Hello and Welcome

I'm an ex-Project Manager who currently moved on to Agile Consulting and this blog is my sounding board. This blog was started in 2008 journal-ling through my project management journey, today it combines both- my passion for all things project management as well as looking into the agile way of transformation and undergoing changes.

Here I write about my experiences, struggles, failures and joys. I also interview, do book reviews and keep you updated.

I usually post twice a week: Monday and Thursday unless I am too caught up which is often these days

If I'm not working; I can be found reading with a cup of tea. I love to read, push the envelope one step further, work on new ideas, experiment, travel and explore life.

Did you know you can now buy Stepping into Project Management at Amazon Kindle.

You can reach me at steppingintopm@gmail.com

What I have been reading and why it matters to you

I wanted to share with you some random links that makes sense when you look at it from your personal development point of view.

For success, life not only has to be organized, you have to be in a very stable mental space and none of them just happen to happen. I hope you find something in these stories that helps you find that zone. 
And looking for a real pick me up, don't miss this. Malcolm Gladwell being interviewed by Tim Ferris.

"For one hour of writing, there's three hours of thinking". 

This is How I Work- Peter Taylor


Peter Taylor is a PMO expert currently leading a Global PMO, with 200 project managers acting as custodians for nearly 5,000 projects around the world, for Kronos Inc. - a billion-dollar software organisation delivering Workforce Management Solutions.  He is also the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’.

In the last 4 years Peter has delivered over 200 lectures around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’. More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com  – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

When do you wake up every day? What’s your alarm set to? 
I don’t have a pattern since I am moving regularly between the UK and the US, plus a few other countries in between just to make it interesting, but I am a morning person so wake up easily and can adapt to whatever time zone I am in.

Tea or Coffee? 
Coffee, most definitely coffee.

Any rituals to set the tone for the day in the morning? 
I like to get ready for the day, then check emails, deal with anything urgent and then take some time to go out for, and enjoy, a coffee, before returning for the working day.

When do you feel most productive? 
Well I said I was a morning person, which I am, but creatively I develop a lot of ideas on flights and also at night so productivity happens at various times.

Where do you work? 

I am based at home and have a pleasant first floor office in my house, but I also work out of various offices and customer locations as needed – as long as I have my phone and laptop work can happen.

Three must have items in your desk 
A clean writing pad, pens and laptop – phones come next on the list – oh and a webcam (visual engagement is so much better than just audio) – I know that is more than three items but I do need them all.

What do you listen to while working? 
A wide variety of music, in fact when writing one of my books you will often find a credit to a band or singer who ‘helped’ me on the journey to completing a manuscript. I find that if I ever get stuck on a problem or in the middle of writing them something ‘heavy’ (Metallica for example) somehow frees my mind and gets me going again. That said my music library is extensive and varied so there is always something good to listen to (well I think it is good but we all have different musical tastes).

What are you reading currently?
I usually have three or more books on the go at any time, something on my Kindle, and an audio book for when I travel, and a business book (printed) for education. Right now I am about to start ‘How to Lead a Quest: a handbook for pioneering executives’ by Dr Jason Fox.

How do you organize? 
‘Productively Lazily’ since it is the mantra in my bestselling book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’. I apply the 80/20 as much as I can, focusing on what really matters, daily sorting through what is most important and most impactful and working on that first of all – it works, well it works for me. Just remember the great quote ‘Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something’ Robert Heinlein

Any hacks you prefer for work?
It is not really a hack but I do inject fun as much as possible in my work, surprising my team sometimes with some unusual activities or ideas – the ‘hack’ is to throw people off path to think more creatively and be more productive

What are your favorite gadgets?
I guess it has to be my iPhone for various business and personal uses but generally I am not a gadget person – just give me the laptop and phone and I can work

What apps can you not live without?
Because of my travel activity I use the various airline apps a lot along with my travel company app, but I do love Audible for audio books so that is probably my number one

Any new addition to your routines? 
Always open to changes, apart from the coffee part, but nothing recent

How do you recharge? 
Writing. I always find that being a little creative allows me to relax and recharge.

(Pic courtesy: Peter Taylor)


This is How I work- Lindsay Scott

Lindsay Scott is a Director at Arras People, the programme and project management recruitment specialist in the UK. She’s also founder of the PMO Flashmob and PMO Conference. She is PMI’s PM Network career columnist and writes for TwentyEighty Strategy Execution and Project Challenge. Lindsay is also Co-Editor of the Handbook of People in Project Management

When do you wake up every day? What’s your alarm set to? 
Unfortunately my alarm goes off about 7.15am each morning, which is not necessarily the time I get up! I’m a real night owl so don’t like early mornings at all. I’ve often wondered if I would be better suited to the night shift but my work relies on being around when most other people are.

