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Book review: The Lazy project manager

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Relax in a comfortable chair, grab a cup of coffee, and wait for your project team to arrive. Welcome to the world productive project management laziness. Peter Taylor is the most lazy of them all. It’s a good thing.
Peter’s book, “The lazy project manager: How you can be twice as productive while still leaving the office early”, contains everything you need to get more done at work while still leaving early.
It’s a shame that I am reading it at a moment when I have taken on tasks that could have been delegated. Shame on myself. This is a timely reminder that I could be a lot more. If doing a lot more means better results and more time away, I’m all for it.
This is not The 4-hour Work Week. It is a sensible approach to project managing with a great title. It’s not about the right documentation or how to use methodologies. It’s about how to get more done. This boils down to knowing your project team and trusting them.
Taylor’s approach is based on the dinosaur theory.
All projects are thick at the one end, but much thinner at the middle, and then thicker again at the far end.
It’s difficult to explain this without the dinosaur picture, but you get the idea. Work hard at the beginning to get things started, then let your team handle the strain, then let them finish the job efficiently and carefully with lots more involvement from you at end.
Peter’s book was a good read. It’s very easy to read. He weaves science into the text without you even realizing it. It’s all based in sound business, economic, and military theory. Pareto and a Johari window version make an appearance, as well as enough diagrammatic grids that illustrate the key points visually. It’s also fun.
He writes about Monty Python and buses. There are also jokes about balloons and frogs. OK, not hilariously, laugh-out-loud-on-the-tube-and-everyone-stares funny, but smirk-to-myself-and-goodness-it’s-my-stop-already funny.
What really stands out to me was Peter’s approach to the book and its readers using the same principles he uses. The 80/20 rule is The Lazy Project Manager’s guiding light. This applies to all management books, so Peter has condensed the essence of the book into the penultimate chapter, ‘Quick Tips to Productive Lazy Heaven’.
You will then find ‘Even faster tips for the really lazy’ which summarizes the essence and benefits of ‘Quick tips. You get the idea. You can find more tips on The Lazy Project Manager website.
Another great thing about this book are the many anecdotes about times when things didn’t go as planned. Who doesn’t love reading about other people’s mistakes? People who say, “I messed it up,” are more valuable than those who say, “I was so brilliant.”
The Lazy Project manager is not going to teach how to manage projects. Before you open this book, you need to be aware of these things. It will teach you how to be more productive in your day. And Peter’s book will show you how to spend more time at your desk doing what you love.
So I will delegate more and more effectively at the right time. I will curl up on my couch and watch reruns of Gossip Girl. All I have to do is train my team to bring me tea. Then, life will be great.