Archive for the ‘project management’ Category

An Audience with The Lazy Project Manager

July 6, 2020

BOOK YOUR PLACE TODAY BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/110596609436

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Join Peter Taylor, for a 2 hour Webinar Extravaganza (with suitable breaks for remote attendance):

  • Keynote: The Lazy Project Manager
  • Fun: Who wants to be a ‘Lazy PM’ Millionaire
  • Discussion: You and your project challenges – bring your problems and we will openly discuss and try to help you
  • Celebration: How you are PM Superstars

‘Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something’

Learn about the art of productive laziness with The Lazy Project Manager; understanding what is meant by the ‘productive lazy’ approach to Projects (and life) and learn how to apply these lessons ‘to be twice as productive and still leave the office early’.

The session will cover the definition of productive laziness, the science behind the theory (yes there really is some) and will share some personal learning experiences that led to the creation of ‘The Lazy Project Manager’. In addition, the audience will consider the three key project stages, one of which the ‘lazy’ project manager works very hard in and the second they should be in the comfortable position of enjoying the ‘comfy chair’ safe in the knowledge that the project is well under control and the final where often some critical work is missed.

The Projectless Manager

April 20, 2020

The Projectless Manager: A 21-day Challenge

The Projectless Manager

Starting on Monday 20th April 2020 and ending (successfully I hope) on Monday 11th May 2020 the 21-day challenge is to design, write, produce, and publish a book written by project managers from around the world

The book will be a sharing of ideas and thoughts from this current world crisis, Covid-19, and how project managers have, in many cases, become projectless managers but kept on doing what they are meant to do, bring about change and improvements wherever they are engaged

It will also be a book of inspiration of what is to come in the project world when this moment in history passes and what amazing ideas people have to share, and what they have learnt about themselves in the past few weeks that others might benefit from

In reality I don’t know exactly what the book will end up being, that’s part of the fun in writing,  but I am sure there are stories out there are really worth sharing, ideas that have proven to work in this ‘new emerging world’ and thoughts of guidance for other project people

It will be a ‘lockdown legacy’ …

Subject to this being a successful call to action then I commit to compile, edit, format, and publish the book by 11th May 2020

So, the clock is ticking

We only have 21 days to make this a reality

Message me today to get the submission form and a detailed timeline – I need your input and I need it fast – 21 days is not a long!

 

Peter Taylor

www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

www.thepmtribe.com

2020: The Year we Rediscovered Time

April 3, 2020

tmThese are strange and dark days in many ways – there is no hiding from that fact – but, and I am not sure if you have experienced something similar, there appears to be a change in many people’s attitude to life, community and sociability.

The weekly ‘applause the NHS’ occurrences not only see a grateful people thank those carrying out some of the riskiest jobs but there are smiles and ‘hello’s and waves from neighbours to each other as well.

I have spoken to more of my neighbours, at an appropriate social distance I hasten to add, in the last two weeks than in the last 3 years since I moved in.

I take my daily exercise, a walk around my village, and meet and greet strangers in a way I can never remember happening before.

It is civil, it is polite, it is ‘British’ – we acknowledge each other, say ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ or just a nod and a smile in some cases, but we interact. There is a decorum of meeting people on small pavements or paths, one stepping aside to let the other pass at a suitable distance, but it comes with a look of ‘sorry, I don’t really fear you but, you know, this is the way it has to be right now, so don’t judge me…’, all accompanied with a greeting of some sort.

My local pub has taken the initiative of opening a farmer’s market twice a week, shout out to The Bird in Hand, Sandhurst – pints of beer (I remember beer…) are replaced with fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, milk, cheese and butter. Locals all line up, spaced well apart, and patiently wait for their turn – one person in the shop at any time – but smile, and chat, and laugh and greet other people walking their dogs, cycling on bicycles that probably haven’t been used since the first and only time they were ridden after purchase, or just strolling out for some fresh air.

At home the mood is good with the resident teenager apparently with the devil cast out of her and talking to us, sitting and watching some TV each evening with us and joining us for meals.

We even had a ‘dress smart’ dinner last weekend to break the monotony of casual dress for days on end (who’d think you end up missing dressing for work…).

The garden is looking great. The house is clean, and I mean really clean. Cupboards that have annoyed us with their overflowing contents are now washed and items sorted logically for easy use. Furniture that we could never bother to move but kept talking about in a ‘that would look good over there don’t you think?’ kind of way are now in new locations in rooms and, guess what ‘they look good there’.

