[00:00:01.450] - Announcer
Do you wonder if others are dealing with the same project management challenges as you not sure where to turn for guidance and leadership? Office hours are in session as we discuss project management and PMOs with global leaders hearing their stories, story in learning their secrets to success. Our goal is to empower you and help you elevate your PMO and project management career to new heights. Welcome back to Project Management Office Hours with your host, PMO Joe.
[00:00:30.870] - PMO Joe
Welcome everyone. Project Management office Hours is now live streaming as well as being live radio. So we're the number one live radio show in the US about project management, and we're broadcasting to you from the Phoenix Business RadioX Studios in Tempe, Arizona. I'm your host, PMO Joe. And for the next hour or so, we're going to be talking project management with our special guest before we get into that. Just for everybody out there. This is our first live stream effort of the show, so we're streaming live, hopefully on LinkedIn Live and YouTube right now.
[00:01:09.260] - PMO Joe
So if we have any technical challenges, apologize in advance and we welcome any comments you have. So as you're listening in life and you have any input or questions for myself or Nigel, please add them in and we'll work to hit those up during the show. Also, of course, want to say Happy New Year to everybody first show of the New Year and also our first show of our fifth season. I cannot believe I've been doing this for five years now. This is show number 95, which means in just a couple of months we're going to hit 100 shows.
[00:01:45.420] - PMO Joe
Wow. Hard to believe from where we started that we're still doing this, but it's been a lot of fun. We're excited for the year. We have a lot of great guests planned. Of course, we're keeping it international. We've got an international guest today and then throughout the year, we've got guests that were confirming from Australia, South Africa, Germany, Spain, Ukraine, US, of course, and many other locations around the world. So I also want to say thank you to our sponsors, right? If we didn't have sponsors, none of this would be possible to help us pay for all the technology and the studio time.
[00:02:20.560] - PMO Joe
So thank you to the PMO Squad and the PMO leader. The PMO Squad is the leading PM and PMO consulting firm in the US, and they can assist you with any of your agile project management or PMO consulting needs, which would include Project rescue, establishing or improving your PMO staffing, any agile or project management resources and really, anything related to project management, that's all we do is project management activities. So if you have a project management challenge that you're trying to work through, reach out to the PMO Squad, so that's enough of the intros.
[00:03:00.110] - PMO Joe
Let's do. Welcome here to our first guest of the year, Nigel Creaser. Welcome, Nigel.
[00:03:07.230] - Nigel Creaser
Thanks, sir. Great to be on it.
[00:03:09.990] - PMO Joe
So if you could take a moment, Nigel, introduce yourself to our guests and let them all know who you are. Just a little bit about yourself.
[00:03:18.750] - Nigel Creaser
No worries. I'm Niger Creaserr. I am in the UK in a little village called Pant. Don't make your own jokes on that, please. It's just on the Welsh border. I'm very lucky around there. I've been a project manager for knocking on the door of 30 years across a number of different industries and different technologies. IT is my area. Formally I was an accountant. I described myself as a failed accountant, got the chance around year 2000 to jump across into IT. They were paying more and they gave me a line back to go into finance if I wanted to again by stay there basically project management for ages and a while back, I decided to offer a couple of books, I say this confidently and recently published my fourth book on budget management, along with me having a podcast, which Joe kindly came on one of my first guests back in 2019, which does seem like a long time ago.
[00:04:33.170] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah, I've been enjoying podcasting as well. I go by the name of the Sunday Lunch project Manager.
[00:04:41.450] - PMO Joe
Well, it's fantastic to have you join us and it was great to have time on your show and to go through your scenario. And I think that's what's great about our industry is there are plenty of shows out there with a different format that really allow our industry to get different perspectives on who some of the people are, industry, what our experiences are and really learn more about the people because I think ultimately project management is really about people. So having a show like yours is fantastic for everybody as well.
[00:05:20.330] - Nigel Creaser
I do enjoy the interviews. You find some very challenging and some very surprising things in it. I think one of my guests grew up in Turkey during the water time growing. There one of my questions I always ask people on my show was about why they had what did they want to be when they grew up as a kid and lots of different things or different answers that I've had all the time and he just said he wanted to be safe and that was what he wanted to be as he grew up and kind of made me take a pause on me living where I live and never been experienced.
[00:06:17.030] - Nigel Creaser
It's great having that. You've got your show as well with it. I find that you kind of mix it through the different kind of specialist topics and a bit of a mix. And sometimes I think someone talked to me about whether you do the showers or the format that I chose rather than doing technical content, which to be honest, I wouldn't be as good as some of the people who are out there. There's some fantastic podcasts out there, so why try and do it there when they're doing it brilliantly, and I like to chat, and it's kind of difficult to stop me chatting.
[00:06:53.790] - Nigel Creaser
So I thought I said a nice long form one and let people chat.
[00:06:57.250] - PMO Joe
Yeah. I love it. I think I'm remembering back to the show the question of what did I want to be when I grew up? I think I wanted to be a major League baseball player. If I remember my answer correctly.
[00:07:08.450] - Nigel Creaser
I think that's right. Yeah.
[00:07:10.140] - PMO Joe
And unfortunately, now that I'm in my mid 50s, that's no longer possible.
[00:07:16.250] - Nigel Creaser
If you can dream it, you can achieve it.
