Posts Tagged ‘project manager management lazy productive peter taylor infinite ideas book author’

Fit for Purpose

September 10, 2015


There is a great presentation by Tom Peters where he talks about some organisations that get so big that they forget about some of the basic, simple, everyday stuff.

He produces a tiny shampoo bottle that he has taken from a hotel bathroom and he asks, rhetorically, ‘who was the average user of this bottle?’ The answer being that most likely this was going to be used by a middle-aged business traveler who more than likely wore reading glasses. He then asked, still rhetorically, ‘where was this likely to be used?’ And the answer this time was of course it would be used when the middle aged business traveler, who most likely wore reading glasses, was taking a shower. He paused for effect and summed up; this product was most likely to be used by this guy in a shower without his reading glasses in in steamy environment with water running and when he wanted to decipher between the two almost identical bottles of shower gel and shampoo. Result: frustration and improper use of products.

A definition of ‘fit for purpose’ is ‘something that is fit for purpose is good enough to do the job it was designed to do’, but you could argue that the shampoo bottle, standing next to the shower gel bottle, and sometimes also next to a ‘body lotion’ bottle, is fit for purpose. The trouble is you need to distinguish the shampoo bottle first to then use it and for it to truly become ‘fit for purpose’.

In a project all of the resources need to be fit for purpose if you, and your business, wish for the most successful and least costly outcome. People need to be the right people and skilled/trained in the right way, facilities need to be suitable to the purpose that they will be put to, equipment must be appropriate in design and availability, and the actual project deliverables need to also be deemed ‘fit for purpose’ – this is the responsibility of the project manager.

There can be shortcuts, and there can be cut backs but the end result always needs to be considered in the context of the impact of utilising something or someone that is not ‘fit for purpose’. And always be aware that such an approach can, in the end, make the deliverables so constrained that they fail the ‘fit for purpose’ evaluation.

Just don’t take the whole ‘fit for purpose’ too far:

In a circus, the Bearded Lady and the World’s Strongest Man fell in love, and decided to start a family. Soon the Bearded Lady fell pregnant.

A few weeks before she was due to give birth the Bearded Lady and the Circus Ring-Master were talking.

‘How’s it going?’ the Ring-Master asked, ‘Are you well?’

‘Yes thanks, we are very excited’ said the Bearded Lady ‘We have so many plans for the baby and we want to be supportive parents’.

‘That’s great’ said the Ring-Master ‘Do you want a boy or a girl?’

‘Oh, we really don’t mind as long as it’s healthy’ said the Bearded Lady ‘Oh and it fits into the cannon…’


Gaining access to an Unavailable Sponsor

October 22, 2013

Gaining Access to an Unavailable Sponsor…

…goes far beyond talking the Sponsor’s Assistant into rescheduling the calendar!  It involves a fundamental shift in the sponsor’s perspective.  But how?

If you want to learn the Number 1 way to shift the sponsor’s view of you and many more effective techniques to deal with difficult sponsor behavior, register for a complimentary webinar called “Sponsor Influence Strategies– Masterclass” available for just one more week.

You’ll meet a colleague of mine, Kimberlee Williams who has advanced experience in change management, having led the global change management program for one of the largest, most respected pharmaceutical companies in the world (she’s also a former PMO leader and BlackBelt) and is now sharing her knowledge about dealing with difficult sponsors directly through this webinar. WEBINAR BOOKING

She’ll disclose her personal advice for dealing with the four mindset and behavior shifts that will accelerate a better relationship with your sponsor so you can get them to do what’s essential for project success. It also covers common mistakes and the Top 5 sponsor problems (including exactly what to do about them).

You ‘ll  receive several downloads including a very useful framework that will help you transform your role with your sponsor from ‘hands-on’ to ‘strategic advisor’, program action guide, and others. In addition, you are going to receive exclusive access to a free 3-part video series (1.5 hours) that dives into the other six project ‘people elements’ you must manage in order to be successful.  You can watch the videos yourself at your leisure and are also welcome to share them with others on your team.


PS: Don’t forget,  Kimberlee is offering a nice bonus with this program.  It’s not for sale anywhere and would probably be worth at least $65-70 USD if you were going to buy it.  You’ll get access to a free 3-part video series (1.5 hours) which explains the ‘7 critical people elements’ that most contribute to project failure rates, then covers her best tips to solve those.  It also tells you the exact technique to reframe your sponsor. You can watch the videos yourself and can share them with others on your team. CHECK IT OUT

PPS: In that program, you can learn how to post a simple reply to the video that could win you $700 USD, paid in November. WATCH AND WIN

Is this you?

October 16, 2013

One of the surveys for my book – Strategies for Project Sponsorship – showed a startling statistic:

85% of companies surveyed said they had project sponsorship in place

83% of companies stated that they did nothing to train, support, guide, or help their sponsors in any way at all

And yet 100% of companies stated that having a good sponsor in place was critical to project success!

Do you recognise this imbalance in your company?

If so, and you want some quick and effective new ways to deal with your sponsor, you’ll want attend a complimentary webinar called ‘Sponsor Influence Strategies- Masterclass’.