Family members are helping each other with shopping trips to minimise trips out, leaving goods outside the houses but always with a quick ‘hello, how are you’ from the end of the driveway to each other. We even set up a WhatsApp household quiz night yesterday, with each of our four different households choosing 5 questions each to ask the others. It was fun, argumentative, loud but wonderful at the same time.

Calls to parents have increased in regularity as have conversations through various social media to our friends.

Work related meetings are being supplemented with intentional ‘social’ meetings as well to replace the water-cooler/coffee machine chats and lunchtime gatherings.

And the sharing of the dark humour of our times; videos of small children being told that there are no more takeaways, the horse with no name brilliance, Jedi remote learning and many more. They all bring a much-needed smile.

My parent’s postman left a small parcel on their doorstep, on his day off, with two bananas in to share a ‘yellow smile’. They have also received many offers of help from people and shops in their village and are actually remotely socialising with more people than usual.

These are strange and dark days in many ways – there is no hiding from that fact – but we also seem to have begun to rediscover community and true sociability, and not be so focused and driven about ourselves and our own importance. We have time, a gift that was relegated to perhaps two weeks holiday each year in the past. Time, which is here – for those of us in lock-down – in amounts so large we really should be doing something positive with it.

The world holds its collective breath for this to be over, but we really do have a unique opportunity to exit this crisis a better, more social and caring global community.

 

Peter Taylor

www.thepmtribe.com

www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

Free Webinar: Dark Days need a Smile

March 23, 2020

The Value of Project Fun with Peter Taylor

Dark days need a smile – so if you have a project community that you think will enjoy some laughs and smiles, and learn the value of fun in project delivery then contact me today to book your free webinar

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What is the offer:

  • A 30-minute webinar plus 15-minute Q&A (plus 15 minutes pre-call set up) so 60 minutes in total
  • Subject is ‘The Project Manager Who Smiled’ – The value of fun in a project (only topic offered)

When is the offer:

  • Offer is only valid for the next 9 days – webinar must be scheduled and delivered before end of 31st March – so you’ve gotta move fast
  • Webinar can be anytime over next 9 days (including weekends) between 8am and 8pm UK time

Who can apply:

  • Teams only (PMO teams, PM communities, Chapters, any such group of PMs with a common interest)
  • There will be no be open to the public webinars (sorry)

How will it work:

  • Webinar must be arranged, promoted and hosted by organisation
  • I also offer a free eBook for all attendees – ‘The Project Manager who Smiled’
  • Offer is limited to my capacity – first come (booked/organised) first served basis
  • You can record and share

How to secure your webinar:

 

Peter Taylor (The Lazy Project Manager)

www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

www.thepmtribe.com

Remote Working in these difficult times (tips)

March 17, 2020

Obviously we are in very difficult and worrying times

Crisis Remote Working

As a remote worker (predominantly) for many years now, I have been working with my clients to switch to a completely virtual way and, mostly, this has been achieved

But what tips does the global business community have for members facing what might be a very new world for them?

Here’s one from me to kick things off:

  • Start early – Typically your daily morning commute (with coffee on the move more than likely) will help you wake up and be ready to get stuck in to all that work waiting for you each day, but at home the short distance commute ‘Pillow to PC’ can be much more challenging…

What tips do you have to share? Let’s help each other …

Originally posted in http://www.thepmtribe.com

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#ThePMTribe – the virtual global project, people, process, program, portfolio, PMO community – come and check us out

Come and join your Tribe at #ThePMTribe

March 2, 2020

So, what is #ThePMTribe?

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It is a collaborative community with six of the brightest minds in Project Management leading discussions and sharing ideas to help you solve your challenges, increase your influence and accelerate your career!

Who are the Faculty?

