Author: Daniel Rodellar, PMP
On the last events in Romandie before the cancellations, we had the pleasure to listen to Peter Taylor, the "lazy project manager", at CERN for an insight on productive lazyness and afterwards at Hôtel Montbrillant, to deep dive into Strategies for Project Sponsorship.
Let me start with one of the last slides on the audience with the Lazy Project Manager session:
This one is particularly appropriate for today's pandemic crisis. Before you get the answer, let's review some of the key messages and the key learnings of the event, from my point of view.
We started reviewing the science of lazyness, and in this context the word lazy has the meaning of smart.
It all starts with the Pareto principle. Peter says that the Project Managers (everyone in fact) should apply the 80/20 rule and start priorityzing important things.
And where should we start? ... well, "eat that frog" he said. If you start the day by eating a frog, youcan be pretty sure your day will get better.
What to do in your projects with different kind of people and behaviors? follow the Helmuth von Moltke the Elder diagram of 4 types of military officers.
Be ahead of the game! A bad begining will certainly make a bad ending. And manage your sponsors. 85% of companies report that they have roles of project sponsors, but what do they do to train them? Not much. Do they thing it is important? Yes, they say. Talk to other PMs that had same sponsor. And connect with them, as you need to collaborate together to get the project to a successful end.
You must be joking! Who would breathe normally in case of an emergency in a plane?
- Stay calm in a crisis
- Plan for the crisis,
- Breathe normally,
- Filter, filter and filter,
- Delegate, delegate and delegate,
- And finally prioritise, prioritise and prioritise!
(now you know the answer to what to do in a crisis...)
We reviewed the project retrospective, and the questions to ask, and the use of an emotional seismograph, to find the gaps between groups of people (among your stakeholders).
So what should a lazy PM do? work hard at the start and the end, not as usually it is done.
Can anyone be a project manager? No, a good project manager is a character, an attitude and a mindset.
The second event the same day was about Project Sponsors.
The figures are showing how important is to have good sponsors for project success, but companies do not train them.
Peter has written a book about strategies for project sponsorship. The most important point is not the classical triangle (time, cost and scope) but the benefits for the organisation.
If we look at the flipside of project success we can see this interconnection and the consequences of getting it wrong:
Today sponsors are just accidental project sponsors, but sponsorship should not be a side thing, this has to be a main task!
Two pearls on the answers to the audience's questions:
- the perfect number of sponsors is 1.
- Projects are about business, not IT, so the business sponsor should take the lead.
And, at the end of the event, we visited the cave for the networking drinks!
And for these days, staying at home, here are two books for all of you, as a gift!