[00:07:18.740] - PMO Joe
Yeah. Maybe. I think it'd be a nightmare now, if I tried it rather than a dream.
[00:07:29.010] - Nigel Creaser
I used to do. Juno. I stopped when I was about 18 and in my early 40s, after watching the Olympics in London, I got inspired to step back on that on that and started learning again and kind of started from scratch. I've not looked back at them. It was quite useful in the fact that there's a really rich veterans and Masters scene and there's not thousands of people in there, but there's enough for it to be good enough that you don't have to qualify a great deal.
[00:07:59.040] - Nigel Creaser
We have a certain level, but you don't have to go around qualifying to get in, so I'm able to enter sort of international competitions. As long as I've got enough cash and the travel budget to get there, I can enter it. Quite enjoying that. Reliving my dreams. It's never too late. You always find something.
[00:08:20.730] - PMO Joe
Yeah, I love that. So the podcast is the Sunday Lunch Project.
[00:08:27.070] - Nigel Creaser
[00:08:27.620] - PMO Joe
Where does that name come from?
[00:08:30.070] - Nigel Creaser
It's a book. I blame Peter Taylor.
[00:08:34.810] - PMO Joe
Let's blame Peter.
[00:08:36.330] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah, I think most of them.
[00:08:37.740] - PMO Joe
Hopefully he's not listening. We can tell him afterwards.
[00:08:40.510] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah, I'm sure if you see me, Peter, when he wrote a lazy project manager and I read that book, I saw him speak and I was kind of inspired by the fact that the way he'd written, which was not irreverent but a more light hearted but informative book rather than a thick procedural tone. That was traditionally sort of books that I'd seen around management, project management, etc. Really successful about what really important things to do when you're a project manager, I really read the book. That makes absolutely sense for me.
[00:09:26.530] - Nigel Creaser
I kind of just had it in my head. I wanted to write something from years ago as a kid, and I just thought, yeah, something large project and I came up with an idea and it's a book I probably tell people about it's. Basically, the concept is a bit of a parable, a funny, comparable bit of a laugh, bit of a giggle. You can see my little hashtag on there. Project Management is funny, and it's supposed to be a humorous book, but I started looking at it, looking to do it, and discovered I never written the book before and didn't know what to do.
[00:10:03.040] - Nigel Creaser
And it was bigger than I thought it was being harder, and it's still sitting there behind me somewhere, a sheet of paper with all of the mind map that I drew out with. And then I started thinking, that's a brand. I quite like the idea. It's a brand idea. Rather than getting on writing. The book has some playground with ideas and branding. And at that time I also came up with the idea of my first book that I did, which was when I was a project manager, which is a kind of take on the for Yorkshire sketch from Multiplying.
[00:10:38.920] - Nigel Creaser
I think it was before, and it's four project managers sat in a little sketch talking about how they had it hard when they were a project manager, which is actually available either. 77 people sometimes get it free on Amazon. If you Amazon, can you get free there? It's only a 25 pages thing, but hopefully bring a smile on a better recognition to people. So I wrote that book to learn how to do it, learn how to publish, learn how to get through the processes and get all that.
[00:11:10.680] - Nigel Creaser
Did that. And then came up with another. I thought I really enjoyed doing this. I thought I'd do a few more few sketches and songs. So that's what the second book I did, project Management sketches, which took a long time. So all of these kind of just my technique of procrastination stopping myself doing the Sunday lunch project. The harder one is in some ways. So that's where it all came from. And then I had these two books and I had some people buying some of them, but not many.
[00:11:38.240] - Nigel Creaser
And so I thought, I know one of the songs in the second book is called The Twelve Days of Project. And I decided one day with me and my girls, we sat and we recorded our two daughters. It was a few years ago. Now we recorded it just on my phone. And I decided I was going to push that out. So I put it out on the first episode of the podcast. You'll see, that early ones is just that it's just day one day two leading up to Christmas at that time of that year.
[00:12:08.080] - Nigel Creaser
And then I started using it to say, Well, I got this book. Would you like to buy this book? I was screaming into the Internet, saying, Buy my book without much value being added on top of that other than me talking. And then I thought on the podcast and I thought, I really want to make something. I want to do something. And so I started interviewing people. I thought, who do I know? I've been in touch with people. Can you pop onto the podcast and can we have a chat about you?
[00:12:45.690] - Nigel Creaser
And the idea was to talk about people's background, how they got into project management, project management, what other projects doing? As I said, I was failed to counted and kind of drifted into project management as many of us are. Although I have let people know they too. Are they're leaving? They're going into University, into College and learning specifically project management degrees, which is nonexistent. When I was around, it wasn't even a career that I did.
[00:13:16.490] - PMO Joe
[00:13:16.990] - Nigel Creaser
Same for that really is a long answer to that question. The Sunday lunch project became my brand by default. And one day I will like, just so that it completes the circle, if you like, but I'm stuck with it there. I kind of like it.
[00:13:30.580] - PMO Joe
Yeah. It's a nice catchy name. I like it as well. You've been doing this for a while, as I have. So when you talk to all of these people, I always say that for me, these are mentoring sessions, right? And they're unintentional mentoring sessions where I get the best of some of the best PM and PMO leaders in the world. I get to talk to what are some of the takeaways you've had over the years from your guests that have really stuck with you and have maybe influenced the way that you operate.