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  • Alana M. Hill – Alana has had a colorful career in project and program management spanning more than two decades, several functions and multiple continents. Alana is an energy industry veteran with an engineering and IT background, which she has leveraged to help develop talent in organizations worldwide. She is a passionate keynote speaker, author, and consultant known for her dynamic and engaging presence. Her latest book What’s Your Catalyst? The Power of Managed Change guides professionals in their personal and career growth while encouraging contributions in their organizations and the world at large.
  • Colin D. Ellis – Colin started his career as a project manager in 1997 and worked his way up through program manager and PMO manager to eventually head up large project departments in the private sector and government in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. He now works with individuals and organisations around the world to help them transform the way they deliver, and he does that through writing books (The Project Book being his latest release), keynote speaking and facilitating programs.
  • Elizabeth Harrin – Elizabeth started managing projects in 2000 and has worked in financial services and healthcare, in the UK and France. She is a Fellow of the APM in the UK. She’s the author of the PMI bestselling book, Collaboration Tools for Project Managers (and a bunch of other books). She now works with individuals as a mentor and trainer to help them turn what they learned to pass their PM certifications into workable strategies for real world, busy teams.
  • John G. Stenbeck – John is a three-time Amazon #1 Best Selling Author whose books have achieved over $3 million in sales. His books include the Agile Almanac trilogy and, most recently, Enterprise Agility in Healthcare. John is a PMP, Certified Disciplined Agile Instructor (CDAI), PMI-ACP, Certified Scrum Professional and Certified Scrum Master. His goal is to achieve maximum knowledge transfer by giving you useful, powerful information in an easily accessible format so you can deliver useful solutions.
  • Rick A. Morris, PMP – Rick has written 4 bestselling books (Project Management That Works!, Stop Playing Games!, The Everything Project Management Book, and No Day But Today).  He has been an internationally known speaker known as the Evangelist for Project Management.  He currently consults with Fortune 100 companies and is an Executive Director and part of the President’s Advisory Committee of The John Maxwell Team.
  • And of course, myself, Peter Taylor – Well, you know me, as the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’, along with many other books on Project Management, PMO design and leadership, Executive Sponsorship, Transformation, and Speaking Skills.  And I have had the pleasure of delivering over 370 lectures around the world in over 25 countries and work today helping organisations become ‘business agile’ through speaking, training, coaching and consultancy.

What’s in it for me?

#ThePMTribe is a collaborative community focused on helping you increase your influence by giving you access to amazing coaching and mentoring! The 6 faculty will freely share their expertise and experience in defined specialties (i.e., lanes) during facilitated conference call discussions. Each faculty member will host a weekly call – so you will have access to 6 calls per week – where the faculty member will offer a short “teaching” on the topic and then get directly to answering your questions and coaching you with ideas to handle your challenges. They will be your “thinking partner.”

The calls will be recorded and archived on our Members Only website in case you miss them. The archive will be your “library of exclusive content” from our faculty-experts, that you can search and use to help with any problem… any time! We want to handle the hardest issues and thorniest problems as your trusted advisors.  Not fluffy dialogue or high-level concepts.  We want you to be able to get solid answers to real issues occurring in your workplace and then deliver powerful solutions that increase your influence! We want to see you be successful and get promoted!!

While we are not creating PDU opportunities just to obtain PDUs, there will be PDUs offered.

What do I do?

Simple. Head over to www.thepmtribe.com

Why Productivity in Project Businesses is Flatlining?

February 25, 2020

The following article is the part two in a series of four on ‘Project Business’ and is authored by Daniel Bévort – part one certainly seemed to draw some interest and some comment so please, like, share and comment on this one as well.

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Project Business is a significant portion of all companies. Approximately 20 to 25 percent of all businesses are Project Businesses, companies that provide products and/or services for their customers through projects. Unfortunately, failure to identify as a Project Business and the lack of Project Business thinking can lead to many problems that impact business performance, productivity and ultimately, profitability.

Once you look at the fundamentals and recognize your business as a Project Business, you can start to see:

·      Why your business isn’t running as well as it could

·      Where the problems are

·      What you need to do to solve them

By structuring your Project Business processes you will be able to analyze what systems need to change and what solutions are possible.

Let’s take a step back and discuss why Project Businesses are not optimized for success. Why do they suffer from low productivity?

Compared to other industries, where productivity has steadily increased, productivity in Project Businesses has remained stagnant and even declined.

If we look at this McKinsey & Company study, one of the main reasons stems from poor project management and the lack of technological innovation and adoption. The inability to utilize technology to improve processes and information flow is a major reason why Project Business lags in productivity. More specifically, why they are often faced with budget overruns and project delays.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the specifics:

Poor organization: Project Businesses tend to have separate systems and sets of data for different stages or parts of their projects. This disjointed structure not only causes delays, but also hinders insight. In addition, most Project Businesses lack standardization and integration. Processes aren’t uniform, and they often rely on individuals who take extreme liberties with them. As a result, it’s difficult to control the business functions and create standard metrics to measure performance.

