‘We can now buy almost any car and expect it to work perfectly from the start – very different from a few decades ago. So why not aspire for a world in which every project succeeds? That involves organisational change and improved processes and systems, but primarily it is about people – their attitudes, behaviours and relationships. Project management professionals are already driving this cultural shift. This book, by an eminent practitioner of both Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Project Management, makes a valuable contribution by marrying the two fields to reinforce our understanding of how people can maximise their effectiveness in managing and responding to change. It provides interesting and useful insights for those at all stages in their career development. I am pleased to recommend it.’
‘Method and process are important in project management, but knowing how to use them is even more so. Most project managers can increase their effectiveness most by developing their soft skills, recognising that finesse can be more effective than brute force. Once developed, they will find that their skills are much more transferable across not only project types, but whole industry sectors. This book showing the application of tools like NLP to develop competences will help you on that journey and will certainly whet your appetite for more. Peter’s lively style is compelling and benefits from his imaginative use of appropriate quotations and personal anecdotes. For me this book throws light on a major component of our journey towards greater professionalism in project management.’
‘Consistent feedback when we released early drafts of PRINCE2 was the need to describe those vital behavioural competences (or soft skills) that project managers require for successful project delivery. But it is not the remit of PRINCE2 to describe such skills as PRINCE2 is just a method, so we took the approach of sign-posting the additional competences that those involved in projects require. At last there is now a book that describes those skills, and more importantly in a way that puts them in context of project management. This book provides practical and easy to follow guidance on how to apply NLP techniques to a Project Manager’s every day work. I recommend every Project Manager reads this book (in addition to PRINCE2!)’
Andy Murray, CDir
‘If all books placed as much importance on soft skills as this one then perhaps we might start to see a sea change in the way projects are managed. All too often the fact it's people that deliver projects is forgotten, something not lost on this book which should be applauded.’
Chris Field, PMP MBCS CITP
‘Important contextualised contribution to the development of competence in the so-called soft skills, hard to master, but an indispensable component of effective practice in a profession whose time has come.’
‘I first spoke with Peter about three years ago about the need to develop self awareness and soft skills in project managers in order for them to become better leaders, and I was impressed with Peter’s application of NLP at the time. It appears that this conversation seeded a book, and an excellent one too. Well done !’
‘Goleman persuaded 5 million readers that EI was more important than IQ to success, but stopped short of telling us what to do about it. Peter shows us how. A must-read set of life and business skills for all professional interim executives’
‘There is still lots of room for improvement in project delivery performance in all sectors. In most cases vast improvement can easily come from all project players really understanding each other better and having higher quality relationships and interactions. NLP is a perfect technique to help all project players to improve in this area – enabling misunderstandings to be avoided or spotted and difficult issues confronted which will lead to better project outcomes. I recommend that all project players spend time to learn from this topic and improve their own capability and performance.’
‘Project failures, whether in terms of delivery or benefits realisation, continue to grab the headlines and there is a widely held perception that the project management profession does not learn from its mistakes. Methodologies and processes are clearly part of the answer, but we also need to address the people dimension of project and programme management, and this means looking beyond traditional approaches premised on the rational economic man paradigm of incentives and sanctions. Let's be clear, there is nothing wrong with such approaches, apart from the fact they don't work! They may be necessary, but are rarely sufficient - the difference that makes the difference is to apply approaches that engage people in terms that tap into their creativity and desire to contribute to a worthwhile cause. This is where NLP, and this book in particular, is key. Read it, apply it and not only will it make you a more effective project manager, it will also ensure the projects you are engaged in are more successful.’
'I was introduced to the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming via my involvement with sports coaching. This exposure to NLP illustrated to me what a fantastic tool this could be for the Project Management profession. We generally recognise that our people are our greatest asset and that we operate in a world where relationships are key, however, so called ‘soft skills’ can often be the hardest to master. With NLP our people can learn to be even more effective in their dealings with their teams, clients and key stakeholders. The release of Peter’s book is perfectly timed and fills a large void in the market.'
Peter Chana MAPM, MCIOB
'In this book Peter Parkes focuses on an increasingly valued aspect of project management. Soft skills have always underlain excellent project management performance, but the underlying concepts and techniques have not been clearly expressed. Peter has now demonstrated how NLP can help many of us, in a most helpful and engaging way. The benefits of applying, rather than just reading, his approach will become apparent to those concerned with supporting individual projects as to those governing major portfolios of programmes and projects. Knowing the depth of knowledge and experience on which this book is based I have no hesitation in recommending it.'