[00:14:02.390] - Nigel Creaser
There are so many, I think, as I said before, I think of contextualizing my life growing up and I pick up on these things. It's more about lots of experiential things and how people have got into. I think the thing that the mentoring sessions, I've got a little border. I stuck stuff on my wall where there was conversation about the Wright Brothers arguing, and it struck me with that one was that they were arguing, but they saw it as a positive thing. They were really arguing someone.
[00:14:49.850] - Nigel Creaser
That's how we work. That's how we get together. And sometimes different people start tools and techniques that they used to move forward are different. There was things like failed fast and then quickly those sort of things that came out there from different conversations. Sorry. I keep looking up at my invisible border. I think people the richness of the project management experience all the time. You said it earlier on PG. People on what deliver projects, processes don't deliver projects whilst they're absolutely critical. They don't deliver the projects.
[00:15:37.230] - Nigel Creaser
Your IT system that you're managing it in doesn't deliver projects. It's the people who deliver it. It's the people who make it successful. And if you don't focus on the people, then it just doesn't happen. There's just so many people I picked up through that and every single one of them, I come away with something that either makes me think differently or gives me a completely different point of view to how I would have been approached, something I think I was talking to Gerald Leonard last year.
[00:16:21.050] - Nigel Creaser
I have a bass guitar that I can make noises out of when I was in a band, when I was a teenager, like many of us did. And then I had Gerald Leonard come on and say, professional jazz bass player.
[00:16:32.880] - PMO Joe
That must have been fun!
[00:16:34.550] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah, it was. You know the idiot I am. I didn't ask him to play on the podcast. I had some music in. I should have had a few faces there. I don't know. My brain was just too starstruck, but Gerald is a project manager as well. That's what he does. He's a professional bass player and project manager. And he talked about the fact that bass playing for musicians, the general, when you're performing live in front of an audience, a very small proportion of what you do as a musician.
[00:17:12.990] - Nigel Creaser
And we as consumers. We see that when they're up on stage, that's when we see them. That's where they get all the glory behind that is use of practice and continue to practice training, thinking of new ideas, playing around with different things, and just whether it's 5% or whatever, it's such a small part of it and a lot of time. The analogy with project management, then, is when you get your project kick offs, which can be great fun. You can get there. You're all excited. It's something you're trying to work it out.
[00:17:50.960] - Nigel Creaser
You're in a room, you're in a virtual room trying to work out, right? What does this mean? How are we going to do this? What are the problems risk. And it's quite a lot of energy in that part of the delivery. And then right at the end, when you're all like, right, I'm ordering pizzas. Let's all get there. Let's get this delivery over the head. Or if it's a different industry, cutting the tape, whatever. It's a big celebration kind of field or celebratory feeling a lot of adrenaline again, you get all that buzz, but in between is when the project gets delivered, you need a good start and you need that good effort.
[00:18:26.110] - Nigel Creaser
That bit in the middle where we need to check the finance. We need to check it. That's when. And it's actually not the most exciting thing that we do. And the same with the base player sitting there on piano, my family, my daughter, my wife has been piano type. Doing scales isn't the most exciting thing that they like doing, playing the tunes that they like to play and what they like doing. But you've got to go through a practice to be able to do that. It's the same sort of thing following participants, all the QA stuff, all the things.
[00:18:58.780] - Nigel Creaser
Some people like, all of those things as well. It just depends on the nature. What I was just struck me there is that we are project managers. We are performance before the beginning.
[00:19:12.910] - PMO Joe
Yeah. Last year, I was out on a walk listening to ACDC, my favorite band, and had them on my playlist. And as I was listening on the walk, I started taking their lyrics and saying, Man, this is like the life of a project manager. It's a long way to the top. If you want to rock and roll and same for a project manager, right. You start out as a coordinator and work your way up. So I eventually wrote this essay and put it all to music to describe the four acts of Project Malik.
[00:19:46.050] - PMO Joe
It used the different ACDC songs. I think I put, like, 60 different songs together and ended up having it be kind of an essay because that's what we are. We are entertainers, right? We have to be able to deal with people, and sometimes you're out there with your torn blue jeans, and sometimes you're not, right.
[00:20:08.980] - Nigel Creaser
[00:20:10.100] - PMO Joe
And I think I've learned more non project management stuff, right. The human interaction talking with Ruth Pearson, Carol Osterweel Steve Fulmer and Dr. Barbara Troutline and so many others about the interaction of people and how they interact. And all of that has been really kind of amazing.
[00:20:32.290] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah. I got introduced to her and had her on my podcast as well, which is great. I had a model that I got introduced to. It way back in a book about positive personality profiles. And it's a really simple model where you have a four part grid, people, outgoing, reserve, people who are task orientated or people orientated behavioral styles that we default. And I've always used that as a really good model for can I swear on the show or.
[00:21:14.030] - PMO Joe
It'S live. Whatever you want to go with. Man.
[00:21:18.590] - Nigel Creaser
You can imagine the word I use. It helped me work out why other people think I'm an idiot, insert whichever explicit if you like. And basically, I realized that it was the way they have a different behavioral style, different communication style, character style. And when dealing with me, someone who can be at the complete opposite to them, I said, they're going, That's why they don't mind me. And that's why I think they're an idiot. And as soon as you get that, you can go by the same virtue. This stuff that Ruth talks about the different strengths you've got and how you can see why people who've got certain strengths have been asked to do something that is against their strength isn't one of their strengths.
