since all this social connectivity is second nature to them).
    • Key is to build the best possible network for now and the future and to use it wisely.

So thank you my website visitor for triggering this blog and subsequent conversation – and thank you all my lovely readers for sharing your ideas, thoughts, suggestions, experiences and general wisdom with regards to the value of mentorship, and the path to becoming a mentor.

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 – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

3 Wishes for 2018 – Dubai, Reykjavik, Rio

January 10, 2018

As the new year kicks off and I look ahead at my wish list diary I came up with three things I would love to be able to do in this year. Well to be precise, three places I would love to visit – ideally speaking about what I love, project management, whilst I am there.

So, if you are part of a company or project organisation in these places (and others to be honest, it is a big, big world after all and I really haven’t been anywhere near everywhere yet…) then I would love to hear from you right away –

  1. UAE,Dubai – I had such an amazing time at the Dubai Internation Project Management Forum in 2015 that I would truly love the opportunity to return!
  2. Iceland, Reykjavik – Yes I keep putting this on my wish list, it so nearly happened in 2014 but sadly, it was not to be that time around – but hey, Iceland! I am ready, willing and able!
  3. Brazil, Rio – Having been twice I really want to return for a third time – Rio has a special place in my heart and besides, I never got to hang-glide down to the beach last time!

There you have it, three places on my wish list – two I want to return to and one I have never ever visited. Can you help? Then get in contact and let’s talk about bringing productive laziness and all things project management to your part of the world.

And, of course, anywhere else in the world is equally interesting.


I need your Presentation Experience

December 29, 2017

So here’s the thing – I have, as it turns out, two slightly unexpected weeks free (before I start a new and exciting job) and I thought ‘why not write a book?’ – and why not indeed.

But that isn’t too long so I then decided a) I would write a book where I had a lot of the material already and b) I would go and get some help from all the ‘Lazy PM’ fans out there in the world (see, ‘productive laziness’ in action).

I decided to write a small book based on my very popular ‘A Presentation on Presentations’ – as the blurb says ‘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’.

And this is where I need your help.

I need your stories of presentation experience – the good, the bad, and the really ugly. I need your top tips for what makes a great presentation. I need anything that you feel would add to the value of this book to help other people deliver better presentations in the future – hey, you might be in the audience so it is really in your own best interests.

If it is a top tip leave your name and the tip in reply to this post, in the comment box – or if it is a longer story then contact me and I will let you have my email to send me your story/experience that way.

But I am moving fast – the book will be done by 14th January so if you want to share, then share today!

Thank you – Peter

The Project Manager who Smiled

December 15, 2017

Probably the best gift you can give the Project Manager in your life …

How many project managers does it take to change a light bulb?

A better question to ask is perhaps ‘how many project managers does it take to have a good project?’

I think just the one, if they have a real sense of humour and an appreciation for the value of ‘fun’ in a project team.

Richard Branson, Virgin Group said ‘Have fun, success will follow. If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. If you feel like getting up in the morning to work on your business is a chore, then it’s time to try something else. If you are having a good time, there is a far greater chance a positive, innovative atmosphere will be nurtured… A smile and a joke can go a long way, so be quick to see the lighter side of life’.

Now whilst there are, quite rightly, lots of books about the serious side of the profession there are none that address the more enjoyable aspects, and so I give you ‘The Project Manager Who Smiled’.

A superb resource of inspiration and entertainment; you’ll find this book invaluable in creating successful projects since:

  • A good laugh not only reduces tension and relieves stress, but also helps to increase team bonding and boost morale;
  • When you’re happy, you are more productive, more creative, more open, more likeable and a better leader.

It is packed full with ideas and jokes, inspirational thoughts and quotes, suggestions and maxims, anecdotes and all manner of good material that I just know you will steal and use in your own projects – and that is exactly what I want you to do.

Walt Disney said ‘It’s kind of fun to do the impossible’ but, unfortunately, many project managers seem to think, or have been trained to think, that ‘It’s kind of impossible to do the fun’ when in reality I say ‘It’s kind of not possible to not do the fun when you’re trying to do the impossible, or something close to the impossible’.

I do really believe in all of this fun stuff you know. Time flies when you are having fun and project work gets delivered, and delivered well, when the project team is having a jolly good time.

This book is packed full with ideas and jokes, inspirational thoughts and quotes, suggestions and maxims, anecdotes and all manner of good material that I just know you will steal and use in your own projects – and that is exactly what I want you to do.

Go ahead and don’t be shy out there – fill your boots!

In between all of my personal thoughts and the great submissions I received from project managers all over the world there are some superb contributions under the heading of ‘PM Celebrity Gossip’ from some project management experts that I have had the pleasure of meeting, and in some cases, working with, in the past. I know you will love these.

And there are two fabulous case studies of organisations ‘walking’ with joy on the fun side of the project world, and not only that, seeing some real return on the investment as a result.

Serious: 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 350 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’.

Fun: Peter Taylor is a recovering second generation Virgo with a penchant for occasionally dressing up as a root vegetable and generally getting bored when there hasn’t been a laugh or a smile in the last 60 minutes.

The Lazy Project Manager Podcast

December 7, 2017

Have you checked out my podcast?

Peter Taylor The Lazy Project Manager Podcaster Speaker Author

Well episode 183 included two fascinating interviews with Cedric Waldburger (a man with no office and no home but with many enterprising initiatives going on in his life) and Parikshit Basrur – Executive | Academic | Researcher (another really interesting guy)

Interested? Check it out here

Peter Taylor is a PMO expert who has built and led four 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



Twitter @parikshitbasrur