David Shannon, Hon Fellow APM
‘Having spent the last 30 years in and around projects and programmes of all shapes and sizes, it is refreshing to read a book that provides insight into the critical aspects of project performance – the people. The effectiveness of project leaders is defined by their level of emotional intelligence in conjunction with real experience in end to end delivery. Peter demonstrates both and we are pleased to work with him. His new book gives away some of his trade secrets and all project professionals would benefit from buying a copy.’
‘Efficient and effective transformation projects in the public sector will need to be delivered by astute, mature, experienced project managers with a real sense of self awareness, and awareness of what the customer wants and needs. Enable East has been inspired by Peter's structured NLP framework to give project managers a practical, common sense, approach to develop their own self awareness and soft skills and tune into key project stakeholders in order to ensure project success.’
“Change is the only constant’ is a well known phrase and clearly evident within progressive organisations today. NLP should be an integral accessory to the overall project, programme and portfolio managers toolkit and this book, authored by a respected practitioner, provides useful and clearly articulated comparisons between the various methodologies assisting the reader to be better prepared and able to use the right tool at the right time for their given role.’
Russel Jamieson FAPM
‘One of the main reasons for projects of all sizes failing to deliver is the project manager’s lack of soft skills for managing people. In this book Peter helps you to develop the skills in dealing with team members and stakeholders that are essential to be a successful project manager.’
‘(Project) Management is a combination of toolset and mindset. Currently the PM toolset box is overflowing and cluttered. It needs a good cleanout. On the other hand the PM mindset box is alarmingly empty except for some snake oil. The way ahead is a combination of mindset and toolset and we’ve done toolset to death. The articulation of an idea which works elsewhere and needed explaining in our language is therefore to be welcomed with open arms (and minds).’
‘Organisational change is dependent on transformational leadership. Peter has demonstrated underpinning skills in leading, motivating and influencing in his work over many years. We are glad that he has now captured the essence of these and many other skills in his book on application of NLP for professional project managers.’
‘Projects are delivered by people, success is getting teams of people to work together for a common goal. Project processes, tools and techniques help in delivery, but they are used by people. There are many texts on the process used in project management and they are relatively straightforward to understand and learn, people are more complex. This book on the people side of project management provides structure to help you as a project manager, and the teams around you, deliver successful projects. Peter has made this subject an enjoyable read bought to life with practical illustrations from his own extensive project management career. I have no hesitation in recommending this book to project professionals whether starting out on their career, or those with more experience seeking to constantly improve their performance’.
‘Projects don't manage themselves, so we need project managers. And the softer 'people' skills that help to communicate and deliver results through project activities are already essential managerial competencies. This invaluable book provides a fascinating insight into how NLP can help people to deliver better projects, written by someone with a wealth of project and management experiences to draw from.’
Dr Brendan D'Cruz
‘Professional PMs know that being successful requires more than following a framework or a process. Peter shows us that using a competence-based application of NLP techniques can drive more effective management. For a PM looking for an edge, Peter's book is brilliant!’
‘Effective Programme and Project management is about more than methodology. This book helps you to reflect on the skills and behaviours you use day to day and offers helpful routes for improved results and development as a PPM professional.’
The scope of the project management profession is very broad and often the softer skills are neglected, yet it is the people and teams that make the difference. We have heard the adage ‘What are the top three areas of project management?’ – 1 Communication, 2 Communication and 3 Communication! Whilst this is intended to be light hearted there is some logic here. Peter has linked NLP to project management which will certainly support the communication topic and Peter’s background, experience of a number of sectors, cultures and organisations provides the credibility to deliver.
John Chrastek, MSc MAPM MCIArb
'People, not process and tools, are the key ingredient in making change happen. Peter has vast experience in project leadership and has used it to create a useful read that can help project managers get the best out of their interactions with those they work with.'
‘In the world of project assurance we look at two things to gain confidence that projects will be successful: processes and people. There is ample guidance for the processes bit but until recently precious little about the people. This book is a significant contribution to a limited genre of literature that aims to help people develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours to increase the chances of project success’.
Roy Millard FAPM
‘International Project Management constitutes a complex world within which there are uncertainties and diverse stakeholder challenges. Peter's book is not only informative but, through consideration of NLP tools and techniques, provides us with a deeper insight and much needed guidance in developing flexible solutions to complexities found in managing international projects effectively. I look forward to him talking to our students about it’.
Amerjit Walia FAPM FCIPD
‘The days of table thumping are gone. Experience shows that excellent communication, negotiation and persuasion is essential to effective Project Management in the real world. Peter shows us how NLP techniques can be applied to get the message not only transmitted, but also received’.
‘Soft skills are the difference that makes the difference in leadership of change. Getting change to work well is really all about people. Peter tirelessly promotes this in project management, both through Alchemy, and more specifically in this book, which is a major contribution to the discipline.’