[00:22:07.290] - Nigel Creaser
You've got someone else who's got that strength, and you're not asking them to do it. And building your teams together like that is just so powerful for them. I have Liz Hobbs. She's in UK consultant who does disk profile and disc train. There's a guy over in the US called Managertools. Com. They have a great podcast, but it's good can't get away from it. And I started list that and they use it in their model for improving management. It's a general management tool.
[00:22:42.690] - PMO Joe
Absolutely. Okay. Well, let's talk about your you mentioned books earlier, but you have a new book that came out just a couple of months ago. Yeah. So let's talk about that a little bit, right. Productivity hacks for project managers.
[00:22:58.680] - Nigel Creaser
[00:22:59.630] - PMO Joe
What was the Genesis of that?
[00:23:05.710] - Nigel Creaser
Well, you talk about getting inspiration from your podcast a long time back. I started doing a couple of posts around automation improvement, thought productivity improvements from a blog, and I never got information on those bits of it in there using some of the IFTTT stuff and things like that, trying to just add some of the automatic things with your phone just to simplify light a little bit. And I thought, Well, this has got a bit more legs in it. I could do more with it. Maybe. But I never did.
[00:23:44.890] - Nigel Creaser
Thor was interviewing Sarah Holding back in September 2019. I think she's on my show in March. I think it was we were talking about productivity, and during that conversation I remembered we talked about different things that I've done, different things. I've learned from other people I've shared with other people and went through a number of conversations on that. And it kind of sparked my interest of, yeah, I still got that idea and actually a lot of the tips and the hacks in there. I use hacks because I'm trying to think of what the latest brand would be on it is it tips?
[00:24:25.750] - Nigel Creaser
I talked tips is a bit soft hacks. Sorry, guys. Bit American familiar as I'm British, but shortcuts doesn't sound right. So it's a quite difficult thing to choose what you would call it. But I decided a lot of those ideas that I've been used over the years. I spent time with people who worked with me, people who worked for me and people I work for customers as well and managers saying what I do this and it's like maybe dealing with email or dealing with notifications and things like that.
[00:25:00.700] - Nigel Creaser
And there's a number of different sections in there, and I just decided, Well, I can help one person by telling me I can help two people, maybe ten people. And the idea was, well, if I write it, put it down in the book, more people can. I might get a better cash because I'm not fully philanthropy. It might be a way to make a little bit of money. And I quite enjoyed the process as well. I do enjoy the process of starting with the idea of creating a book and getting it through.
[00:25:28.050] - Nigel Creaser
And it is very much like a project. The start. It's really exciting covers and playing around with start writing out your idea. And I recorded it all because I did a lot of it using dictation and then found that the editing after it's been dictating is hard because Microsoft or whatever you use doesn't heal you very well. And there's some quite rude corrections that I'd like to put in there that come out of it weird. And that bit in the middle then from that editing and getting it through and pushing it through again, it's hard.
[00:26:02.710] - Nigel Creaser
But that was the way the work went in until the end when press the bottom right. That's going out now and then start doing a bit more marketing and promotion, which I have to do to get on the show.
[00:26:18.410] - PMO Joe
[00:26:21.870] - Nigel Creaser
That's why I wanted to do it. And thank you, Sarah, if you're listening to this for being that inspiration for.
[00:26:30.510] - PMO Joe
Especially in this new world where we're interacting with COVID, where we have to be remote and finding different ways to be more efficient and to be able to work with our teams, especially being remote teams and everything. I can imagine that catching on some productivity and technology hacks would be fantastic. How many of them are in the book? Right. I think it's eleven of them, right. If I'm remembering, right.
[00:26:55.100] - Nigel Creaser
You'Re absolutely right there's eleven. And as you're a metal fan from the sound of it, I imagine you'd watch Spinal Fat. So it was a conscious reason to have these volunteer tippity hacks got to eleven rather than ten just for my own amusement. Really, more than anything else. Aside from the inspiration from Sarah, I think the idea of this book is if it helps someone get out of the office half an hour earlier or it helps someone have half an hour lunch that they're not going to be getting, or if it helps them half an hour more productive each day, that means they can drive their career forward, then that would be tough if someone can do that.
[00:27:47.500] - Nigel Creaser
And I think that the Eleven ideas, they're not actually rocket science. They are just tools and tips I've used. Maybe the approach and maybe people pick up the idea I've got on there, like from notifications on your phone and your desktop to scheduling email to using Outlook Rules. I think if anyone picks up the book and only uses the Outlook Rules tool, but when I discovered I thought it was an absolute amazing tool to be able to use to be able to go right when an email comes in, deal with it.
[00:28:25.900] - Nigel Creaser
And I think the thing that we don't realize is we've all got full inboxes and we've all got to go right. I got to deal with that. I've got to read all those emails and actually that's impossible, and it doesn't necessarily align with your objectives, goals or whatever, and then you take that and you okay, fine. So if I'm not going to read in the book, except that point, how do I decide which ones to read? Because the data that we've got to make that decision is when it came in.
