Resources for Remote Work (March 2020)

Resources for Remote Work (March 2020)

We’re living in extraordinary times, and many people will be working from home for the first time. Trust me, working from home is great. But it is a shift in mentality. And we’re all in this together. I decided it would be OK to share some free and paid resources that you might find useful to help you keep your projects and teams moving forward, wherever you find yourself based over the coming weeks. Mike Clayton has drafted a 7 step response plan for project managers* to prepare your projects and teams. “Hope is not a strategy,” he writes. Zoom* is one of the online tools I use for meetings. They have a basic plan that gives you 40 minute meetings for free (or unlimited time if it’s just two of you on the call). They’ve removed that restriction for schools in certain countries, so if you are part of the education community, check out if that applies to you. They are limiting people joining Zoom calls by phone though, so this is a free option that will...
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Great leaders rise during a crisis

Great leaders rise during a crisis

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Elbert Hubba ​As COVID-19 has put most of the Western world in lockdown, managers, leaders and their teams are finding themselves with a plethora of new challenges. People have to quickly adapt to working from home, protect the physical and emotional well-being of themselves and others, revamp businesses to better serve the public and simply staying afloat. When a crisis hits it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, to let our emotions run away with us and to get distracted by the many threats and limitations we face. And whereas our physical safety will always come first we have to be determined to not let fear dominate us. Out of crises and extreme threats can emerge incredible opportunities for individuals, organisations and for society as a whole. As we navigate our way through uncertainty, we must seek not just to overcome the crisis, but to learn and grow from it - and that’s exactly what good leaders help us do. Leaders always put people firstJohn Maxwell, author of 21 Irrefutable Laws of...
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The Social Project Manager [Interview]

The Social Project Manager [Interview]

This interview was first published in 2015. How do you balance the need to collaborate with the governance and control that’s required in a project environment? That’s the question answered by Peter Taylor’s new book, The Social Project Manager. Today I’m interviewing Peter, whom you might know as The Lazy Project Manager. He’s a bit of a character on the UK project management scene and a respected author and commentator particularly since, like me, he also does the job. I’m delighted to have had the chance to talk to him again, so here we go. Peter, we last spoke about your books a while back when ‘Get Fit With The Lazy Project Manager’ came out. Now you’ve written another book! How do you find the time? Well I am ‘productively lazy’ as you know! Actually I find writing a relaxing and inspiring activity, especially when I write about something I feel passionate about. Add to that the fact that I spend a lot of time travelling and being on a plane for hours on end which is a perfect period...
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Get Your Projects Fit with The Lazy Project Manager

Get Your Projects Fit with The Lazy Project Manager

This interview was first published in 2014. I am not fit. Since having my two boys I am heavier than I have ever been, except while pregnant. My only exercise is balancing in small spaces while standing on the train to work. I fuel getting up for the night feeds with cereal bars and chocolate croissants. Luckily, my projects are healthier than I am. All projects benefit from a health check now and again. Peter Taylor, the Lazy Project Manager, has just written a book about it, Get Fit with The Lazy Project Manager. I spoke to him about how to make sure our projects are as healthy as possible and don’t become the ‘ex-projects’ of tomorrow. Peter, how does the Lazy Project Manager get fit? Well, not through excessive physical activity in my case, although there is nothing wrong with that at all of course. The new book is a look at the reason, the value, the process and the opportunities to assess the ‘health’ of your projects in order to sleep easier at night, safe in the knowledge...
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Project Roles & Their Responsibilities

Project Roles & Their Responsibilities

You’ve got a project to do. But who is going to execute that plan and turn the abstract into the practical? Your project team: the most valuable resource for your project. If you’ve been tasked with a project and think you can do it on your own, then you’re in for problems. No matter the size of the project, there are schedules and resources to manage, which is a full-time job. Then there are the people who take the various tasks and see them to completion: they need managing too. Project management requires a variety of roles, and each has their own responsibilities so that everything can progress as smoothly as possible. Therefore, before you begin that project, take a moment to read about the different project roles and their responsibilities. As an added bonus, we’ll detail the tools that can help each of those roles be more productive. Project Sponsor While there might be a more superior position, like executive sponsor, for most projects there is a project sponsor sitting on top of the project roles...
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Construction Sites Still Open! For Now

Construction Sites Still Open! For Now

I’m sure at 8:30pm last night we were all tuned into the announcement made by Boris Johnson, announcing the new measures giving only four reasons to be able to leave your home. One of these reasons was so you can travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”. However, the line between absolutely necessary and not absolutely necessary seems to be blurred. With some self-declaring themselves necessary and opening up shop this morning. Good news for our colleagues in the construction industry At the minute construction sites remains open. People in the construction industry, of course, want to remain open and believe they can do so whilst keeping in line with the new social distancing guidelines. Robert Jenrick, the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, tweeted shortly after the prime minister’s television address to the nation on 23rd March: “Advice for the housing, construction & building maintenance industries: If you can work from home, do so. If you are working on site, you can continue to do so. But follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing.” For PM’s...
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Here’s how to use all this free time you have now that you’re working from home

Here’s how to use all this free time you have now that you’re working from home

First of all, wow. You have so much free time now! No commuting time. No having to put on pants! FREEDOM! What are you going to do with it? You have to be disciplined about your work hours, but once you are off, you are OFF! So! Restaurants and bars are closed! That’s a bummer. I went to the asian grocery store yesterday and ALL OF THEIR RAMEN was gone. People! Eventually you are going to get sick of ramen! Please don’t make ramen the only thing you eat! I know you are worried about food costs. But in many cities now it is illegal to evict if you don’t pay your rent. And we might be getting a stimulus check from the government too! So… please just get some fresh veggies, chop them and stick them in the freezer if you don’t want them now. You can put them on top of your ramen! I recommend learning how to cook. Here are some of my favorite recipe books! Please get them from Powells.com instead of Amazon,...
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