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Book Review: The Lazy Project Manager
If you are like me, you are a project manager of some sort, and are perhaps even certified. You don't have the relevant text or standard imprinted on your memory, simply because, a) like most people, you don't have WORA memory (Write Once Remember Always) and b) you tend to be good at project management tasks you do frequently, and need to look-up the reference for project management tasks that you do infrequently. ("Project Closure", anyone ?) The 'non-machine' part of you also demands that unless what you are doing is new or different, you get 'bored' of repetitive tasks - other people seem to think they are necessary and you wonder why in the world, of all the words in your favorite dictionary, 'mindless' keeps jumping at you as you go about your work! Also, commonly, your workload lands you in a strange situation whereby being diligent causes you to choke on meaningful time. So you are looking for a way to optimize your emotional energy while staying successful and looking for some reading material that resonates with your idea of efficiency.
What luck! You come across this book by Mr. Taylor.
Note that you would be better off with the PMBOK or equivalent for the nitty gritty details of project management theory but for some straight talk and (un?)commonsense wisdom, you are reading the right stuff. If that makes you think it takes some value away from the book, Eliyahoo Goldratt has a comment for you in the preface of the book Necessary But Not Sufficient: "If its so simple, why is it not commonly implemented everywhere already ?" Implying, "Why did you have to read it in this book to discover that its simple?"
We get a good refresher about the Pareto principle at the outset. It's easy to confuse and misuse too, read it again please and identify the 80 and the 20 parts for good. While this principle is most commonly known to have european roots - attributed to a Frenchman's obeservation of an Italian phenomenon, I was intrigued to find enough parallels in 3'rd century BC Indian thinker Chanakya's 'sutras' (treatise) on economics and political ethics, to suspect he had similar things to say, in different words.
Some of the good learnings from the book:
There is also a good short summary worth printing and pinning to your desk softboard.
I am glad I bought a copy. I recommend you to pick it up on your Kindle, it's a short and easy read. Give yourself a small but honest personality test. You can only benefit from reading it. If you are the right type, it will give you positive reinforcement to continue towards achieving your goals. If you are a different type, (nobody is really of the wrong type, spiritually speaking), you will a) learn to change into the right type or find the motivation to find a better job profile that suites your personality and b) learn to identify and understand the right type in other people and actually co-operate and help them - and hence yourself - succeed.
Students of the discipline of Project Management often tend to forget that, however small, there is always a difference between theory and practice. This book is likely to help them get a handle on the practical side of Project Management.
Message in Public Interest