[00:29:05.890] - Nigel Creaser
I'm holding my hands up here. Not high enough for the camp to cross the title. And maybe if it's got attachment, if someone else is tagged, it is important and all of those data points aren't necessarily aligned with your objectives. Even the title may not relate to what the question is in the email, because how many times have we seen emails where you get an email sent to you? It's gone to someone else. It's gone to someone else can forward, copy, copy, forward, copy, and then someone said, yeah, but what about this?
[00:29:39.180] - Nigel Creaser
And then the next train of conversation goes on. And what you actually get in front, do you think? Well, that's to do with that's important? It's to do with this month's major release Where's the coffee shops, what? Someone else has taken it off? Maybe not that screen. There are other emails you might get from someone senior, very senior. And it might be that it says somebody's moved or not washing up their teaspoons. Can we sort out the teaspoons? It doesn't need to be demonstrated if you missed it.
[00:30:11.340] - Nigel Creaser
As long as you aren't the person who's doing it, it probably doesn't matter. But again, your data points are linked. And one of the things I did many years ago was all of my copy emails. But anyone copies me in an email. It gets moved to a separate folder called CC. And I read it sometimes. And I tell people I don't read the copied emails, but I may not read them. You won't get me dealt with. I prioritize it. Now. The risk is there. That what if in that CC, someone seen you, something important, something important is in there.
[00:30:48.520] - Nigel Creaser
Well, I may have missed it anyway, in the morass of other things that I'll be looking at going, well, which one do I choose? I might have chosen all of the admin type ones instead of the important ones because I've got limited data to make that decision on. And so that's one of the things I did. That's the first add in. And there's a risk. There's a risk. And you can put filters on it and say the adult tools and just go, right. Okay. Unless it's for my boss, key, customer, key staff, key family members moving to the CC, and that removes some.
[00:31:21.230] - Nigel Creaser
But there's always a risk of you missing an email. How many times a week we got things where people pick up the phone five minutes after they've said you sent an email, they sent you the email. So if you read it and what it does, it does that prioritization management automatically for you in a more effective way. You need to do the other one, and then you can move on. There's a whole bunch of other stuff. You can still deal with it. And when you start using it, start going.
[00:31:48.560] - Nigel Creaser
Hang on. So while back I started meeting invites. Sometimes I need to deal with them quickly because someone sending me a late change to meeting invite. It's a very good practice. But other times, most of the time, I don't need to accept an invite within five minutes of arriving in my inbox. I don't need to accept an invite even that day sometimes. So I move them off to a separate page. I've got some communication stuff where we've got all hands communication. I move them to a separate section and I deal with those on Friday.
[00:32:19.690] - Nigel Creaser
So then go and look at catch up on that sort of stuff on a Friday when I can find a little bit, it can be a little bit quiet. Holiday improvements say you've got holiday. Inevitably I move them into one place as well. And the reason I do that is then you have, say 20 expenses. You log into the expense approval system and you deal with all 20 of them one after another. You're not logging in, then going away and then 2 hours later logging in because it's not lean, is it lean technology?
[00:32:52.340] - Nigel Creaser
You're going back in and redoing the same thing over and over because if you can batch them and deal with them and when you start looking at it, you start, oh, I can do that. I talk to people about so many times. There's a story in the book of when I did it the first time I did it, I clicked that button. I get all the CCS and they all moved. I find I left it on all day. I was tempted to look by immense control and I went and had a look at the end of the day and I saw this big list of emails all the same title read forward all those information.
[00:33:37.120] - Nigel Creaser
So I looked at the last one and it said, all done. Cheers. Thanks for helping me. That's good kind of thinking. I've got to read through and check. I would absolutely have got in on. I would have been discussing. I would have been doing it now. I think at the time I probably could have got it done bit quicker or bit better than the guys the team did. Actually, that's rubbish. The team didn't need me to solve that problem. The team didn't need me to get that done.
[00:34:17.180] - Nigel Creaser
The organization didn't need me to be spending my time doing that and it kind of nailed it on as me, but that's it. I'm going to use that tool I'm going to keep on using back then. Last year I saw another podcast. A friend of mine in Shrewsbury just said that he'd been doing that for a while and he marks it as red. Now I've never been brave enough to Mark all of them as red. I always had my big list of there's 50, there's 200 CC and then every so often and I archive and then I took the jump to do that and my attention is not diverted to that CC folder like it used to be.
[00:34:59.420] - Nigel Creaser
Now it used to be. I do check a quick jump in my house. I want to do the email, but do my inbox do that because there's no little bold thing by the CC saying 50 emails. I don't notice it. And so far I haven't seen any fires yet. That was an example of one of the things in there, and people don't buy the book. If they just do that, that would be great. I think it would save the time it would give you less stress.
[00:35:33.730] - Nigel Creaser
And it just mainly be focusing on your priorities and on your objectives, even if it doesn't save you time. If you're focusing on priorities, objectives, if you'll be doing better.
[00:35:46.190] - PMO Joe
Well, that's the thing which I love about books like this one is that oftentimes we all build our own little hacks, right? Our own little productivity hacks, and we like them. But we keep them to ourselves, and we don't share them with others, and we don't learn from others. So even though the eleven items that you have in your book, you may have said at the beginning, like, hey, there's nothing groundbreaking about them. They're just things that work for you. But if they work for one person, they'll probably work for more than one person.
