A refreshing book

I had the pleasure of reading the latest book written by Peter Taylor, also known as the lazy project manager. Peter Taylor is the author of books on project management, including The Lazy Project Manager, The Lazy Project Manager and the Project From Hell, and The Project Manager Who Smiled.

The Book is titled: [easyazon_link identifier=”0749471212″ locale=”US” tag=”projectariaus-20″]Real Project Management: The Skills and Capabilities You WILL Need for Successful Project Delivery[/easyazon_link].

It is one of the best business and management books I have read in a while. It is very easy and entertaining to read, which is very refreshing for the genre. Too many books in that genre are very dry and hard to read. While it is true that these subjects may be complex and this can contribute to that style, but mostly it is just part of the genre. It is too often accepted that you can be boring in business and management books. And, believe me, I have read my share of those. (Isn’t it a lot like business presentation, unfortunately?)

What makes this book so interesting?

The author

Of course, there is the writing style of the author. Peter Taylor knows how to write and be interesting. He is certainly very knowledgeable about project management, and it shows in his writing. I would love one day to have a chance to see a live presentation from Peter Taylor. I am sure his passion for project management would show and make it lively and interesting.

Project management in the real world

The title itself is very interesting. The book has a focus on real results and managing real projects. I am an achiever and someone that focuses on results. It is very easy in project management to start glorifying the tools and techniques and losing sight of the reality. I appreciate that the book is written on the foundation of reality. I read too many books that are well researched, with a wealth of knowledge and information.   Yet, they give you a taste that the theory is the ultimate reality, and it is actually the reality that should adapt to comply with the theory. A bit backward…

The evolution of project management

The book also has a very refreshing perspective on the history and evolution of project management. The book describes four phases of project management. It describes the power of project management and how it has evolved throughout the years. The author is trying to create a bridge between the old ways of doing things and a new generation of project managers. It is refreshing to see a textbook that accepts that knowledge is something that evolves over time. The author notes that we are operating with an ever-increasing rate of change, and project management needs to evolve.

The current world is a dynamic world, with rapid changes in knowledge and innovation, economic and social contexts.

Project management is changing, and must continue to change to be aligned with the current reality and context of projects.

The concept of success

One of the best chapters in the book is Chapter 3 – The evolution of success. I have written previously that the measure of success should go beyond operational metrics. I have been both a project manager, a project sponsor and a client. Too often, the textbook definition of success is too narrow and too technical, especially from the point of view of the client. It is often also the same for the executive sponsor.

The current challenges

The book also provides some interesting discussion on numerous subjects covering the challenges faced by project managers. It describes important skills and capabilities required to succeed in our current world.
The topics include among others:

  • Communication
  • Global team
  • Executive sponsoring
  • Strategic connection
  • Complexity
  • Training and lessons learned

There is also an interesting overview of the impact of a multi-generational workplace. To prepare for the book, the author did a survey and uses the results throughout the book to description the current reality of project managers.

Conclusion

This book is excellent. I strongly recommend it to project managers. We live in a dynamic world that changes constantly. As project managers, we have to evolve and be focused on results. We benefit in this current phase of project management from a wealth of knowledge, textbooks, tools and techniques, and certification. This professional approach supports the successful delivery of projects. It can also make us focus too much inward. We must accept and understand the power of reality. Your successes will be done in the real world.

 


Michel Dion, PMP, CPA
Founder and Developer of Project-Aria
Discover my book:
Leadership Toolbox for Project Managers: Achieve Better Results in a Dynamic World