Peter Taylor
Peter Taylor (Rugby), is the head for a Project Management Office at Siemens PLM Software, which specializes in Product Lifecycle Management. Despite being called “The Lazy Project Manager”, Peter Taylor is a dynamic, commercially-savvy professional who has had notable success in project managing. He is a skilled communicator and leader, and is the author of “The Lazy Project Manager”.
Josh: Peter, thank you so much for sharing your experience and background with the pmStudent community! How did you get started in Project Management?
Peter: I think that my generation of project managers was fortunate enough to have met me by accident. I was part of a team that implemented an MRP system. Later, I became a manufacturing consultant for a software company. I became a project manager by not messing with any of the projects I worked on. I was only 5 years old when I received that title and 10 years later, I took a PM training program. It is a joy to see that there are now business managers who are proficient in project management.
Josh: Who are you most inspired by and from whom have you learned a lot about project management?
Peter: I have learned a lot from many people over the years, but the most valuable learning experiences have been from the most difficult projects I have worked on and the openness of my project team members. A retrospective at the end is something I strongly advocate. This allows everyone, including you, the project manager, to gain a better understanding of what happened during the project. All the hard? The facts? Delivery versus original scope plus any changes? But the retrospective opens up the understanding of the?soft? facts. Norman L Kerth’s book on retrospectives, is a great read.
Josh: How can you keep your eyes on the MACRO project goals and not get distracted by MICRO?
Peter:? It’s all about discipline. Once you understand the consequences for being dragged into the details, you can appreciate how important it is to stay up at the macro level of a project. You can read an excerpt from my book and website. The Lazy Project Manager ? This may be the best way to see what I mean:
[PT] The Pareto rule (also known by the 80/20 rule), states that for many phenomena, 80% of the consequences are caused by 20% of the causes. Although the idea is widely used as a rule-of-thumb, it is often misused. For example, it is wrong to say that a solution to a problem “fits the 80-20 rule.” It doesn’t matter if it solves 80% of the cases, it must be implied that it requires only 20% of all the resources required to solve all cases.
Joseph M. Juran, a management thinker, suggested the principle. It was named after Vilfredo Pareto (an Italian economist who observed that 20% of Italy’s property was owned by 20% of its inhabitants). It is assumed that the majority of the results in any given situation are determined by a small group of causes.
So, 20% of clients could be responsible for 80% sales volume. This can be evaluated, and it is likely to be roughly correct. It can also be useful in future decision-making. The Pareto Principle can also be applied to mundane matters. One might think that we wear our 20% favorite clothes approximately 80% of time, and perhaps we spend 80% with 20% of our friends.
Every smart, but lazy person should use the Pareto Principle (or 80/20 rule) in their daily lives. The Pareto Principle is valuable for project managers because it reminds them to concentrate on the 20% that really matters.
Woody Allen once said that?80% of success comes from showing up?. I’m not so sure about this, I’ve seen projects where there was a physical manager, but you wouldn’t believe it.