[00:36:17.390] - PMO Joe
And you don't have to be groundbreaking to save half an hour a day or 15 minutes a day or even if it's just a minute. But the aggravation of something, right? I mean, those are all things that we all benefit from. And that's why I love books like this one.
[00:36:31.750] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah. Thank you for that. It kind of gives me that boost of yes, that's what I wanted to. That's what I wanted to do was that case of I think sometimes you'll sit there and also find a way to do something. But as you say, you've got your own little list of hatches spreadsheets that you use that you manage to work out and get something to do something and you think, Well, everyone must know that sometimes I'm the last one who's learned how to do this. And then when you start telling other people about it, they go, oh, wow.
[00:37:09.370] - Nigel Creaser
Cool. And you start, oh, wow, cool. It's some knowledge that you've built up or some tool, some experiment you've tried. And like I said, a lot of these things. There are things I heard other people say to do, and I thought, Well, I'll do them, and I found them work for me. I think the other thing I have in the book is that I'm not an angel in doing these. I fall off the wagon this time of year. It's a perfect time. People are getting on their health and fitness, kind of goal setting goals for the year, all that sort of thing.
[00:37:46.090] - Nigel Creaser
And actually, if you're going to do a fitness regime, productivity, fitness. It's like yoga. You don't finish being good at yoga, right? That's it. I've done it. Although I am the yoga person, I've done it. I can't improve anymore. There's a little bit more you can stretch and productivity is the same. But you can always get more productive. But also, every so often you'll stop doing it same as you do with exercise. You'll stop doing it. But it doesn't matter. You start getting and you start getting, and then you start getting those back.
[00:38:28.010] - Nigel Creaser
And some of these things may not fit for some people. Some of them may be just not be great or enrolled in the moment. It may not be productivity to me is something we can work on all the time. It's that I don't know about time. I want time management courses years ago, and I've been on them since and on presentation courses as well, and you always go come away from there going, yeah, if I learn something more often, you can. It reminds you something that you've learned previously that you'd let fall by the wayside.
[00:39:04.790] - Nigel Creaser
So hopefully this will be a little buckle. And I don't know if it was because I've got a background screen. The paperback version is tiny. It'll fit in the back of your jeans pocket, so it makes it very easy to read up and easy to carry around and keep with you if you want to even got a picture of me in the back.
[00:39:32.390] - PMO Joe
All right. That should be a new question now for your show, for each guest that you come on. Right. Because I know you have a series of questions. You ask them and I'd ask them, hey, what's one productivity hack that you have. That's a really good idea. So volume two of the book, right. The second edition can now be the additional hacks from all the different guests that you have that come on as well.
[00:39:57.060] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah. Well, one of the things I think I asked you at the time was I asked for permissions built to distill down those interviews into a book, which I did start with the first year I used a product called Author AI to transcribe a little bit of that, a little bit of Amazon as well, to try and transcribe all of it. And then it transcribed it. And then I realized that I can't remember how many thousand words each interview was because they were quite long form, and I was sitting there going, oh, Jeez, I've got a head in Path, so that's another one that's kind of gone back then.
[00:40:38.550] - Nigel Creaser
At some point I do want to do that, because, as you say, some of the insights and the conversations are so rich in those interviews that for people who don't consume in this manner or if they do, and they have it as a ready reminder. But I am writing down now that prohibits question, which I think I will have in there.
[00:41:02.930] - PMO Joe
Yeah. We're the same way. I've had a to do list now or an action item on my to do list for about two years to write the Project Management Office hours book, right? I mean, again, just think we've had so many fantastic guests on over the years that if you bottle up just a part of that conversation with Lee Lambert and Peter Taylor and Laura Bernard and so many others that we've had on you, just name a few. Boy, I want to write it for me. I want to read the book.
[00:41:35.140] - PMO Joe
Even though I was hosting the shows.
[00:41:36.550] - Nigel Creaser
I don't remember everything we talked about and to be able to pick up and pull out all of the key items in there and things like that. I'm surprised when you think about the amount of content you can create. My experience of it has been it's actually not that difficult to do. I was quite the beginning of this show with your fancy intro. If I wasn't so lazy at times, that would be great. The audio is on the video and all that. I use a product called Anchor, and I think it's the first I think heist it's called it's the first free of intro music that they have on it.
[00:42:23.600] - Nigel Creaser
And I kind of like that. That's it. That's what I'm using. And then I just intro it myself and do it each time and then use the same things. I've started adding a bit more in there, but it's quite interesting on the different approaches and on how you can do it.
[00:42:43.190] - PMO Joe
Well, the beauty of being live out there now is people can see. Right. So one of the camera angles we have is the overhead here in the studio and over to the side, you can see all the audio equipment. We have show producers, and we take the recording. It goes back to Atlanta, and they do a master on it and pull out the sound and clean up the audio and everything. And we had hired a marketing team at one point, I didn't create that video, right. The intro video.
[00:43:09.560] - PMO Joe
That was a marketing team that had to come in and put that together. These are all the things after four or five years behind the scenes and we come now out and everybody can see this is what production is, right. This is what happens really when we do the show.
