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Click on the buttons below to find the route to happy project management
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Do you fit any of these categories?
  • Someone who has never run a project before but wants to get started
  • Someone wanting to ensure they optimise costs and save money with their next project
  • Someone who is carrying out a significant piece of work that strays from their normal day to day activity
  • Someone who is new to project management and wants a clear and quick method to start, progress and deliver a project
  • Someone who wants to take a more 'pragmatic' approach to delivering successful and happy projects
  • Someone who is taking on a project in their home or leisure environment
If you fit any of these categories then this book is for you…230+ pages of clear and accessible “how to” documentation that I am sure will make you very happy.
Throughout my career I have always taken a pragmatic approach to managing projects that, while not cutting corners, does attempt to focus on the core objectives and does not “over gild the lily” by using too much administration when you are delivering straightforward projects.

While the general theme of the book is the delivery of projects in an ICT (Information and Communications Technology) environment the book can just as easily be used for projects within your own work, home and leisure environment without any aspect of ICT coming into play.

As the book’s title implies the aim is also to make the delivering of a project a ”happy” experience. This is achieved by ensuring the requirements and definitions are as clear and precise as possible. In this way the subsequent “nitty gritty” steps are less onerous and more manageable. In addition, by getting it as precise as possible at the outset, you will accrue financial, quality and time benefits which would, I hope, make you even ”happier”.

The financial benefits can be achieved through
1. Better management of risks and issues
2. Clarity of thought regarding the requirements (and thus the tangible end products of the project)
3. Delivering on time and to budget - or less than budget with a little bit of luck!)

This book is intended to demystify project management, to help you see it as a pleasure and not a pain and, overall, to have a real sense of achievement by taking a project from a blank sheet of paper to the delivered solution.

Done well you may even exceed your expectations and not be able to stop laughing!
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My name is Peter Spencer. I am an independent consultant with many years of experience managing people and projects in a variety of sectors. I started in 1968 and still enjoy shaping and delivering projects. I’ve used this experience to create “The Happy Project Manager”. My main focus has been to simplify and demystify the process so anyone can use it.

The early years

After leaving a Fashion college in London in 1965 I started work as a tailor in Savile Row, I then worked for Fords on their car assembly lines in Dagenham and after that exhilarating experience went to Marconi’s research laboratories at Great Baddow in Essex to operate computers (an English Electric Leo Marconi KDF9 to be precise).

The computing years

In 1969 I moved from Marconi, in Essex, to IBM in Hampshire to work at their new International Data Centre This facility provided computing and telecommunications support to IBM’s operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This led to me working in some of IBM’s, and Europe’s, largest data and network centres.

In 1989 I took my internal data centre experience and went to work in IBM’s Professional Services organisation at South Bank in London. There I provided support to IBM’s clients in the areas of project management, data centre management, systems management and ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) strategy.

The consulting years

In 1993 I left IBM and set up as an independent consultant doing work, similar to the above, for a variety of clients in a variety of sectors. These include banking, insurance, retail, local government, pharmaceuticals, airline support, telecommunications, engineering and utilities.

This book is based on these experiences and takes a pragmatic approach to setting up and delivering projects and, more importantly, enjoying the process and being ”happy” whilst carrying out the work.

My project experiences at work have carried over into my private life and been applied to a variety of activities not least moving house, in our case from England to France back in 2003, and other non-trivial activities such as selling houses, buying cars and even planning the design and development of our garden in France.

In addition I helped plan my daughter’s wedding day not least a tour, for the guests, on a big red London double decker bus taking in the key sites of central London with me providing historical notes heavily cribbed from Wikipedia….…oh, and planning for walking holidays in the Lake District and Skye.

The structured approach that I have used throughout this book, has helped considerably, not least when dealing with the administrative systems of the French state such as tax, health and local government (Napoleon has a lot to answer for).

I truly hope, and believe; you will find something of benefit in these pages that you can use at home, work or play and you will be ”happy” with your investment.
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The reasons why you should treat yourself to this book can be simply stated as:
  • It provides you with a step by step guide to running a project
  • It includes real life examples related to using project management at home, work or play
  • I have included a worked example (of buying a house) mapped across the relevant chapters
  • It will show you how to save money (in any field) using project management techniques
  • There are checklists to help you every step you take
  • The processes involved are clearly drawn
  • There is a set of annotated project definition “slides” to help you run your own workshops
  • There is a set of free documentation in the appendix
  • The techniques are easily tailorable to your specific needs
  • The appendix has numerous references and links to help you develop your skills and explore project management further
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4 Steps

In the book you will find that I have structured the project process into four keys steps:

Step 1: The big idea.

This is where you state your requirements as clearly as possible to avoid any ambiguity

Step 2: What do we need to do ?

Here we take the requirements and shape them into a clear set of end products and in the process define the tasks needed to get us from A(where we are now) to B(the solution you want to create)

Step 3: Getting ready.

To ensure we head off on the right foot we need to prepare the ground before taking on any tasks. In this step I describe the various prerequisites you will need in place to give you the maximum chance of delivering your project to the required specification.

Step 4: Making it happen

In this step I describe the actions taking in delivering your project on time, to budget and to specification.