“The project manager who smiled” by Peter 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 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!

Welcome to My Project Delight

I became a project manager by accident. Many years 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. The organisation did its best, but it was also going through change management. 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 professional delight and I always cherished my first experience. I wish back then I had a mentor or coach, or resources, which would explain the tips and tricks of the trade.  This blog is inspired by my younger self and the every day learner I am aspiring to be. Myprojectdelight.com is my Giving Pledge.

I manage projects mainly in the development management environment, which fosters numerous transferable skills and competences for both private and public sectors.

Generosity and knowledge sharing are my values. I offer tips whenever I can. “Tips are like hugs, without the awkward body contact” I once read next to a tips box in a cafe in an airport. So are the tips on this blog.

Enjoy it, thrive and share it around you!