Peter suggests that project managers need to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and should take the approach of ‘productive laziness’
When I led a global PMO for a major organisation with over 100 project managers I noticed a significant fact. About half of the project managers were reasonably successful in delivering their projects (we weren’t perfect but we did do a pretty good job) and they were working, on average, a normal working week – 40 hours or so. Now projects are not flat in their time demands and so there were periods of peak activity and there were quieter periods but on average a normal working pattern.
Now the other half of the project managers were working significantly longer hours and guess what, they were being no more effective or successful.
Looking in to this in more detail it became apparent that the cause of this was something that I recognised from my early days in project management, lack of focus in the right areas and becoming involved in too much of the detail. The risk to new project managers is that they lack the trust to delegate to the project team, that they involve themselves in too much communication, and that they make themselves a bottleneck for decision making.
‘Productive laziness’ is the application of the right project management approach for the greater good of the project and the project manager.