I just finished reading ‘The lazy project manager’. A lovely book explaining how you can apply some simple techniques of lazy project management in order to work more effectively. I must say, that Peter Taylor, the author, did a great job explaining something I love to do, but I never thought that you could call this lazy project management.
Via Google I found Hlade’s Law states that: “If you have a difficult task, give it to a lazy person; they will find an easier way to do it.” But it’s not Hlade’s Law Peter is using. He explains the intelligence of laziness by describing how Generalfeldmarschall Von Melke (1800 – 1891) from the Prussian Army categorized his officer corps. He was looking for mentally bright and yet physically lazy officers who, he thought, should take the highest levels of command.
Inspired by Miss Anne Elk’s theory of the brontos (from Monty Python): ‘All brontosauruses are thin at one end, much, much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end. That is my theory, it is mine, and it belongs to me, and I own it.’ Peter developed his own Lazy Project Manager’s theory of projects, from a productive laziness aspect: ‘All projects are thick at one end, much, much thinner in the middle and than thick again at the far end.’
This book follows this project life cycle thick, much, much thinner, and thick again and explains several tips to achieve productive laziness combined with project manager’s tales describing situations were those tips were applied or should have been applied. Projects don’t fail at the end, they fail at the beginning. Think for example about knowing your sponsor, anticipation, managing project creep or communication. Peter explains much more and he ends with one of my favorites. Lessons learned are not only for yourself but you have to share it.
After reading this book I can now say that my own book PRINCE2 in practice will help the project manager to become a lazy project manager and it will help the project owner or sponsor to become a Lazy Project owner or Sponsor too!
‘The lazy project manager’ is definitely a book to read if you want to look at project management from a different angle and if you want to get some good advises to become a more efficient, or shall I say lazy, project manager. Finally I included the Monty Python episode. It gives you Miss Anne’s explanation of the theory of the bronthos (starts at 5:03). But the first part is worth looking too. It gives you a great example of communication when you exclude feedback as the final part of communication.