Inadequate communication: When managing projects, establishing the right communication strategies ensures that all stakeholders are on the same page. Scheduling, timekeeping, resource management, accounting, budgeting, can all be managed in separate systems. It’s important to create the right sequence of processes and proper networks across the organization so everyone who needs to be informed has access to the data at any point during a project’s life cycle. Inconsistences in reporting mean that stakeholders don’t have a common understanding of how the project is doing in real time.

Flawed performance management: Oftentimes, Project Businesses run their business units and projects as independent entities, without consistency across the portfolio and company. This leads to the “silo effect.” Project Businesses that don’t standardize their operations and project reporting across the company aren’t able to manage their risks as well as they could. In addition, they cannot apply the best practices discovered from one project to the next. Let’s face it, if you can’t measure performance, you can’t improve it. The key to operational excellence is scalable and predictable business processes.

Missed connections: There are different levels of planning, from high-end preparation to day-by-day programs. Schedulers need to know if the daily work isn’t done so they can update the priorities in real time. However, they often don’t have this information. Today’s real-time economy demands visibility into what’s going on inside your company. Failure to integrate all project functions into one system leads to organizational inefficiencies, delays, budget overruns and poor performance.

Insufficient risk management: Although Project Businesses pay considerable attention to long-term risks that they identify at the beginning of a project, they tend not to give the same attention to the kinds of risks that might crop up during the project in real time. In order to manage milestones and deadlines to ensure the successful delivery of projects, it’s important to be aware early on when project plans slide. A lack of real-time insight into your operations will result in increased risk and ultimately, decreased profitability.

The Way Forward

When you recognize that the bulk of what you do is projects and you are a Project Business, you develop a new way of thinking and the ability to recognize new solutions. Project Businesses need to operate with similar transparency and control as traditional industries. As projects get bigger in size and complexity, it’s critical to implement a Project Business structure that improves the chances of success of those projects.

The next blog will cover three key steps Project Businesses need to implement in order to improve productivity, better manage projects and lessen the chances of budget overruns.

Peter: This is also something my friend Oliver F. Lehmann would acknowledge and support through his Project Business Foundation https://www.linkedin.com/company/project-business-foundation/ as do I , having worked in the world of ‘Project Business’ for most of my working life.

Daniel Bévort: Founder & CEO

Prior to founding ADEACA, Daniel was a principal architect of Axapta at Damgaard Data, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2002 for $1.6B and became Microsoft’s ERP offering, now called Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations. Daniel recognized that every traditional industry has systems to integrate and control all their business processes, but that is not the case for project-based industries. ADEACA was founded to accomplish that same vision for these neglected industries and find a way to run project business with real-time information and much better control.

Why Identifying as a Project Business is Critical For Success

February 18, 2020

The following article is the first of four in a series on ‘Project Business’ and is authored by Daniel Bévort

I have long commented on, and grumbled about if I am honest, that most project conversations talk about internal projects and not external, client facing, business oriented projects – both of which are important but with the latter representing most of my personal career experience.

As such I am delighted to share these articles with you.

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How would you categorize construction, architecture and engineering companies? If you think about it, the construction, architecture and engineering part of it is just about the type of projects they do. Essentially, these companies are Project Businesses, companies that provide products or services for their customers through projects.

Project Business is an industry just like Retail and Manufacturing because projects are their primary business function. For example, if we think of a Retail Business, it’s about reselling goods to consumers. It doesn’t matter what goods you sell. Whatever it is, if you sell it to consumers, you are a Retail Business. The same goes for a Manufacturing Business. It doesn’t matter what products you make, if you manufacture it, you are a Manufacturing Business.

Project Business is the same. Whatever the product or service is, if you are running and delivering projects to your customers, you are a Project Business.

Project Management as a Central Component of a Project Business

Oftentimes, people think managing a project and managing a project business are interchangeable. They’re not. Project Management is something that a business does, regardless of the type of business it is. Project Management applies knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to complete projects and is a central component of a Project Business. Since projects are temporary, managing a project is also temporary. On the other hand, Project Business is enduring and as such, managing a Project Business is an enduring activity.

