What can you learn in just 6 words? Lonnie Pacelli, President and CEO of Leading on the Edge International, says that there is a lot. This anecdote inspired him:
“Legend has It that Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a story in six lines by friends. Hemingway answered the challenge with the following story: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”
Lonnie’s new book Six-Words Lessons for Project Managers is a collection of 100 lessons that cover the entire project management lifecycle, including requirements, project closure, and managing stakeholders.
It’s concise so you can read it quickly. This is again inspired by the micro-communications in our lives today – text messages, wall posts, tweets. It’s also not too expensive so you won’t feel deprived. The book could be used as a collection of mantras or as a basis for team building exercises and training material. It doesn’t appear to be available on Amazon UK, but you can order it directly from Consetta or Amazon US.
Lonnie’s work has been something I have known about since 2005, when I interviewed him to write my book. (About estimate to complete – more details later). His straight-talking style has always been something I appreciated, and this book is no exception. He doesn’t mince words and tells it like it really is.
Project management software can save you a lot of time. It is absurd to think you can manage complex projects using Excel or Word. Learn how to implement a PM software package that will help you effectively (Lesson 28).
It’s also very funny. Lesson 33: “Didn’t include that in the budget.” Yikes!”
These messages are serious, and they are condensed into short bursts to make it easier for those with shorter attention spans. Take this example:
Estimate to complete doesn’t include remaining budget. Inexperienced PMs often subtract actual budget from total budget to calculate ETC, which is likely false. Lesson 34: Make sure the estimate to complete is an overall sum of all work remaining on the project and not just what is in the budget.
You might not find anything new if you’re an experienced project manager. I consider myself to be among the enlightened and it doesn’t hurt to refresh my knowledge on the basics and the more advanced topics on a regular basis. Lonnie teaches lessons about being a project manager as well as project management. This point was a great reminder of what it takes to lead a project group.
PMs who hog praise and then throw the team members under the bus for failing are not respected by the team. PMs should openly praise good things and take responsibility for bad ones (Lesson 90).
Are you a project manager or do you just do project management?
Elizabeth Harrin, BA and MBCS is the author of Project Management in the Real World. She has almost a decade of experience in financial service projects. She is a Prince2 practitioner, and has been trained in Six Sigma process improvement methodology. Elizabeth has managed a variety IT and process improvement projects, including e-commerce development and communications. She is also an expert in managing business change. Elizabeth is a member the British Computer Society. She spent eight years in financial services, including two in Paris, France. Now, she works in London in healthcare. She blogs at A Girl’s Guide for Managing Projects. Elizabeth holds a BA degree from the University of York. She is currently studying part time for an MA at Roehampton University in London. Her research interests include the roles and responsibilities and interactions of stakeholders across culturally diverse and distributed project teams.