[00:43:23.690] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah. It's great. I think with mine, it's always been that thing. I'm kind of wanting to try to get it to pay for itself, if you like, straight up by the bootstraps. And it's always been what's the freest tool? What's the simplest one? What's the least amount of effort for me to do, but it works at the end of day. Most of the time I say my intros and my intros and the little bit of newspaper is normally done on a Saturday morning, sat in my kitchen with my phone in front of me, just onto the phone straight into the Anchor app, because actually, when I listen back to it, for me, the quality of it is fine.
[00:44:06.020] - Nigel Creaser
And I think for anyone out there who ever think about doing this, you pick up an app like Anchor or one of the other ones that are out there, and they're amazing what we can do now compared to what we could do way back. Yeah.
[00:44:27.880] - PMO Joe
I mean, just think back Cornelius Victor and Andy Kaufman and all those the people who are doing this ten years ago, the evolution that we've had over time with the new technology, and it's certainly made this been easier. But it's a lot of work, right? I mean, I get a lot of people who ask me, what do you think, should I start up a podcast and how much time do you put in it? And I'll tell them I'm putting in five plus hours a month on this.
[00:44:54.380] - PMO Joe
It's not just to show up once and do it. You got to book your guests, you got to prep in advance. You got to do your post show, you got to do your preshow, you have the show time. I mean, there's a lot of stuff involved and it's not easy to keep at it in the New Year, right? A lot of people have their New Year's resolution. They're going to get fit. They're going to do everything by February, they stop right here we are, four or five years later on the show.
[00:45:17.750] - PMO Joe
We haven't stopped. Right. We keep going.
[00:45:19.630] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah. I think the thing is, if you get something out of these conversations, then you're going to keep on doing it. And that's what I found. The reason I keep on doing it is not that by no way is it paying for me to have a yacht? I certainly haven't picked up the mirror yet from our podcasting. Hopefully broadcasting. Does that give you that opportunity? But you get something out of these conversations. And I'm astounded at the number of people who said yes, 90% of my people that I've got on the show and booked on the call through LinkedIn and said, Hi, I do this little podcast here's.
[00:46:03.810] - Nigel Creaser
A version of it is a really good one. There's Joe Joe on it. It's really interesting and have a listen. Tell me what you think. Do you want to come on? These are the questions I asked the same way I approached you, wasn't it? Yeah. And invariably people say yes, and then you get conversations. You sit there going, oh, wow. But Eddie Obama was one that struck me. It was Eddie. I'd seen way back when I was first in project manager. We were doing some work with the PMI UK chapter, and we were part of the Middle and Daniel team, and I was also looking at marketing side doing the newsletter.
[00:46:47.590] - Nigel Creaser
At the time. It was a paper newsletter we used to send out rather than having a website. So that gives you a hint of how long ago it was. We probably did have shows you how long it was. And Eddie Bangs, like in PM Network. He was like Dr. Eddie Bangs. And I was thinking, he's a bit of a famous guy. It took me a while to get around to pinging him a message and saying, Eddie, would you like to write completely happy to be on the show and everything.
[00:47:21.760] - Nigel Creaser
So if there is anyone who's thinking.
[00:47:29.150] - PMO Joe
Same for me, Dr. Harold Kerzner, when he came out, I just sent him a message on Lake, Dennis said, hey, I'd love to have you on the show. And the evolution for me has been I started the show doing the shows for me, kind of my opportunity to be able to learn, but probably halfway through the first season, I realized people were writing me saying, hey, that was great content on that show. Here's what I learned. And no longer they're about me right now. How can I talk to the guests in a certain way that the listeners will find value out of the shows?
[00:48:08.270] - PMO Joe
And because most of the listeners don't have that opportunity to be able to speak to them because they don't have a podcast, they don't have a show to be able to connect to them. So if we can just build out, right was talking about how totally non project management related, but he teaches tennis lessons to people in wheelchairs. Right. Those sorts of inspirational moments where we take us as people and be able to share that maybe the inspiration for somebody else to volunteer their time and go help somebody who is in need.
[00:48:38.590] - PMO Joe
Right. That's the power of these things, right? This is where I love it. So for you in your book, the Productivity Hacks, it's that same concept. I've got my own hacks. I might pick up something from you. I use Outlook in my own little way, right. But there's somebody else out there who may go out and pick up your book on Amazon and read that thing and say, oh, man, I never thought about that. I'm going to go do that. That's for the users. And I think that's ultimately where we get the most bang for these shows now is how we can share within our industry so that one person successes can maybe be multiplied.
[00:49:15.450] - PMO Joe
Right. And then others can benefit on that as well.
[00:49:18.410] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah. And I think as a general, I've always kind of bootstrapped it. And getting the name out of the podcast has been quite difficult to get a great number of interactions with my business. That's something that I have missed. I haven't seen any of that a great deal of it. Some not a great deal, not as much as I'd like, and it kind of makes you feel, should I do it? Should I not do it? Same with the books. You get some reviews in there. I had one of the reviews of the book, which is quite interesting.
[00:49:56.650] - Nigel Creaser
The funniest review of my first book was when someone said, because it's comedy, it's for a particular type of humor. I didn't even get past the second. I gave up after the first chapter, and it's kind of like there was only one chapter. It kind of made me Chuck in the middle. But one of the ones on this one was that someone suggested that most of these ideas, as school kids should know, and you will get some people out there, as I say, who know these things.
