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The Lazy Project Manager: How to be twice as productive and still leave the office early Paperback – August 24, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The lazy project manager illustrates how anyone can apply the simple techniques of lazy project management in their own activities in order to work more effectively and consequently improve work-life balance. This 'productive laziness' approach builds on the Pareto principle that states that for many phenomena, 80 per cent of consequences stem from 20 per cent of the causes. To put it simply, only 20 per cent of the things people do during their working days really matter.
 
Inside this book readers can discover:
  • The intelligence of laziness - why smart, lazy people have the edge over others;
  • Why the Jungle Book's 'Bare Necessities' should be the productive lazy theme tune;
  • How to get the maximum output for a minimised input;
  • Quick tips to productive lazy heaven.

In addition, the author provides some interesting (and entertaining) things about eating dinosaurs, wearing ermine cloaks, and how to spot a psychopathic woman at a funeral. Also find out why you should never go ballooning, how to deliver a good Oscar acceptance speech, and why it is important for your team that you read the newspaper each morning.  And yes, you may also learn some, quick, simple but important things about project management.

About the Author

Peter is a dynamic and commercially astute professional who has achieved notable success in Project Management. His background is in project management across three major business areas over the last 26 years, MRP/ERP systems with various software houses and culminating in his current role with Infor, Business Intelligence (BI) with Cognos, and product lifecycle management (PLM) with Siemens. He has spent the last 7 years leading PMOs and developing project managers and is now focusing on project based services development with Infor. He is also an accomplished communicator and leader and is a professional speaker as well as the author of 'The Lazy Project Manager' (Infinite Ideas) and 'Leading Successful PMOs' (Gower). More information can be found at thelazyprojectmanager.com  - and through his free podcasts in iTunes.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Infinite Ideas (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906821674
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906821678
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a practicing Project Manager (PM), I am always looking for ways to do my job better and for best practices that I can adopt. So, when the opportunity came my way to read this book, I jumped on it and am not sorry I did so. The Lazy in the title refers to doing things better so you do not have to do as much and the subtitle of this book is "How to be twice as productive and still leave the office early" which is a very worthy goal for anyone in any position and a skill that I would dearly love to learn!

The book itself is a very quick read. There are essentially only 100 pages of real text and the book's format is relatively small and there is lots of white space. I was able to read through it in a few hours time. The questions then becomes, is the time investment worth it? And, are you learning enough from reading this book to bother with it?

My answers are unqualified "yes"es!

While the book is short and snappy it does cover the main things that PMs should focus on and spend their time on. The author divides any project into three phases: Startup, execution, and conclusion. Most of the book is spent on the Startup phase as that is the time when you need to really work hard at the project to make it succeed. The author wisely focuses on the two most critical ingredients that will make or break any project: The planning work for how the project should be executed; and the communications process to make sure everyone involved with the project knows what the plans are and what to do about them. Everyone involved with the project includes the project sponsor and any outside influencers that may not be a formal part of the team, but are critical to the project's success.
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Format: Hardcover
Peter Taylor was able to put together many practical and valuable project management lessons learned in a very funny and easy manner. He walked the talk by providing readers with a 2 page summary of the core content of the book, what makes the "lazy community" happy.

If you do not consider yourself lazy, you are going to understand the benefits of "productive laziness"; if you are already a "lazy project manager" the book will make you feel better (you are not alone! :o) and on top of that will give you many interesting lessons learned, without too much effort.
I do recommend the reading!
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Format: Hardcover
Peter Taylor is a clever clever man, and lucky us, he likes to pass it on. Luckier still, the man knows how to write: "The Lazy Project Manager" is entertaining, informative, and most of all, succinct. If you manage IT Projects, Peter Taylor knows that you're already in trouble. For the average Project Manager, "IT" means "Information Trouble"--be it communcating, guesstimating, or prevaricating, Taylor knows your pain. In order to provide you with some quick relief, he does two things to prove that he is clever:

1) He tells you that if you really need to you can skip to the end and get a quick recap of the core points

2) He writes everything else so that it is not only simple, it is well worth the effort of reading through.

So if, like me, you clutch this book while treading water, you will quickly find that the words inside can be used as a flotation device. They may also be quickly consumed and deployed for the full "raft" effect. I was surrounded by work, over my head in deadlines, and despite being in the thick of holiday overtime I still managed to read this book in about two days. I've since read it again, just to keep myself focused as I gradually transition my job to his way of thinking.

So what is his way of thinking? What exactly does it mean to be "lazy"?

It means this: you can't do it all. You shouldn't do it all. And the best way to figure that out is to focus your efforts at the right parts of the lifecycle. Whereas most Project Managers find themselves ramping up at the beginning, furiously frenetic during development, and then tapering off the long hours during implementation and rollout, Taylor suggests that it's far easier if you focus your effort at the front.
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Format: Paperback
This book takes a different look at the project manager job. I've read a few books on project management, and this one differs in a fun and enlightening way. Peter Taylor is serious about the challenge, but not deadly serious. Instead of focusing on the nuts and bolts level of project management - work breakdown structures and the like, he suggests we take an overall look of the project and tells us more how a project is orchestrated, so to speak, than how to play the individual notes. He gives us a big picture telling us things are toughest and the beginning and again at the end. And if you do it right, the middle part is fairly clear sailing. But, not to get too comfortable, he says. How it begins is how it ends, so he advises the project manager how to get it off on the right foot. To do that takes a little leg work.

He talks about several key points that lead to a successful project, things like knowing how to communicate with project sponsors and particularly with the team--they've all got personalities and styles to be aware of. It's a lot about communication and it's a lot about dealing with people on a human level, that part of a project that I've always found more critical than many books imply. This all takes some time and attention, so he's not recommending a project manager play a passive role.

At the same time, Taylor says we shouldn't overdo it - that's where his euphemistic term "lazy" comes in. (It's not really about being lazy, of course.) You could try to be a superhero and handle everything that goes wrong yourself, for one thing, an easy thing to lapse into if you're not careful. And then he talks how to be available to everyone and how much and how to keep your life intact at the same time.
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