Friday, May 16, 2014

64: Beginning, Middle and End

The Project
I currently find myself at the beginning of one project (Topsham Walking Tour Guides), the middle of another (Sourdough Bread Made Easy) and (hopefully) the end of a third project (Project Program and Portfolio Management in easy steps), which is currently being proof read by the publishers. 

Projects and project teams have different needs and require different skills from the project manager in the early, middle and later stages of a project.  In the early stages team building skills are usually required; the middle stages require problems and conflicts to be recognised and addressed; and the later stages usually require some team motivation.  

Poor project managers jump right in and push too much in the early stages, instead of letting things flow naturally.  The wise project manager lets things take their natural course.  Once the project is underway, they can step back as much as possible, recognising that needless intervention will only confuse the team.  Towards the end poor project managers can again spoil the work by getting too eager and pushy.  

The Way  
The wise project manager does not try to do too much and does not worry about getting the credit for having done something.  Because he has no expectations, no outcome can be called a failure.  

Peace is easy to maintain.  
It is easy to plan things before they start.  

That which is brittle is easily broken,  
That which is small is easily scattered.  
Act before it happens.  
Put things in order before they are confused.  

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  
He who acts with motive will suffer defeat.  
He who seizes will lose.  
Thus the sage acts without motive,  
And so does not fail.  

Friday, May 09, 2014

63: Handling Difficulties

All projects run into difficulties from time to time and poor project managers may well be responsible for some of these difficulties themselves.  Some project managers actually seem to encourage difficulties by their actions.  Even worse, some project managers try to ignore difficult situations, but this can result in the need for hectic activities from the team to sort out the problem when they finally face up to it.  

The Way  
The wise project manager knows how to act effectively and stays aware and remaining unbiased.  By being aware he will know what is happening; and will not act rashly.  By being unbiased, he can act in a balanced and centred manner.  When difficulties do occur, he breaks things down into their constituent parts and deals with each in turn.  

Act without motive.  
Work without working.  
Taste the tasteless.  
Make big the small, make many the few.  

Repay resentment with virtue.  
Plan the difficult as if it is easy.  
In the world difficult things must be treated as easy.  
In the world big things must be treated as small.  

Thus the sage never does the big,  
And can therefore accomplish the big.  
Easy promise is rarely reliable.  
Taking things carelessly ensures great difficulty.  

Thus the sage considers things as difficult,  
Therefore never has difficulty.  

Friday, May 02, 2014

62: Gift of Wisdom

The Project
I was getting anxious that I hadn’t heard anything back from my publishers since I uploaded the final version of Project Program and Portfolio Management. But when I called them they hadn’t even had a chance to look at it yet, so they’ve missed the April publication date but no worries they should have it out in May.

Some project managers tend to abandon anyone who doesn’t seem to understand how they do things on their project.  This shows that they themselves don’t understand how things happen.  Everyone has the ability to work things out for themselves.  Conflicts will resolve themselves sooner or later.  Even without the light of consciousness, people will grow and improve.  

The Way  
The wise project manager knows that sharing the way with others is the greatest gift he can give. He is aware of how things happen and this makes his words more potent and his behaviour more effective.  Knowing how things work gives the project manager more real power and ability than any number of degrees or titles.  This is why people in every culture and time have honoured those who know how things happen and the wise project manager understands this.  

Tao is the source of the ten thousand things.  
It is the treasure of the good man,  
And the protection of the bad.  

Fine words can abound,  
Good deeds can gain benefit.  
People exist who are not good,  
Do not abandon them.  

Therefore on the day the emperor is crowned,  
And the three officers of state installed,  
Do not salute them with jade and a team of four horses,  
But remain still and offer the Tao.