The Volatile World

November 16, 2019

Is your business life ‘Volatile’?

Vocano

Well don’t panic, you are certainly not alone, but you should accept that you are part the ‘VUCA’ world today!

V = Volatility: the nature and dynamics of change, and the nature and speed of change forces and change catalysts.

Meaning: Liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse.

In a Forbes article ‘What Does VUCA Really Mean?’ Jeroen Kraaijenbrink writes: ‘Volatility refers to the speed of change in an industry, market or the world in general. It is associated with fluctuations in demand, turbulence and short time to markets and it is well-documented in the literature on industry dynamism. The more volatile the world is, the more and faster things change’.

The key here is speed of change and the variability of that change.

The days of nice 3, 4, 5-year plans are long, long gone, yes, there might be some long-term strategy associated to a vision but not at a detailed planning level. The days of starting a project or program and having a clear view of the business landscape that you have to lead that change across is also long gone. Who knows what might suddenly be needed by the organisation? Change in speed and direction driven by competitors, by the market, by the government, even by the people?

Despite the dictionary meaning of ‘Liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse’ such volatility should not be seen as a bad thing and that it automatically leads to a ‘worse’ situation. Instead that volatility, and associated change, is caused by a real need. It should also be considered that only not keeping pace with the volatile demand is what causes any business situation to worsen.

And so, the question has to be ‘How can we prepare ourselves to move at the speed required and to be flexible in our approach in order to meet volatility with stability?’.

Understanding the dynamics of change is a great start. What is it that makes change happen, what or who initiates this, and who or how can you overlay that change of the current business activities – in a rapid and realistic manner?

Having a change orientated culture and people ready to behave in a collaborative and business agile way is another.

Achieving true stability is probably beyond the possible in the modern business day but accepting a degree of volatility as the ‘norm’ is a very good way to view the world as relatively ‘stable.

Webinar

Join myself and Neil Derbyshire from Clarizen on the morning of 5th December where we will address the 4 main challenges of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) and how working in a business agile mind-set can bring the rewards of stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity to your day-to-day work.

Join this free webinar to learn first-hand how:

1.    VUCA can be used as a catalyst to bringing change in your day-to-day world

2.    How a business agile mind-set will help bring stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity to your role

3.    How technology can help you overcome challenges in a VUCA world

4.    What can businesses do today to prepare for challenges in the future

Register your interest today to avoid VUCA now and in the future!

https://mkt.clarizen.com/webinar-register-how-to-become-business-agile-in-a-VUCA-world.html

Let’s Un-VUCA the VUCA world!

Peter Taylor is a change expert who 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’.

More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

Are you living in a VUCA world?

November 13, 2019

Do you recognise this?

Is your business life ‘Volatile – Uncertain – Complex – Ambiguous’?

Are you living in a VUCA world

Well don’t panic, you are certainly not alone, but you should accept that you are part the ‘VUCA’ world today!

VUCA is an acronym originally used by the American Military. It was the response of the US Army War College to the collapse of the USSR in the early 1990s when, suddenly, there was no longer the only enemy, resulting in a need for new ways of seeing and reacting.

VUCA is now regularly used in business circles to recognize the increasingly dynamic and fast-paced business world we live in today. The challenges that VUCA represent are obvious in a world where businesses must react quickly and have the ability to change direction based on fact not fiction.

Volatility refers to the speed of change in your business, sector, industry, location, etc.

  • It is associated with demand variables and market fluctuations and drives businesses to faster changes.

Uncertainty is about knowing what the future might look like.

  • It is associated with the inability to understand what is going on despite any amount of data that has been collected in the past, and this becomes a self-accelerating reality with uncertainty building on uncertainty.

Complexity refers to the number of factors that need to be taken into consideration when making decisions or plans.

  • The more complex the world is, the harder it is to try and understand all aspects and their interrelationship with each other.

Ambiguity refers to a lack of clarity about how to interpret something.

  • When there is a lack of clarity in knowledge points and often conflicting possible meanings then translating this into meaningful information can be impossible.

In practice, the four terms are both related and fed each other to make for an ever increasing VUCA existence for your business.

If it is complex and volatile, then the harder it is to predict and the more uncertain it will be.

Business Agile is the solution

The key is to not live with the ‘fear’ of VUCA but address the challenges it offers and consider ‘solutions’ that can progress your business to a different landscape.

VUCA can be a good thing, a positive thing if you approach it the right way. It can be used as a catalyst to bringing change in your day-to-day world and to progress your business to a new status:

From: Volatile To: Stable

From: Uncertainty To: Certainty

From: Complexity To: Simplicity

From: Ambiguity To: Clarity

A ‘Business Agile’ mind-set will help bring stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity to your role and to your business, and technology can help you overcome the challenges in a VUCA world to aid this transition. It is possible to Un-VUCA the VUCA world.

Your Journey to Business Agility

Organisations are waking up to the fact that they need to adapt today so they can compete in a fast, ever changing environment. But, as Darwin said, success comes to those who are not the strongest, but the most responsive to change.

Hiding your head in the sand whilst the VUCA world surrounds you will not help but taking action to become Business Agile will.

Bill George, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, puts the argument forward that VUCA demands a new leadership response which he calls VUCA 2.0: Vision, Understanding, Courage and Adaptability.

These are the basic foundations of a Business Agile world.

Webinar

Join myself and Neil Derbyshire from Clarizen on the morning of 5th December where we will address the 4 main challenges of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) and how working in a business agile mind-set can bring the rewards of stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity to your day-to-day work.

Join this free webinar to learn first-hand how:

  1. VUCA can be used as a catalyst to bringing change in your day-to-day world
  2. How a business agile mind-set will help bring stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity to your role
  3. How technology can help you overcome challenges in a VUCA world
  4. What can businesses do today to prepare for challenges in the future

Register your interest today to avoid VUCA now and in the future!

https://mkt.clarizen.com/webinar-register-how-to-become-business-agile-in-a-VUCA-world.html

Let’s Un-VUCA the VUCA world!

Peter Taylor is a change expert who 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’.

More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

10th Anniversary of The Lazy Project Manager

September 12, 2019

The_Lazy_PM_2

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

The_Lazy_PM_2

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

Balance2

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

Toaster

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

DSC_2225

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

No-nonsense.svg

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!