As a long time listener (and participant – check out Episode 9!) of Cesar’s “PM For The Masses” podcast, I am excited to see how Cesar has moved between the two mediums and how the podcast and book hang together.
My first impression is that the book has a confidence and sense of place that make it a most enjoyable read for anyone with a passing interest in getting things done – faster, easier and more effectively.
In my mind, the podcast and book both work, even though they are pitched slightly differently, because they are grounded in Cesar’s authentic self.
Cesar is a good guy. He puts himself forward with openness, warmth, honesty, humility, drive and an absolute passion to help others. He doesn’t grandstand or big note himself, he just IS…a real, genuinely nice guy who wants to do the best he can. That authenticity comes through in both mediums and provides the glue that sticks them together.
Here’s the thing.
Listen to the early podcast episodes – there’s a vulnerability and contradiction in them that show, with the power of hindsight, just how far Cesar has come in this book.
Firstly, the contradiction that sits between the podcast catchphrase and the recorded jingle.
The catchphrase “Life is a Project. You are the Manager” challenges us to move away from project jargon and corporate concepts, to think of our life and career as projects that we can take control of and chart directions for. We can all do this, whether PMP certified or not.
Project Management for the Everyman.
At the same time, the jingle invites Project Managers to network, step ahead, get noticed and “be extraordinary”. Cesar promises to help us get better and learn from the best. To deepen our understanding and polish our skills.
Project Management for the Professional.
When we put these two together, it feels as if he wasn’t sure where the journey would head but he wanted to share the ride and try and help us out along the way.
Jump ahead 2 years and 80 episodes, and Cesar has moved to another level. The contradiction is neatly resolved by “Project Management For You”, in which he sets out, in clear and succinct terms, his methodical approach for jargon-free project management.
Clarity. Confidence. Direction.
That’s the thing I like most about the book – Cesar has blended that lovely warmth and respect that comes through in his podcast interviews, with a simple, accessible approach to Project Management. This is the book of a guy that knows his stuff, remembers where he has come from and is now confident enough to share his story.
“Project Management For You” is not a great industry textbook or reference source – but then it doesn’t set out to be. I have fundamental differences with Cesar over his approach to Agile in Appendix A, but that’s OK – arguments of that nature are for another day, and distract from the central point of this book.
The book is about helping people get things done, using the lessons that Cesar has picked up along the way. It offers a mix of anecdotes, simple steps and just enough theory to show non-Project Managers how we can all manage to simultaneously juggle, stand on one foot and hold 10 conversations – all whilst smiling.
For anyone with a passing interest in working smarter and getting things done, “Project Management For You” is a terrific primer.
Cesar, congratulations on a job well done.