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The Project 50

Amazon link: The Project 50 (Reinventing Work): Fifty Ways to Transform Every "Task" into a Project That Matters!

Also see David Allen's Natural Planning Techniques: The Five Phases

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.



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

50Lists Credo:

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE! (Life-Time Investments & Peter Drucker's : Managing Oneself)

5O Lists: Series Introduction:

We aren’t knocking Dilbert.

Who would dare?

But we do believe that work can be cool.


Work—yours and mine—as we know it today will be reinvented in the next ten years.

It’s as simple as that.

And as profound. Here’s why...

The tough old union militant remembers. In 1970 (not exactly an eon ago) it took 108 guys some five days to unload a ship full of timber

And now?

Container daze: eight guys ... one day.

It happened on the farm when the thresher came along.

It happened in the distribution center when the forklift arrived.

And it happened dockside.

But, hey, it’s the new millennium. Ninety-plus percent of us—even in so-called “manufacturing” companies—work at white collar jobs.

Fact: We haven’t touched—or really even bothered with—white collar productivity.

Never Until now ...

It’s a brand-new ballgame.


The accounting “shop” is coming under the same productivity searchlight that those docks did.

And we think we have an inkling of what the new rules will be.

The revolution: Information systems.

Information technology.

Enterprise Resource Planning systems.


Knowledge-capital-management schemes.

Enterprise Customer Management.

The Web.


Global deregulation.

Etc. Etc.

All fueling a—no hype—once every 100, 200, 500 (?) years revolution.

  • The project50: or; transform every “task” into a project that matters! by Tom Peters

    • Work matters

    • 50 Lists: Credo

    • 50 Lists: Series Introduction

    • Contents

    • Introduction: Why the big deal about projects?

    • I. create!

      • 1. Reframe: never … ever! … accept a project/assignment as given!

      • 2. Translate “your daily experiencnces into cool stuff to do.”

        • Curiosity Capers

        • Journal Power

      • 2a. Become a benchmarking fool: look at every-small-thing … as a golden learning opportunity

      • 3. Improve your vocabulary! Learn to love “WOW!” Use the word.” WOW!

      • 4. There are no “small” projects

      • 4a. Convert today’s annoying chore” into a WOW! Project

      • 5. Put on the brakes! Don’t betray WOW!

      • 6. Love Makes The World Go ‘Round!

      • 7. Will It—The Project, Our Baby—Be Beautiful? Yes … Beautiful!

      • 8. Design Is It. I.E.: One Of The Single Most Powerful Forces In The Whole Bloody Universe

      • 9. Is The Project Revolutionary? (Are You Sure?)

      • 10. Is The Web Factored Into The Project? In A Big Way?

      • 11. Impact. Henry James Asked As His Ultimate Question, Of An Artist’s Work: “Was It Worth Doing?”

      • 11a. Made Anybody(S) Angry Lately?

      • 12. Raving Fans!

      • 12a. Women-As-Raving Fans. Women Take To Products/Services—And Thence, “Project Deliverables”

      • 13. Pirates On The High Seas. “We” Are On A Mission/ Crusade. We Plan To Upset The Applecart

      • 14. If You Can (Hint: You Can!), Create A “Place.” That Is …Pirates Need Ships At Sea And Caves On Land

      • 15. Put It In Your Résumé. Now! Picture Yourself Crossing The Finish Line

      • 16. Think Rainbow (diversity of users)!

      • 17. Think … Or Rethink … Or Reframe … Your Concept Into A “Business Plan.”

      • 18. Think/Obsess Deadline. Be Ridiculously/Absurdly/ Insanely Demanding Of Yourself/Your Little Band

      • 19. Find A Wise Friend. WOW Projects Ain’t Easy! They Sretch You, Stress You, Often Vex You. And The

      • 20. Find—And Then Nurture—A Few (Very Few) Co-Conspirators

      • 20a. Find At Least One User/Co-Conspirator. Now. Think User From The Start

      • 21. Consider Carrying Around A Little Card That Reads: WOW! Beautiful! Revolutionary! Impact! Raving

      • Reprise: Create!

    • II. sell!

      • 22. Be Succinct. Describe Your Project (Its Benefits And Its Wow!) In Three Minutes

      • 22A. Metaphor Time!

      • 23. Sales Means Selling … Everyone!

      • 24. Hey: Wow Project Life = Sales. Right? So … Work Consciously On Buzz. Get Visible And Stay Visibl

      • 25. Do Your “Community Work.” Start To Expand The Network! ASAP

      • 26. Last Is As Good As First. If They Support You … They Are Your Friends

      • 27. Preach To The Choir! Never Forget Your Friends!

      • 28. Don’t Try To Convert Your Enemies. Don’t Waste Time On Then

      • 29. Create An A-Team Advisory Board

      • 30. Become A Master Bootstrapper. You Heard It Here First: Too Much Initial Money … Kills!

      • 31. Think BETA! As In Beta Site(S). You Need Custom Er-Partners … As Safe-Haven Testing Grounds For


    • III. implement!

      • 32. Chunk! Chunk! Chunk!

      • 33. Live … Eat … Sleep Breathe: Prototype! I.E.: Become An Unabashed Prototyping Fanatic

      • 33A. Teach Prototyping. Prototyping Is A “Corporate Culture” Issue I. E. Work To Create A Culture Of

      • 34. Play! Find Playmates!

      • 35. Scrunch The Feedback Loops!

      • 36. Blow It Up! Play … And Destruction … Are Handmaidens

      • 37. Keep Recruiting! Iron Law: Wow Projects Call For Wow People. Never Stop Recruiting!

      • 37a. Wanted: Court Jester

      • 38. Make A Big Binder! This Is The Project Bible. It’s The Master Document … The Macro-Map

      • 39. List Mania. Ye Shall Make Lists … And The Lists Shall Make Ye Omniscient. (No Joke.)

      • 40. Think (Live / Sleep /Eat /Breathe) Timeline / Milestones

      • 40a. Wanted: Ms. Last Two Percent!

      • 41. Master The 15-Minute Meeting! You Can Change (Or At Least Organize) World In 15 Minutes!

      • 42. Celebrate!

      • 42a. Celebrate Failures!

      • 43. Action Is The Keynote, But Don’t Allow It To Steer You Off Course Re WOW etc.

      • 44. A Project Has An Identity. It’s Alive. Project = Life … Spirit … Personality

      • 45. Cast The Net A Little/Lot Farther Afield

      • 46. It’s The User, Stupid! Never Lose Sight Of The User Community

      • 47. Concoct a B.M.P./Buzz Management Program. Marketing Is Implementation

      • Reprise: Implementation My Breakout WOW Project

    • IV. exit! A time to each and every thing!

      • 48. Sell Out!

      • 48a. Recruit A Mr. Follow Up Who Is As Passionate As You Are! (And LOVES Administration.)

      • 49. Seed Your Freaks Into The Mainstream … Where They Can Become Mutant Viruses For Your (Quirky) Po

      • 50. Write Up The Project History. Throw A Grand Celebratory Bash!

      • Afterword: Present At The Creation?

      • The Movement!

      • Reading and Viewing Resources

      • Acknowledgments


Books in this series


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself (PDF) is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving relentlessly toward unimagined futures.



What’s the next effective action on the road ahead


It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then working out a plan for coping with what you’ve rejected.

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