Tea or Coffee? 
Definitely tea – Yorkshire Tea, decaff with milk. Almost impossible to get in any other part of the world and always appreciated when I return from travels abroad. Us English certainly have a thing about tea 

Any rituals to set the tone for the day in the morning? 
Oh yes, bad habits too – tea, a cigarette and a look at the Times cryptic crossword. If its summer, sat outside overlooking the garden – or if it’s typical Manchester weather, rain, then its quickly out the door to work.

When do you feel most productive? 
I actually feel most productive mid morning and then later on in the evening so I tend to do different types of work at those times. In the morning I do a lot of writing about project management careers for various outlets, the first being the Camel blog. Later in the evening its more about research and reading.

Where do you work? 
I work in different places. We have an office in North Manchester, that’s the main office for Arras People. It’s in a small town, nothing fancy but I have a large desk and lots of in-trays. It looks like chaos but there is a system honestly! I work in London a lot too so there’s time spent working on the train, which I love, two hours of no interruptions because the phone network is so bad. In London I work in an apartment I rent, or grab a desk at the Institute of Directors in London’s Pall Mall (the pink one in Monopoly!). I tend to like working in different places because I’m a firm believer in a change is as good as a rest, especially when you’re trying to be creative in writing articles and suchlike.

Three must have items in your desk.
A cup of tea, lots of pencils and my day workbook.

What do you listen to while working? 
Nothing other than the general chatter of those around me at work or on the train. I’ve never been one for music or the radio playing in the background but can work well if there is. I just tune out.

What are you reading currently? 
I’ve got about three books on the go at the moment. For fiction it’s The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, set in London, an intriguing read so far. For non-fiction but not work related its The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons – I did a Psychology degree many years ago and still pick out books related to that. I’m also dipping in and out of The small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence. A good interpersonal book for any project manager. I’m a big reader so tend to have books on the go on Kindle and the real thing!

How do you organize? 
I tend to use the calendar a lot – Outlook Exchange so it works on every device I have. I’m also a sucker for a good old-fashioned list. I use a workbook – just a jotter from the stationery store and a “5 days a week” list. It’s standard stuff but I tend to list what needs to happen in the week on certain days then add in the activities I need to complete day by day. I often spend 5 minutes at the end of each work day updating the list, moving things around and doing that really satisfactory thing of striking a line through the things I’ve completed.

Any hacks you prefer for work? 
Because I’m working in different places all the time I totally rely on Dropbox to keep everything filed and easily accessible. I can’t bear not being able to lay my hands on things when I need to, plus Dropbox is also great for managing my photos taken by phone which I use for blog articles.

I use social media a lot for work too and I love reading and sharing great blogs. Dlvr is great for managing multiple social media accounts plus I love its Curator tool which allows me to save my favorite feeds, read blog articles and quickly share them across different platforms.

Finally another great tool if you use a lot of imagery in your work is PicMonkey  Although I use Adobe products a lot (Photoshop and Illustrator) you can’t beat Picmonkey for quick and easy image creation.

What are your favorite gadgets?
The usual I think – iPhone, iPad and laptop. I’m Apple on the mobile gadgets and good old fashioned Microsoft on the laptop and PC. I think that’s a Gen X thing! And I love the Kindle for being a good old workhorse of a gadget that withstands some serious knocking about. I’m also doing a lot of filming of sessions for the PMO Flashmob too so now camcorders have become a thing for me. Sennheiser wireless microphones are the best thing I’ve ever bought

What apps can you not love without? 
Oh wow, where do I start. Dropbox, Echofon (for Twitter), Facebook, Times newspaper, Daily Mail newspaper (guilty pleasure!), Weather app from the Met Office (we’re obsessed with the weather!), BBC iPlayer (TV on the go, great for the train), Anagram solver and the Thesaurus app (can’t do the crossword without it). I also like sketching when I’m at a conference – doing basic mindmaps, so I like basic drawing apps for those but no particular favorite (using Paper and Brushes at the moment)

Any new addition to your routines? 
Yes I’ve starting organizing an annual PMO Conference in London –  which has meant I have a whole new type of work to do. I love it. Especially the part where I get to choose what topic areas we’re going to cover and talk to potential speakers about their passions. It’s also meant I get out and about more listening to others speaking at conferences, like the PMO Symposium in the States. I suppose it’s like a big project for me – doing the project rather than writing about project management or recruiting for project managers like in the day job at Arras People. I like to have new things to do – to set new challenges – to blend with the work I’ve been doing for a while (it’s coming up to 15 years at Arras People!)