Unlike some other programs that tell you to go-change-your-sponsor, this one focuses on things that are 100% under your control…the four mindset and behavior shifts you have to make in order to influence your sponsor and get what you want. It also covers common mistakes and the Top 5 sponsor problems (including exactly what to do about them).

You’ll get several downloads including a very useful framework that will help you transform your role with your sponsor from ‘hands-on’ to ‘strategic advisor’, program action guide, and others. In addition, you are going to receive exclusive access to a free 3-part video series (1.5 hours) that dives into the other six project ‘people elements’ you must manage in order to be successful.  You can watch the videos yourself at your leisure and are also welcome to share them with others on your team.

Kimberlee has advanced experience in change management, having led the global change management program for one of the largest, most respected pharmaceutical companies in the world (she’s also a former PMO leader and BlackBelt) and is now sharing her knowledge about dealing with difficult sponsors directly through THIS FREE WEBINAR

PS – The webinar is only available for a short time, so make a bit of room in your schedule in the next few days and sign up today.

As a reminder, it is no cost to you and you can register HERE NOW

The Lazy Project Manager and The Project from Hell

April 6, 2012

It’s coming! The third ‘lazy’ book will be out on 25th April 2012 – get your copy pre-ordered now!

A signed and printed (soft back) copy of the new ‘lazy’ book – the eBook will be free on Amazon for a limited period but I have a limited supply of printed copies available.

Will ship on 25th April 2012.

Peter Taylor’s bestseller, The Lazy Project Manager, has been a project management phenomenon since it was published in 2009. In it he shows how adopting a more focused approach to life, projects and work can make you twice as productive. The Lazy Project Manager and its sequel, The Lazy Winner, show how anyone can apply the simple techniques of lazy project management in their own lives in order to work and live more effectively. Now, in The Lazy Project Manager and the Project from Hell, Peter Taylor applies the lazy project management technique to a project that has gone seriously wrong.

And in the spirit of The Lazy Project Manager I also have some badges/pins available as well!

To Hell and Back in one Workshop

Be proud that you have experienced the Project from Hell (and hopefully survived it) and wear the badge!

Buy now from The Lazy Shop

The Lazy Project Manager study begins on March 24th at The PM Book Club

March 21, 2012

“The Lazy Project Manager” Study to Begin March 24th!

Hi all,

When we first launched our goal was to have 100 people participate in the first book study of “The Lazy Project Manager” by Peter Taylor. Yesterday we pass the 100 members mark, so it’s time to get this thing rolling!

We will begin the study of The Lazy Project Manager on Saturday, March 24th. In preparation for the study, you should do three things (if you haven’t already):

1. Introduce yourself. Use the following thread:

2. Purchase “The Lazy Project Manager.” Here’s a link to the paperback version ( and the electronic version (

3. Join “The Lazy Project Manager” subgroup. Use the following link:

This weekend I will post an “Instructions” thread in The Lazy Project Manager subgroup and then we will start the study the following weekend. I will also post a bio for Peter Taylor and a welcome recording he has created for the group.

I look forward to studying and discussing The Lazy Project Manager with you! If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment.

Thomas Kennedy

Work – Life Balance

March 13, 2012

‘Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.’ Charlie McCarthy (Edgar Bergen)

Do you want to do more with less effort? Do you desperately want a better work-life balance? Then start by asking yourself some fundamental questions when the next job, piece of work, task or request comes your way:

  1. Do I want to do this piece of work, job or task etc? Even if I do want to do it, do I need to do it?
    • Don’t do something just because everyone else does it or because it is the ‘usual thing to do’.
    • Ask yourself instead: ‘Is this really necessary?’ and ‘Is this really worth doing?’
    • If the answer is ‘no’ to either of these questions then don’t do it.
  2. Is the result or outcome worth my effort?
    • Only do the things with the most impact.
    • Your time is limited so invest it only in things that give you the most return on your personal investment.
  3. Do I have to do this myself?
    • Ask yourself if you really are the best possible person to do whatever it is that needs to be done.
    • Is there someone else in your network who is better qualified than you to do this thing?
    • If there is then be generous and let them help you out.
  4. If you have to do it, then what is the shortest path to the point of success?
    • Don’t waste your time on the unnecessary. If it works in black and white don’t waste effort in creating a Technicolor dream version of the same thing.
    • Do only the things that are necessary to get the job done.
    • Cut everything else out!
  5. What exactly is that point of success and at what stage will you just be wasting your time?
    • Can this be reused again and again?
    • Can it have more value than just a ‘one-off’ piece of work?
    • If it can then scale it for better return on investment.

The above is an extract from The Lazy Winner by Peter Taylor

Give me a ‘C’

March 13, 2012

I have seen in the companies that I have worked for, and I am sure that you have all seen it as well, the special ones amongst us that are on a fast track up through the organisation destined for the hallowed ground of ‘C’ level appointment.

