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The Lazy Project Manager: How to be twice as productive and still leave the office early Paperback – 25 Nov 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Infinite Ideas (25 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906821674
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906821678
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

[Book of the month!]... Anyone can learn how to work smarter and become twice as productive. --Better Business Focus Magazine, Sep 2009

There is nothing like having someone's writing slap you round the face like a wet herring and you sit there (well, actually laying on the sofa) and you enjoy the experience. Thank you very much Peter Taylor --Ian Swanson - USA - July 2009

For me this book scores 9 out of 10 for entertainment and 8 out of 10 for practical help to fraught project managers. The book is a joy to read, well written, light-hearted, but also informative and helpful. The big question is whether the target audience - the fraught project manager - will be attracted to or turned off by the tongue-in-cheek title. I hope it will be the former, as not only is the book very readable, it contains - as many books of this type - useful check-lists for its various assertions, accompanied by relevant anecdotes. Peter clearly states that his book is not a how-to book on project management, even though he is a chartered PM. It is all about doing less and achieving more. But in the process he does offer many practical guidelines. The fundamental basis of Peter s theory of lazy project management is Pareto s Law, paraphrased to mean doing 20 per cent to achieve 80 per cent of the results rather than the other way round that he feels many project managers do (and I daresay most professionals and managers too). However, Peter does get specific about, for example, putting much more emphasis on the start and end of a project - the thick ends, as he calls them. He also focuses on the power grid , which naturally includes the project sponsor and the project steering group, both of which, he implies, are neglected by many project managers. Teaming gets requisite attention as do crisis handling and communication. As Peter says, reporting is not communicating. Regarding the closing thick end, he cautions that there will be unknown, unknowns made famous by Donald Rumsfeld. Nothing you can do about them, except to try and limit the amount of unknowns by finding out, and by asking. All in all an enjoyable read, with 143 pages including intro, index and several post-script-like closing sections. The main body is around 100 pages. So, not daunting at all. Well done, Peter! --Charles Chang FBCS CITP

Review

Taylor does something that I have done on my blog and in my own writing - he gives you a chance to cheat. By cheating, I mean that he levels with you, the reader, the busy reader, the lazy reader, and says something like, "look, if you want to get to the bottom line, skip over to the last chapter now. You will miss some stuff but ... you'll get the idea". In fact, he even uses this principle of cheating itself to help explain the Pareto principle - a tactic I thought was particularly ingenious. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Miller on 14 Dec 2009
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed the anecdotes and historical references in this book - and especially identified with Peter's experiences in starting out on projects as a brand new PM, along with the subsequent trials and tribulations of engaging key stakeholders and managing the dynamics of the team(s) in getting to work and over the hump of the project.

My take on it, though, is that the book is more about the realistic and emotionally intelligent project manager - and their ability to manage stakeholders and teams - as much as it is to do with knowing the detailed practice of being a PM or assuring delivery. Peter does not hide this latter fact in the book however - which is good. He says in the Introduction that the cold, hard (and dry!) theory is well documented elsewhere for those to discover and swat up on - along with all those wonderful acronyms and terms to learn like "management product" or "deliverable", "PID" or "Project Charter" and so on (except Peter uses the PMP terms, coz that clearly is the methodology he has been trained in). So, in referring to such things, clearly he knows a detailed and structured way to go about it and could teach us on it (if he really, really wanted to) - but he just does not want to tie us up in it
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Peel on 31 Aug 2009
Format: Hardcover
The author is far from lazy but what he is putting out here is a common sense approach to Project Management that focuses on people and not form filling. My copy has already caused a 'buzz' amongst my PM colleagues, I would say it should be mandatory reading for any Manager who has to work in a project based way.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. V. Mudge on 18 Mar 2010
Format: Hardcover
Although it brings up some interesting points, much of which is unquestionably accurate, there is actually very little substance that a reasonbly accomplished project manager would not already know and would almost certainly be implementing.
The style of writing is easy on the brain requiring little thought. I quite enjoyed reading the book but felt that it was ultimately not that insightful.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Philip Stanbury-jones on 8 Mar 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you are new to project management and are looking for books to broaden your knowledge you would be forgiven for thinking that project management is a huge and deeply complex subject. If you are responsible for the next Eurofighter or the 2012 Olympics then you'd be right, however, the majority of us are working on projects of less than 15 people that are under a year long.

This book gets right back to basics in a entertaining yet poignant way to set out the key approaches to successful project management. These have nothing to do with Gantt Charts, probabilistic risk based scheduling, IT systems, Earned value, etc., but everything to do with making sure you focus on the people involved on your project, that you clearly lead from the front, and that you do your homework thoroughly and early so that once your project is shooting along at full speed you are in a position where you can be productively lazy i.e. have time to take the long view over project progress and issues arising, ensuring the best outcome for the stakeholders, and depend on your team to resolve the tactical problems.

It doesn't mean your projects won't have plenty of crisis, but it does mean you will be best placed to deal with them. It's all about people and communicating with them - whatever anyone else tells you!

Well worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Karl S. Smith on 9 Dec 2009
Format: Hardcover
The lazy project manager is a definitive life guide to managing Projects. The book is not a complete or detailed PM manual, but covers the Process elements of Project management and elaborates upon the process by augmenting it with common sense considerations from the authors own extensive experience in Project Management. This book must be considered a valuable guide for all Project Managers regardless of their experience in the Practise and should be viewed a valuable navigation tool that will assist them in steering their projects safely through to a successful outcome.
The book is written as an easy to read guide, that doesn't only focus on Project Management processes as so many a Project Management Book does, but it combines the Process Elements with real life does and don'ts and considers the life of the project team and advises on how this can be improved by the common sense approach laid out in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Turner on 1 Feb 2013
Format: Paperback
There are a plethora of project management books available in a variety of styles ranging from engaging and actionable to handy ballast for a hot air balloon. This one falls firmly into the former category. It's obvious that the author knows his stuff; indeed you have to be good to really know how to "bend the rules" (think Maradona's famous 'Hand of God' goal in '86). But what sets the Lazy Project Manager apart is its focus on the human aspect of the role of project management, in particular the idea that humour and enjoyment are to be welcomed and that the "Funfinder General" has no place in a modern working environment....
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Charles Willbe on 31 Aug 2009
Format: Hardcover
Unlike so many project management books, "The lazy project manager" is both easy to read and yet incisive.

Rather than a lack of project management effort being the root cause of problems on projects, the author contends that it is misplaced effort. Focus on the important issues is lost in a haze of activity - much of which is fruitless. The Pareto principle (80/20 rule) underlies much of what is said.

The book starts by defining laziness and probably achieves a first in linking Helmuth von Moltke's Prussian army officer assessment with Monty Python's "Dinosaur" sketch. It continues through the lifecycle of projects with each of the major causes of project failure being addressed from the "productive lazy" perspective. The "softer" skills of project management receive more attention than the traditional ones but it is none the worse for that. This is where most problems occur.

The writing style encourages the reader, though I wasn't quite sure that the extensive footnotes worked. This is a book that invites you to smile rather than convulses you with laughter. It is charmingly quirky whilst being very effective in getting its message across.

The author's experience in the large project arena is clear to see and those managing such ventures will gain most from this book. Project managers of smaller projects will need to be a bit more discriminating in the application of some of the advice. Even those of us battle-scarred by old projects may find some new ideas worth trying (I'd never thought of dressing up as a carrot) but it is no hardship to read this book anyway.
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