Friday, May 26, 2017

Doing Little

Walking Rugby

Walking rugby really seems to be taking off, we had ten people again last night, so 5-a-side on a 20 x 40 pitch worked well. And everyone is enjoying it! But I digress as I was really going to talk about doing little.

The Way  
Some people get confused when a project manager appears to be doing very little and yet things still seem to get done. But the wise project manager knows that is how things work. The Tao does nothing, yet everything gets done.  

The poor project manager appears to be too busy, always rushing about so nothing actually gets done. When the wise project manager finds himself getting too busy, he takes a step back, returns to selfless silence and centers himself. Being centred creates order and when there is order, there is little to do.

The Tao  
Lao Tzu tells us:  

Tao abides in non-action,  
Yet nothing is left undone.  
When kings are able to conform to this,  
The ten thousand things will develop naturally.  
Transformed, yet wishing to achieve,  
I shall repress them with the simplicity of the nameless.  
The simplicity of the nameless,  
Acts without desire.  
Without desire,  
The world will be at peace.  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Subtle Insight

Walking Rugby
The games is starting to gather momentum! We had 10 of our walkers turned up last night for a coaching session and game run by Jason Luff (former Exeter Chiefs player and now Regional Development Officer for Devon RFU). Lots of pics taken for publicity and we should get a write up in the local paper and Estuary magazine. And we are going to keep on training and playing through the summer. Much better than cricket!

As we get further into a project it is not unusual to find out that we don’t have enough human resources or budget to achieve everything that we would like to accomplish. A poor project manager might try and push the team to achieve more that they are capable of and they will probably fail. A wise project manager will work out the available options and take them to the business for a decision on which to take.  

The Way  
All behaviors contain their opposites: a show of strength suggests insecurity and what goes up must come down. The wise project manager knows that if he wishes to prosper he needs to be generous. Pushy, bullying project managers often have disastrous projects. As they say: be nice to people on the way up as you are likely to meet them again on the way back down. 

The Tao  
Lao Tzu tells us:  

Strength ensured,   
Weakening may be considered.  
Prosperity ensured,  
Ruin may be considered.  

This might be called a subtle insight.  
Weakness conquers strength.  
And a country’s weapons,  
Should be hidden from the people.  

Friday, May 12, 2017

Keep It Simple

As a project manager I always tried to keep things simple. Yes I had a detailed project schedule for myself but I created a simplified high-level version for the project stakeholders and extract detailed deliverables lists for the project team to work from. That way it keeps things simple and easy to follow. 

Poor project managers get caught up in the drama and excitement of new ideas. They always want to try something new and different. They fail to observe what is going on around them, so they don’t see how things happen. They confuse the people around them and there is a loss of harmony in the project team. 

The Way  
The good project manager stays with the single principle and understands the team process. He keeps away from chaos and conflicts. He keeps things simple and clear for the team and so the work of the team progresses smoothly. When the project ends, the team are in good spirits and say “we did it!”, for indeed they did.

The Tao  
Lao Tzu tells us:  

Hold the great image,  
All under heaven will come.  
They come without harm,  
In happiness and peace.  
Passing strangers might stop for music and food.  

Trying to describe the Tao, insipid!  
As if without taste.  
Look, it cannot be seen.  
Listen, it cannot be heard.  
Use cannot exhaust it.  

Friday, May 05, 2017

The Single Principle

The Project
I'm now on the first draft of the last chapter of EVM in easy steps. If anyone out there fancies reviewing it for me (particularly if you've used it) please let me know.

The Way  
Good project managers spend a lot of time communicating with their project stakeholders. Keeping them in the picture by explaining what the project team are doing and listening to them to make sure the project delivers what the business needs. This is in line with the single principle. 

The single principle is found everywhere and everything works according to it. You cannot own the single principle and it does not own you. It is great because it is universal and all-inclusive. The way benefits all without return and without prejudice.  

The wise project manager follows this principle and does not act selfishly. He works with everyone, not just the people he likes. He does not seek to control people and knows that true leadership is not about winning. He works to create an awareness of what is happening on the project and in the business. He gives a selfless service to all .

The Tao  
Lao Tzu tells us:  

The great Tao flows everywhere,  
The ten thousand things rely upon it,  
But it allows them to act freely.  

It achieves its work, but takes no credit.  
It clothes and nourishes the ten thousand things,  
But demands no sovereignty.  

Can it be called insignificant?  
The ten thousand things return to it,  
But it does not rule them.  

Can it be named for this greatness?  
It does not regard itself as great,  
Therefore it can achieve greatness.