Characteristics of Project Businesses

Although we can compare Project Business to traditional industries like Retail, Distribution or Manufacturing, there are several major characteristics unique to Project Business. Unlike traditional industries:

·       Projects are Temporary and Unique to Each Customer

Retail, Distribution and Manufacturing companies produce or sell the same goods repeatedly. This allows these companies to take advantage of standardized processes and KPIs, automation, and economies of scale more easily than Project Businesses. As a result, these traditional businesses are more predictable and can replicate procedures and processes easier than Project Businesses.

·       Project Business Processes Can Differ Depending on Who Is Doing Them

In traditional industries, processes and data are standardized no matter who is doing the work. In a Project Business, it all depends on who is executing the task. With the amount of detail included in a specific project plan, processes can differ between different project managers who have different preferences. Even the data that is considered important and used to make critical business decisions can be different across the company. This makes Project Business more complex than traditional businesses. Since project business processes aren’t uniform, it’s difficult to manage the business functions and establish standard metrics to measure performance.

With all that in mind, it’s no surprise we’ve seen productivity in traditional sectors continue to grow while it has remained stagnant in Project Businesses. This increase in productivity has largely been attributed to technology. It’s a lot easier to apply technology to standardized processes and data in order to automate and increase production. However, it’s not so easy with Project Businesses that have unique products and non-standard business practices.

Identifying as a Project Business is Key to Growth & Success

In order to improve productivity and optimize your business for success, it’s important to first identify as a Project Business. Once you do that, it’s easier to see how you can improve, structure your project business processes, and identify what systems and solutions are possible.

Project Businesses need to govern their business activities in the same way traditional industries have. More specifically, they need to be able to control their business processes to optimize business performance. Let’s look at the core activities for a project business.

Project Businesses engage in the following activities:

·       Project Management & Operations– Scheduling, resource management, change control, risk & issue management, time and expense

·       Project Financials & Accounting– Costing & estimating, budgeting, cost control, EAC/BAC, cash flow management

·       Project Analytics– Earned value analysis & management, forecasting, KPIs, profitability

·       General– Project-owner collaboration, portfolio/program management, HR management, sales, customer service, business intelligence and financials

When your business depends on the successful delivery of projects to your customers, it’s critical to be on point. Recognizing your company as a Project Business is the first step to setting the foundation for expansion, growth and profitability. Failing to identify as a Project Business will lead to challenges in business productivity and performance. The next blog in our four-part Project Business series will take a deep dive into why productivity is failing Project Businesses and what is the solution.

Peter: This is also something my friend Oliver F. Lehmann would acknowledge and support through his Project Business Foundation https://www.linkedin.com/company/project-business-foundation/

Daniel Bévort: Founder & CEO

Prior to founding ADEACA, Daniel was a principal architect of Axapta at Damgaard Data, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2002 for $1.6B and became Microsoft’s ERP offering, now called Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations. Daniel recognized that every traditional industry has systems to integrate and control all their business processes, but that is not the case for project-based industries. ADEACA was founded to accomplish that same vision for these neglected industries and find a way to run project business with real-time information and much better control.

Take me to your Leader

January 30, 2020

Make an introduction to your Head of Projects, Services Lead, PMO Manager, CIO or anyone overseeing your project community and I’ll send a free copy of my new book to you and your manager/director/VP

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Coming to Switzerland

January 7, 2020

Switzerland

I’m heading to Switzerland on 26th and 27th February for a series of presentations/workshops – details to follow – but if you are interested in an in-house session for your company around those dates then just let me know.

See http://www.thelazyprojectmanager.com for my offerings – let’s talk today

An experienced Change and Transformation Specialist who has operated at a global scale within many industries, for organisations ranging from small to enterprise.

Peter is the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’, along with many other books on Project Management, PMO development, Executive Sponsorship, Transformation Leadership, and Speaking Skills.

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’.

Key strengths include: Embedding robust governance to ensure successful delivery of £multi-million change programmes and working with stakeholders throughout the project life-cycle to ensure delivery of tangible business benefits; as well as introducing best practice processes aligned with an organisation’s culture and maturity. Working across multiple industries including Manufacturing, Health, Pharmaceuticals, FMCG, Aerospace, HR, Public Sector, Education and Finance. Deep understanding of the project economy world and internal/external stakeholder interaction. PMO design, build and re-engineering expert. Strong communication skills and the ability to engage effectively at all levels within an organisation, shop-floor to board level.

www.thelazyprojectmanager.com