– What are you reading now, Oxana?
– “The Project Manager who smiled”.
– Did you write the book? asked my good friend Frank.
– I wish. It’s Peter Taylor’s book, I smiled in response.
– See, it could be easily about you.
I do smile. Indeed, a lot more than at the beginning of my project manager’s path.
I believe now in the value of fun in project management. Walt Disney’s saying “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible” resonates with my believes as project management is often about making the impossible possible.
I discovered the book 3 years ago. I wish I discovered it at the beginning of my project management path.
It is one of my favourite books so far on project management.
The book is about having fun and being productive. In its Foreword, it brings the evidence of linkages between fun, good mood and healthy atmosphere and, ultimately, productivity.
Some personal notes I made:
It is unorthodox in a tools-templates-square–linear thinking project management world. Nevertheless, the book talks to you on pragmatic levels, from project manager to project manager, regardless of the size or location of your project.
It relies on a wealth of other project managers experience for things tried and workable approaches.
It puts a smile on the reader’s face and makes sure it stays there till the end.
The author is brave enough to give personal examples and stories, showing that there are gains in vulnerability. For example, in a moment of despair, Peter recalls a case when he walked out of a room full of team members, closed the door and pretended to be a boss firing him in a very loud voice.
You’ll not often find “expectations management” tackled in project management books. It has its place in this book. The book gives workable approaches to the management of expectations through e.g. constant feedback mechanisms.
It gives reassurance that creativity has its place and role in project management, making it thus appealing to more creative spirits who want to do project management.
Each chapter on Fun Inspiration, Fun Jokes, Fun Motivation, Fun Status, Fun Ideas, Fun Theme Tunes, Fun Team is followed by a PM Celebrity Gossip, sharing reputable project managers’ experience and projects’ successful fun stories. You can really relate or have an aha! moment in these gossips.
I warmly recommend it! It works both in project management and in overcoming storms at home. My kid will certainly respond with a smile when, in a moment of unhappiness, I’ll point a finger at her with ”don’t you dare smile, do not even think about smiling”. Enjoy the book!