“The project manager who smiled” by Bob Taylor

-What are you reading now, Oxana?project manager who smiled

-“The Project Manager who smiled”.

-Did you write the book? asked my good friend Frank.

-I wish. It’s Bob 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 met it and Bob Taylor at the beginning of my project management path. Hence the reason I share it here.

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 walking out of a room full of team members, closing the door and in a loud voice pretending 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.

Recommend it! Works both in project management and in overcoming storms at home. My kid will certainly respond with a smile if, 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!


Welcome to My Project Delight

welcome to MPDI became a project manager by accident. Quite an intro, i can hear you say. Bear with me. More than a decade ago,  the only opening at an organisation i wanted to work for was mysteriously called ‘project manager’. I applied, successfully passed the competition and they offered me the job. I hardly realised back then what  the job is about and what to expect. I was all smiles on my first day at the new job. The organisation did its best, but it was also new and in the process of organising itself and the newly arrived team. I continued to put on a brave face. Very soon an avalanche of a multi million Euro projects portfolio, i was supposed to “manage”, challenged my smile with a smirk: “Let’s see your talents now”. Needless to say that as soon as my previous employer got back to me, I returned to the job i felt comfortable at.

In time, project management became a professionally  delightful, although accidental, love. This perspective made me cherish my first experiences. I wish back then i had a mentor  or coach to talk to, a source of info which would explain the tips and tricks of the trade, a network of beginners who faced the same “smirking face”.  This blog is inspired by my younger self and the every day learner i am aspiring to be.

The kings and queens of project management will find this blog boring, and they are always welcome to share a tip or two.  “Tips are like hugs, without the awkward body contact” I once read next to a tips box in a Juice Bar in an airport. So are the tips on this blog. Sometimes they are just my two cents :). Anyway, let’s get tipping for a delightful project management experience!