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The Project 50 (Reinventing Work)

Most of us are familiar with Tom Peters work. We may have read one or more of his books or have attended one of his seminars. In this book, The Project 50, part of a larger series, he takes his reader though 50 things s/he can do to turn any kind of project into a WOW project. He divides these in four categories:

Create!

Sell!

Implement!

Exit!

Of course, the first thing you need is a project. It may be something simple like re-designing an internal form, or something huge, larger-than-life (or it seems like that), such as opening 3 new branches of your firm, one of them international. Many people have found that taking the project that seems small, insignificant, or the one that nobody wants is the best way to create a WOW project. They will attract little attention from the higher powers, they will not be monitored every second and you will find enough freedom to succeed.

Create! It all starts with R-E-F-R-A-M-I-N-G the project, talking to all kinds of people, and he means all kinds of people, from the service implementer waitress at the local café, to the big boss of the auto parts factory your friend works for. You may be wondering what for, meeting with all these people will take time and effort, time you may not think you have. Different people can PROVIDE you with DIFFERENT ways of T-H-I-N-K-I-N-G. New ways to look at your project, new ways to solve it. Start collecting things you find interesting for whatever reason, put it all in a big binder that your entire team can flip through and be inspired.

Surround yourself by GRRREAT people. Find a M-E-N-T-O-R. You can’t be without one. They can provide guidance, they can work as vending machines when you think the WORLD is coming to an END. Bounce ideas of people, ANY kind of people who will listen. Test your ideas, LISTEN to reactions and thoughts, take them back to your office and make notes. ALWAYS MAKE NOTES. Did they get your mission statement? DID THEY? Rework it until they do. NEVER leave the drafting table. NEVER think you are done. NEVER set anything in stone. NEVER give up. NEVER stop.

Sell! A VERY IMPORTANT step in creating your WOW project. If you don’t sell your project, there is NO PROJECT! Know your story. Write it all in a 5 x 7 inch card, bullet point-style, and be ready to present it on an elevator ride or in a shorter period of time, should the perfect situation arise. WHAT IS YOUR STORY?

Implement! At this point you know what your are, you know where you are going and you know what your mission is all about. It is now time to implement! This is the moment in which you sit down with your team and figure out EACH INDIVIDUAL TASK. It is imperative that you B-R-E-A-K-I-T-A-L-L-D-O-W-N into smaller more manageable chores. This will facilitate the final outcome of your WOW project, will give your team things to do, since YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL, and will give you the opportunity to test and re-test the different aspects of your project.

Exit! THE project has come to an end. THE world is happy. YOU are successful. YOUR boss is thrilled. It is now time to say G-O-O-D-B-Y-E to your baby. Not so easy as it sounds. You need to find somebody to fill your shoes, the perfect fit should be made in order for a project to continue its success. Then you can graciously and quietly exit, only

TO

START

ALL

OVER

AGAIN!

During the first few chapters or points I could not help but feel overwhelmed. Reminding myself that Peters mentioned I DID NOT have to complete all points in order to have a successful project, but still feeling somewhat lost. Lost in the fact that he expects me (the reader) to go out into the WORLD, meet L-O-T-S of PEOPLE, who I then have to run through my project or idea of a project and expect input and opinions that I can and should incorporate into my solution. WOW. I wondered who has that kind of time and patience?

Soon enough I realized, among all his reds, bolds, italics, CAPS, C-A-P-S, and many other styles (which I have included in my review to give you a glimpse of what you can expect should you choose to read the book) that he was simply giving me all the tools he thinks are necessary for a project leader to have in one way or another. By choosing different sets of his 50 points, you can create and find your own project leadership. It does help, at least, spark some ideas of what you can do when you are stuck on something, fixed with an idea (and I am not talking about a specific layout per se here) or in need of a little direction.


Book Information
The Project 50 (Reinventing Work): Fifty Ways to Transform Every “Task” into a Project That Matters! by Tom Peters
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (September 1, 1999)
ISBN: 0375407731

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ARCHIVE ID 2037 FILED UNDER Book Reviews
PUBLISHED ON Aug.03.2004 BY bryony
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