[00:50:28.780] - Nigel Creaser
Then I've had another person review. It saying, Absolutely brilliant. No notes from it. So there are so many different people out there who have different experiences of the same thing and can do it differently. And I think this medium of podcasting can allow us to write it in a book. That's great. You do a presentation. That's great. I like these conversations because you can take the conversation another step behind The Wizard of Oz curtains, if you like of the conversation and trying to find out and go, yes.
[00:51:06.830] - Nigel Creaser
How did you know what was the reason that you use that tool? And some people don't even think about why they did what they did. And then when they start thinking about it, they start realizing, oh, yeah, that's what I did. And I think one of the questions that comes over some really interesting things that I have around what's your biggest screw up from your career and what did you learn from it? Successes are great. It's generally in those dark areas that we learn. So maybe some of these tips and truth can help with talking about the whole thing around COVID and where we've been with that in the last year and how it made us all completely pivot from a lot of us going into an office, being with a team, working together, etc.
[00:52:02.850] - Nigel Creaser
It's being immediately remote within a matter of weeks, matter of weeks. And we started working remotely. I couldn't put together this without putting something in there. So I included something in there. And it's not there. By my journey in Drew Lock Day last year, I was off with stress issues for five months related to the lockdown. There's other things around it as well, but it was the mental health side of it. I know a lot of us are aware of some of the things that I suffered from the way that I was dealing with.
[00:52:42.500] - Nigel Creaser
I started to change. I've changed that and made a big difference, even literally. Now I don't know if this is going to here my nickname. Who said, yeah, I'll be nice and quiet. He's singing in the other room.
[00:52:56.270] - PMO Joe
That's working from home these days. That's what happens.
[00:52:59.060] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah. And that's it. One of the big things I found was I used to drive a 40 minutes commute and you have a big decompression time. And that kind of you're finishing your processing, the conversation, you're remembering what's going on and you kind of get that little zone of decompression literally 2 meters from my arm is my door into my dining room, and I would finish at work at 532 is on the table. Family's there's been prepared and I'm going to help. But I'm straight into I moved from my project manager to night, the dad and nice and husband like that, and you get no transition.
[00:53:53.010] - Nigel Creaser
And I think that was one of the biggest difficulties I find, along with video performance fatigue, designers and I find that really hard to try and do that switch quickly and we all deal with that.
[00:54:11.430] - PMO Joe
Everyone's had that same experience around the world, right? It's not even isolated to a city or a state or a country or province, right? It's everyone in the world.
[00:54:21.510] - Nigel Creaser
But the thing is, it's really tiny. That's the thing with that. It's a tiny, that little thing you don't notice it to start off with, but it's over.
[00:54:31.820] - PMO Joe
It just keeps adding and adding and adding. Absolutely.
[00:54:35.250] - Nigel Creaser
[00:54:36.280] - PMO Joe
Well, here we are approaching our time as we again, they all go by so fast and I really enjoyed the session. Hopefully the format was fine for everybody else out there as well. Nigel, I want to thank you. Yeah, it keeps telling me we're still live streaming, so I think it works. And I want to thank you for being on the show today. We've got your LinkedIn up on screen right now. Is there anything that you've got coming up that people should be familiar with or how can people get in touch with you or reach the show?
[00:55:15.330] - Nigel Creaser
Yeah. So the podcast on all of the usual places, but if you want to go and find the list of it, it's on Anchor FMCH. So you grab it there or just nudgeakrite dot com and you can kind of dive out to everything from there. The latest books up there on my background for the people who can see you can grab a copy of that Amazon digital version. If you've got Amazon. The cheapest way to get it is if you've got Amazon Kindle. If you haven't got sorry, Amazon Unlimited get a three month trial of it cost you about 99 pencil.
[00:55:58.360] - Nigel Creaser
Maybe it's free and then you keep it for three months and then cancel it. But you'll be able to download my book ever reading it. Kick off back on that. Alternatively, just jump. It's available in Kindle, hardback or paperback, as are the other two books as well. The other two aren't in hardback yet and that's it really and come along to show. And if anyone does buy and read the book and they do enjoy it, please let me know reviews, et cetera.
[00:56:29.230] - PMO Joe
That's fantastic. Well, thank you, Nigel. And of course, thank you to all of our listeners. Please be sure to go out to our website. We've got it up there on screen pmosquad. Compodcast and you can see all the 94 previous shows we've had before today with so many fantastic guests over the years. And we have a lot of great guests lined up for this coming year as well, reminder that the shows are recorded as Nigel had mentioned for his show as well. So you can go out there and catch everything on Apple podcast Spotify.
[00:57:03.670] - PMO Joe
I Spreaker iHeartRadio whatever your platform of choices, please be a subscriber so that you don't miss any of these shows and all the fantastic guests that we have come on and all the wisdom that they're sharing with us out there. Of course. Thank you to our sponsors, the PMO Squad and the PMO Leader. The PMO Leader is a global community of PMO and project management leaders, sharing and exchanging ideas without the pressure of certifications and all the other things that many other communities have out there.
[00:57:35.970] - PMO Joe
So it's a great place to be able to get information and sharing and networking and exchanging with other leaders in our great community. That's it for now. Office hours are closed until next time. I'm PMO Joe and you've been listening to Project Management Office Hours.
[00:57:54.910] - Announcer
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