How do you recharge? 
I’m the queen of chilling out when I need to – or want to – I enjoy watching TV and movies – anything period drama wise and you’ve got me! Love reading of course and at a weekend I love visiting places. In England we have so much history on our doorsteps and under our noses that you just have to get out and explore. Recent weekends away have included the castle where Harry Potter was filmed and the Plague Village. If there is a magnificent garden to visit I’m also right there, and a chance to combine them with a city visit even better. The Real JardΓ­n Botanico de Madrid was a recent visit.

(Pic courtesy: Lindsay Scott)

To read the last interview of this series, please click here.

This Is How I work- Siddharta Govindaraj

 Siddharta Govindaraj is an agile transformation consultant who help leaders meet their business objectives by transforming the way their organisation delivers software. He also started Silver Stripe Software Pvt Ltd, to work further in the area of software delivery

He was nominated for the Brickell Key award in 2011, an award given by the Lean Software Systems Consortium for recognizing achievements in the lean-agile industry and also a Fellow of the Lean Systems Society.

When do you wake up every day? What’s your alarm set to?
Usually between 5:30 to 6:30. I don’t have an alarm. My body clock is pretty good at getting me up in this range.

Tea or Coffee? 
I drink anything. Sometimes tea, sometimes coffee (usually when I’m outside the house), sometimes oats. I recently got my hands on some Kerala cocoa and I’ve been having Xocolatl (Warning: Pure cocoa is BITTER!)
Everyone should taste this to understand just how much sugar gets added to chocolate 😊

Any rituals to set the tone for the day in the morning? 
None. I’m just not the organised type of person to make this happen.

When do you feel most productive? 
Early morning. Late night. Even afternoon. The important thing is that I need 3 hours of continuous undisturbed time. Then I get into the zone and I can go on for hours. During my college days, I once started a project at at 7pm and at around 4am, a bunch of bees decided that my tubelight was the sunrise and invaded my room.

Where do you work? 
I work at home when I’m not at a clients office.

Three must have items in your desk.
I like to use fountain pens. I keep two of them in my bag. One has black ink and a fine nib and the other has a dark green ink and a medium flex nib. Someone has recommended deep red. Hmmm...

What do you listen to while working?
Nothing. I can’t do two things at once. If I play music, I can’t maintain my concentration. But I do listen to a bunch of podcasts while driving.

What are you reading currently?
Lean Change Management by Jason Little.

I met Jason at the Lean Kanban conference in 2011. His writings on agile transformations are the best I’ve read. Highly recommended - http://www.agilecoach.ca/blog/

How do you organize?
I don’t 😲

Any hacks you prefer for work?
I maintain a personal Kanban board when I’m at a client location. I have a really bad memory, so the board is very helpful. You can see a bit of it in the picture below.

What are your favorite gadgets?
 My Nintendo 3DS. Easily the best video games in a portable format. I generally play quite a bit of video games.

What apps can you not live without?
First, the Live Tiles feature on my Windows Phone. Yes, I’m one of the five people in the world who have a Windows Phone. iPhone is too boring and Android is full of malware. The Live Tiles feature is just fantastic because it shows a ton of information on the home screen. I rarely have to open an app.


  • Podcast Lounge – great podcasting app. I listen to podcasts when I’m driving alone. Why waste the drive time?
  • These are the Podcasts I mostly listen to:
  • Freakonomics Radio – interesting topics on a wide variety of topics
  • Harvard Business Review Ideacast – interviews on latest ideas on management
  • The Advanced Selling Podcast – about selling stuff 😊
  • The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast – this is a podcast on board games, which I play quite a bit of

Any new addition to your routines? 
I don’t have a routine to start with πŸ˜‰

How do you recharge?
Usually go for a drive, or go to the beach. We’re lucky in Chennai that we have 15 km of beach.

(Pic courtesy: Siddhartha)

Giveaway: Project Management 2.0

Here's another Giveaway for you: Project Management 2.0 by Harold Kerzner

Project Management 2.0To read the review of the book, click here 

The give away is applicable only in India (no international shipping for now). Here' what you have to do:
  • Let me know you are interested to partcipate in the giveaway by adding a comment
  • OR you can tweet  about it and use the hashtag #SIPM
  • Last date is Aug 30.
I will pick a winner and announce it in the Blog on September 1. 

Have a good weekend!