And there is nothing wrong with that at all. They experience the company as broadly as possible with experiences in finance and in sales and in marketing and even sometimes in services perhaps. They get firsthand experience of the components of the businesses that will one day lead and this is a really valuable preparation. These are the one identified as having future leadership potential and any company will invest in such people for their joint futures.

Sadly I have yet to see a future ‘C’ work their way through the project arena, the PMO, the project management practise. It seems as if, when it comes down to it, that the project side of the business (as opposed to the operational side of the business) is maybe a little less important, a little less attractive?

There is a danger of cause in putting a non-project person in charge of projects.

A comment from my recent PMO Survey (researched as part of Leading Successful PMOs – Gower) summed it up with ‘the management in charge of the PMO are highly experienced operational managers, each with a significant and solid track record. Unfortunately that expertise does not translate into projects where the deadlines, delivery management and interaction between different role-players are significantly more acute than in operational management’.

So perhaps the ‘C’ is not immediately destined for the PMO leadership role but surely there is a critical need for such future leaders to understand the nature of their ever increasingly project based activities.

Take an action all of you PMO leaders – talk to the ‘powers that be’ and to the fast track talent development agencies in your companies and open up your PMO with an invitation to ‘come on in and enjoy the experience’.

In the long run it will only benefit the PMO (and the organization).

The Science behind the Laziness

May 9, 2009

The Lazy Project Manager:

This isn’t all just made up you know, there is science and history and a singing bear behind all this theory.

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) states that for many phenomena 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes. The idea has rule-of-thumb application in many places, but it’s also commonly misused, for example, it is a misuse to state that a solution to a problem ‘fits the 80-20 rule’ just because it fits 80% of the cases; it must be implied that this solution requires only 20% of the resources needed to solve all cases.

The principle was in fact suggested by management thinker Joseph M. Juran and it was named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of property in Italy was owned by 20% of the Italian population. The assumption is that most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes.
So ‘20% of clients may be responsible for 80% of sales volume’. This can be evaluated and is likely to be roughly right, and can be helpful in future decision making. The Pareto Principle also applies to a variety of more mundane matters: one might guess approximately that we wear our 20% most favoured clothes about 80% of the time, perhaps we spend 80% of the time with 20% of our acquaintances and so on.

The Pareto principle is unrelated to Pareto efficiency, which really was introduced by Vilfredo Pareto. Vilfredo Pareto (born July 15, 1848 in France – died August 19, 1923 in Lausanne, Switzerland) made several important contributions to economics, sociology and moral philosophy, especially in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals’ choices. He introduced the concept of Pareto efficiency and helped develop the field of microeconomics with ideas such as indifference curves. In 1906, he made the well-known observation that 20% of the population owned 80% of the property in Italy, later generalised (by Joseph M. Juran and others) into the so-called Pareto principle (for many phenomena 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes), and generalised further to the concept of a Pareto distribution.
The Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule can and should be used by every smart but lazy person in their daily life. The value of the Pareto Principle for a project manager is that it reminds you to focus on the 20 percent that matters.

Woody Allen once said ‘80% of success is showing up’, I’m not so sure about that, I have seen projects where there was a physical project manager around but you would never have believed that looking at the project progress, or lack of progress.

No, better I believe to appreciate that of the things you do during your day, only 20 percent really matter.

Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results.

So, you should identify and focus on those things during your working day.

Do this well and you will enjoy the world of ‘Productive Laziness’.

Vilfredo Pareto

Vilfredo Pareto

Be twice as productive and still leave the office early

May 9, 2009

The Lazy Project Manager:

Productive laziness is all about success but with far less effort

By advocating being a ‘lazy’ project manager I do not intend that we should all do absolutely nothing. I am not saying we should all sit around drinking coffee, reading the good book and engaging in idle gossip whilst watching the project hours go by and the non-delivered project milestones disappear over the horizon. That would obviously be plain stupid and would result in an extremely short career in project management, in fact probably a very short career full stop!

Lazy does not mean Stupid.

No I really mean that we should all adopt a more focused approach to project management and to exercise our efforts where it really matters, rather than rushing around like busy, busy bees involving ourselves in unimportant, non-critical activities that others can better address, or indeed that do not need addressing at all in some cases.
Welcome to the home of ‘Productive Laziness’.

In the book, The Lazy Project Manager, you can read more about what I mean about productive laziness and how you can apply these simple techniques and approaches in your own projects. The major project topics will be covered but from a ‘Productive Lazy’ point of view.

I am not, by nature, a lazy person but I do have many other things to do in life, beyond the projects and programs that I manage, and therefore I have learnt the manner in which to balance life, projects and work. What I am though, also by nature, is success orientated and therefore the balanced approach that I utilise has to also ensure that both my projects and my career are successful and that they leave me with sufficient time for home and family.

Lazy does not mean Unsuccessful.

I am a Lazy Project Manager. You can carry on as you are or you can join me in the comfy chair of life and still get the project results you and your sponsors demand.

See also The Lazy Project Manager on YouTube/Metacafe or subscribe to the free podcasts on iTunes

The Lazy Project Manager

The Lazy Project Manager