Does your work matter? Do you transform mundane tasks into "WOW Projects!"? And, most important, do you consider projects "dynamic, stimulating, a major bond builder with co-workers, a source of buzz among end-users, and ... inspiring, exhausting, hot, cool, sexy, where everyone else wants to be"? If not, consider reading this enthusiastic project primer, which joins The Brand You50
and The Professional Service Firm50
in Tom Peters's list-filled Reinventing Work
Stressing the importance of following a project from start to finish, Peters breaks the WOW Project (also known as the "Way Cool" project, by the way) into four stages--create, sell, implement, and exit--and 50 lists. No. 24 (titled "Work on BUZZ ... all the time!") recommends making a stir about the "WOW-worthy project," showing off your team's success with buttons, mugs, and T-shirts. Shameless? Perhaps. But if the project is truly worthy, then "parading your team's spunk is a matchless sales/marketing--not to mention morale-building--ploy."
Peters--who communicates in lists, one-word sentences, bold, capitalized, and half-tone text, parenthetical asides with jumpy punctuation, and more than a few interjections of "WOW!" and "Way cool!"--is not for everyone. Mellow readers may want, instead, to check out Eric Verzuh's The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management. But project managers seeking to shake up mundane assignments will find plenty of original, easy-to-implement ideas in this guide to getting things done. --Rob McDonald
From the Inside Flap
The common denominator/bottom line for both the professional service firm/PSF and the individual/Brand You is: the project. And for the cool individual in the cool professional service firm there is only one answer: the cool project.
A seminar participant said: "Reward excellent failures. Punish mediocre successes." So, how many of you are at work -- right now -- on "mediocre successes"? At work on projects that won't be recalled, let alone recalled with fondness and glee, a year from now?
We don't study professional service firms. (Mistake.) And we don't study WOW Projects. (Worse mistake.) There is, of course, a project management literature. But it's awful. Or, at least, misleading. It focuses almost exclusively on the details of planning and tracking progress and totally ignores the important stuff like: Is it cool? Is it beautiful? Will it make a difference? My No.1 epithet: "On time . . . on budget . . . who cares?" I.e., does it matter? Will you be bragging about it two--or ten--years from now? Is it a WOW project?
So, then: Step #1 . . .the organization . . .the professional service firm/PSF 1.0. Step 2 . . .the individual . . .the pursuit of distinction/Brand You. And: Step #3 . . . the work itself . . . the memorable project/WOW Projects. The Project50
is a simple and handy guide that provides 50 easy steps to help the modern businessperson choose the right project, find the right team, develop strategies for success, and ultimately know when it's time to move on.See also the other 50List titles in the Reinventing Work series by Tom Peters -- The Brand You50 and The Professional Service Firm50 -- for additional information on how to make an impact in the professional world.