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The Project50 (Reinventing Work): Fifty Ways to Transform Every "Task" into a Project That Matters! Hardcover – Sep 21 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (Sept. 21 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375407731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375407734
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #809,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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Does your work matter? Do you transform mundane tasks into "WOW Projects!"? And, most important, do you consider projects "dynamic, stimulating, a major bond builder with co-workers, a source of buzz among end-users, and ... inspiring, exhausting, hot, cool, sexy, where everyone else wants to be"? If not, consider reading this enthusiastic project primer, which joins The Brand You50 and The Professional Service Firm50 in Tom Peters's list-filled Reinventing Work series.

Stressing the importance of following a project from start to finish, Peters breaks the WOW Project (also known as the "Way Cool" project, by the way) into four stages--create, sell, implement, and exit--and 50 lists. No. 24 (titled "Work on BUZZ ... all the time!") recommends making a stir about the "WOW-worthy project," showing off your team's success with buttons, mugs, and T-shirts. Shameless? Perhaps. But if the project is truly worthy, then "parading your team's spunk is a matchless sales/marketing--not to mention morale-building--ploy."

Peters--who communicates in lists, one-word sentences, bold, capitalized, and half-tone text, parenthetical asides with jumpy punctuation, and more than a few interjections of "WOW!" and "Way cool!"--is not for everyone. Mellow readers may want, instead, to check out Eric Verzuh's The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management. But project managers seeking to shake up mundane assignments will find plenty of original, easy-to-implement ideas in this guide to getting things done. --Rob McDonald

About the Author

Tom Peters continues to be in constant demand for lectures and seminars. In addition to researching and writing his books, he travels more widely than ever to monitor and observe the business environment  worldwide. The founder of the Tom Peters Group in Palo Alto, California, he lives mostly on American Airlines, or with his family on a farm in Vermont or an island off the Massachusetts coast.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
What's with this so-called "inventing"/ "finding" a WOW Project? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
Tom Peters is an ex-McKinsey & Co. consultant, who become a management guru by being the co-author of business super-bestseller 'In Search of Excellence' (1982). He has written several books after that huge success, but nothing has come close in quality. This (little) book is part of his 'Reinventing Work' series.
The aim of this book is to make us "believe that work can be cool. That the work matters." The reason? "Work - yours and mine - as we know it today will be reinvented in the next ten years." Perhaps you believe this, but I do not. Yes, we can make work and, in this case, projects more interesting. Tom Peters comes up with a list of 50 ways how to do this. The list is split up in four parts: (1) Create; (2) Sell; (3) Implement; and (4) Exit. Each of the 50 ways raised consists of a short introduction, the main point ("the nub"), the impact, and some examples and quotes. Most of the 50 ways are quite interesting, but they could have been cut down to some 25.
I always feel disappointed when I have to write a negative review, but this time I have no choice. Tom Peters is a famous management guru and an excellent motivational speaker. I feel that he tries to bring his famous energy from his seminars across by using plenty of capitals, wild colors, abbreviations, and exclamation marks. But it just does not work (for me). There are some interesting points, but he would have been better by producing a video of his seminars or writing a proper book - like 'In Search of Excellence' (1982) - on projects. For people interested in projects and project management there is plenty of choice elsewhere. Although the book is small and consists of only 200 pages, the book is not that simple to read due to its format and structure.
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Format: Hardcover
We are in the age of manufactured enthusiasm. How anyone can imagine that regular work in a business should be stimulating to the point of being really really cool is simply beyond me. Yet year in and year out, Tom Peters (and an immense cohort of lesser talents) continue to tell us that yes, work can be fun and cool, etc etc. And he continues to make the really really big bucks doing so.
Either Peters is onto something, or we are all fools for treating him like he is. What I believe is that he has inserted himself into business speak as one of our principal formulators of vocabulary to dress up our normal drudgery as something more than it is.
Peters pumps businessmen up, flatters their vanities, and sends them back to the real work with a new vocabulary of "change agents," "WoW projects," and innumerable other expressions of similar banality. He tells them that what they are doing is significant and interesting, and that they can make every project into a fantiastical thing that will change the workd as well as enhance their careers. This boggles the mind, particularly if you have read it more than once in such puffed up venues as Fast Company and Wired, which I believe bring the the profession of journalism to the crudest boosterism, akin to the promoters of primitive Western cities in the 19C America.
In Project 50, Peters offers "fifty ways to transform every 'task' into a project that matters." They range from "reframing" the task as it was posed (make it revolutionary) to selling it succinctly ("metaphor time!") to implementing it ("celebrate failure"!! as a learning experince and as a useful exercise of thinking "crazy") to Exiting ("Seed your freaks into the mainstream"!). If this does not want to make you vomit, try reading it straight through.
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Format: Hardcover
As a multimedia software writer/producer, I thought my projects were pretty hot stuff. That might be true, but reading "The Project 50" sent me on a quest for the fabled "way cool" moniker for every project I do.
In this practical and outrageously optimistic book, Peters makes a clarion call for work that matters, that takes your breath away--that, in short, WOWs not only your clients/customers but everyone who sees what you do.
With 50 suggestions (each with a number of action items) for creating WOW projects, Peters stirs a divine dissatisfaction for business-as-usual. "Good enough" work no longer is--and will soon be the death knell of its practitioners.
With characteristic bullets, colors, UPPER CASE PHRASES, and underlines, Peters confronts us with the challenge of the near-future: Making the most of the new millennium will require nothing else than producing WOW projects--whether they be spread sheets or theme parks.
This book reinvigorated me and recast my vision for the future--so much so that I bought copies for my fellow writer/producers. Read it and you'll see why.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 2 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is the Pilgrim's Progress for those who head up projects (which will be more and more people as organizations downsize and outsource). I liked the way that Tom Peters shows that everyone can make every project meaningful and a valuable, worthwhile contribution. This is a wonderful gift, and one that all can benefit from. Tom, when you redo this book (and with your theory of fast prototyping, I assume that this will come out next month), I think you missed a big opportunity -- helping people pick the project to work on that will make the most difference. If you subscribe to the 80/20 rule, then 20 percent of the projects will make 80 percent of the difference. By picking the right areas to work on, you can multiply your influence by more than 20 times than if you pick the low-potential areas. That is like getting to live 20 times over in one lifetime. Wow! I agree that high potential projects often come disguised as unimportant ones. A good companion book for this one is The Fifth Discipline, to help you understand systems thinking so that you can pick the areas to work on that will influence everything else. The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook and the Dance of Change also have very valuable ideas for running projects. Having spent my working career running projects, I especially subscribe to his notion that projects should have a stealthy beginning, so that you can have the freedom to create what is really needed. Too much publicity and money too soon are killers. I found the advice to closely parallel my own experiences and those of best practice cases that I study. This is a very valuable book for anyone who wants to make a difference. I also recommend the other two books in the series, Brand You 50 and Professional Service Firm 50. Thanks for sending copies to me, Tom Peters!
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