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Book Review: The Lazy Project Manager

Author: peter Taylor, PMP
130 approx pages
ISBN: 978-1-906821-13-5

“Productive laziness is all about success, but success with far less effort….” So begins the introduction of Peter Taylor’s first book in which he explains his approach to managing projects.

I was initially discouraged by the ‘lazy’ in the title because for me it has negative connotations but according to the author, being a lazy project manager is all about being focused and concentrating your efforts where it really matters, where they make the most impact.

For sure the book is not a training manual. Nor does it prepare the reader for any formal examination in project management. And the author is very clear that that is not its intention.

His references to Sun Tzu, Generalfeldmarschall Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke, and Baloo, the bear from The Jungle Book justify his reasonings on managing projects and the book contains many personal anecdotes that give credence to his theories.

His approach to project management is a combination of the Pareto principle and the concept that all projects are thick at one end, much, much thinner in the middle and then thick again at the far end.

The author recommends the focus areas throughout the project life cycle from the thick end at the beginning of the project, through the thin middle where most effort is done by the project team, to the fat end at the end of the project where more effort by the project manager is needed to close the project.

Throughout the book the author touches on many aspects of managing projects, in no great detail but in enough depth to give the reader an understanding and hopefully pique the interest for further reading and research.

Focus area that are described in more detail include:


  • First appearances being important
  • Project Planning
  • Effective communication is paramount
  • Scope creep needs to be controlled
  • Taking control of the project, the Sponsor and the Customer
  • A happy team being a productive team
  • Staying calm in any crisis
  • Lessons learned and the great quote from Donald Rumsfeld, “As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns. The ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

In the spirit of productive laziness, the book ends with a series of quick tips to productive laziness, followed by a condensed version for the really productively lazy.

The layout of the book is easy on the eye and the writing style conversational.

It's a steal at the price and is an ideal ‘give-away’ for your next project kick-off meeting.

The Lazy Project Manager is awarded 4 out of 5 bananas



Book review by Jeb Riordan


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