"Manage. Lead. Transform: A Project Manager's Guide to Reducing Project Timelines by 50% or More" is a guide to improving your project success, whether you are a project manager, C-suite executive, or frontline employee. The book introduces readers to a highly insightful three-level framework designed to maximize focus on "good work" while managing time so you can get to the next project deadline without breaking a sweat.
To most people, Manage Lead Transform: A Project Manager’s Guide to Reducing Project Timelines by 50% or More sounds like the title of yet another boring technical book for project managers. Don’t let the title fool you, however, because this small book packs some very big insights. Inside Manage Lead Transform readers will learn how to significantly improve their ability to complete projects on time. Using a three-level framework, the book guides readers through the process of maximizing efficiency in any project of your business or personal life.
What is Manage Lead Transform About?
“Everyone knows ‘what’ should be done but still the ‘what’ does not seem to get done.”
— from Manage Lead Transform
Despite all of the research, books, tools, certifications and top 10 “how to be more productive” lists on the internet, work projects still fail at a shockingly dismal rate. Manage Lead Transform, written by two project management experts, is designed to diagnose the root cause of most project failures and provide a way for leaders to escape the cycle. The book was written with project managers in mind, but all of the jargon is stripped out, for the most part, so anyone can understand how to improve their productivity.
The core problem in completing projects, according to Manage Lead Transform, is managers still run under the assumption the simple act of assigning tasks gets things done. This assumption ignores the two problem areas humans have while completing projects: time and focus. Lack of both can result in a team bogged down with too many projects and prone to lateness and distraction.
The key, according to the book, starts on the frontlines instead of at the manager’s desk. Leaders should empower their frontline with specific tasks assigned to specific individuals connected directly to strategic objectives, avoiding “busy work”. Leaders should also take ownership of the planning process, guiding their workers around a central call-to-action driving the entire organization to execute great (high-priority) work.
Reaching the point where much of the workday is spent doing high-priority work is the overall goal of this book. By reaching this goal, the project management process will truly produce projects to transform an organization.
Author Shakeel Akhtar, PMP is the CEO and co-founder of P3Alpha Consulting, a company specializing in project management. Akhtar has over 15 years of project management experience with various industries. Currently, his focus is on training project managers and developing project management offices (PMO’s).
C0-author Ayesha Hakim, MBA, PMP is the president and co-founder of P3Alpha Consulting. Hakim is an experienced project manager and speaker who also specializes in developing project management offices. Hakim is Agile-certified and has used that knowledge base to help companies transition successfully to the Agile approach.
What Was Best About Manage Lead Transform?
Manage Lead Transform is a brilliantly simple book taping into the experience of both authors. Unlike others on this subject, this book doesn’t get lost in its own jargon or technical lingo. Instead, readers are treated to a simple 3-level framework with actionable recommendations to be used as soon as the book is finished.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
Manage Lead Transform does an excellent job of avoiding the complexity often surrounding its subject matter and bringing the discussion of project management back to reality. In the end, project managers just want projects done on time. The book is written in accessible language for non-project management professionals. This definitely helps expand its message to other audiences — including small business owners who often lack training in this area. The scope of the book, however, is limited to knowledge workers. An interesting challenge would be to see if the principles presented would apply to other types of work like creative or production work.
Why Read Manage Lead Transform?
The unique approach of Manage Lead Transform is one of the primary reasons to consider this book, even if a prospective reader wants nothing to do with project management philosophy. For a project management book, Manage Lead Transform offers surprisingly simple, but highly insightful, recommendations for project managers and non-project managers alike.Unlike other project management books, it is a bit more ambitious. The overall goal of the authors isn’t just to help managers finish the next project faster. It’s to help the whole organization run better by connecting those everyday tasks we do (like answer a client’s phone call or make a presentation) to the larger purpose of a high-performing organization. This is refreshing to see, especially in a field that is notorious for focusing too much on the tiny details.
My company recently moved away from “Waterfall” project management to Agile, and we have seen a huge improvement in the success of our projects. In case your wondering, we are using Ravetree as our project management software. We looked at Jira, but it was too confusing, and only built for software teams, whereas Ravetree was much more flexible. Agile is definitely the future as far as I’m concerned. I’ve definitely seen the light!
You can only create change if you start it. And the best way to do that is through better management.