Peter de Jager is a provocative Speaker,
Writer and Consultant. His primary focus in on how we manage change,
technology and the future.
In addition to speaking at conferences
worldwide, he's also written monthly columns for Municipal World and
His goal is always to question what we
think is so, and in so doing perhaps open up new opportunities.
If you'd like permission to reprint any
of Peter's articles, please contact him directly.
You can contact him at
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Book and he'll get back to you.
Greetings, Investing time to listen/watch/(and pay
for) a webinar
is risky business... I know that. You're busy, and time is precious. So
the question is? Should you bother to attend any of the webinars we're
offering on a monthly basis? It's a good question.
On June 29th 2011 we
offered 'The Mythical Man-Month', we had about 220 people attend
this webinar, after the session we asked for feedback. What
better way to help you decide whether to spend your time with us?
It's all below, the good and the 'bad' - we've only removed some comments
that were outside the scope of 'feedback' on the webinar. And... I've
highlighted some of the 'choicer' comments.
Peter de Jager & Mark Mullaly
A very interesting topic that I'm glad you addressed.
As always, an interesting and worthwhile hour.
As always, excellent content and presented very well. I look forward to these webinars each month. Keep up the good work.
"Brooks Books are among the classics and one of the first that I condensed into Notes. People are the core of projects but don't get the time needed to understand their impact.
Great summary of the ideas.
Everything was OK
Excellent presentation of a poorly understood subject. As one of the commenters
mentioned, this stuff should be common sense - but when was sense ever common?
Given the types of project my organization is involved in - process re-engineering, change management, etc. EVERYTHING is being done for the first time, so our estimates are always first time.
This should be a must-view seminar for all PM professionals. Many thanks!
Excellent topic and well presented. I liked that older reference resources (books) were used. (I am old enough to know what OS/360 was.) I moved into project management after years of system programming and could relate to the references. I also liked that you provided several books to look into. I always enjoy your webinars and let other PMs know about them.
Excellent tutorial of the "break-downs" that occur, that we "cause" due to our perspective (i.e., optimism or lack of).
Especially appreciated the clinking of the glasses example - gave me a clearer, more concrete picture of the potential foibles of adding more people to complete a task.
"Feedback: Awesome presentation. I have been spreading the word!
I liked the details and the examples you show. Great job."
good job as always! I just wish my manager and people from the sales dept. would listen to presentations like this (yes, I did send them the link) and understand why I get 'angry' when they start pressing for shorter delivery times.
"Good ole common sense aye.
Thanks Peter. I always enjoy your presentations.
Good pace, content and a dash of humour."
"Good overview; makes me want to read the book.
thanks for your efforts!"
Good presentation. Like the PMI focus and project management bent. Pls continue to leave lots of time for Q and A as these are very instructive.
Great review of a idea that stood the test of time. I enjoyed your speaking style and treatment of the material
Great slides, beats the text laden mash by miles! The glass clinking really brought home the communications dilemma. Man months only works when you’re breaking rocks in the hot sun. The majority of tasks cannot be partitioned - common sense, to those who have it.
Great topic Peter - since I have never read the book, this webinar was a excellent summary and does help to create interest for further investigation. If you have similar lectures from other excellent sources, please host them in the future. Thanks.
"Hi Peter, Very interesting, good input! Thank you, Katja"
I appreciate your perspectives on this topic. Thanks for hosting the webinar.
I asked in advance about any changes in 35 years. I guess the answer was implicit -- no. But if you are going to ask for advance questions, it would be nice to acknowledge them. Otherwise, usual great stuff.
I really appreciate your webinars. They are always informative and thought-provoking. Thanks for doing this.
I think it was one of the best I have attended. Timely topic for a project I'm on. Some great resources were referenced--I'm going to the library over the weekend!
I think this was the most interesting/informative webinar I have heard.
In thinking of a current project, your talk reinforces the need to be on top of status results. This has been key to a project I am currently on, as estimates are somewhat loose. We are in the early months of a technology project. The team was asked for their input to verify class 'Z' timelines based on workpages defined to date. It is a project where staff have never done the work and are in a
significant learning curve with only internet research and their powers of
deductive reasoning will help them out.
Interesting. Made me want to read the book (in fact, have just requested it from the library).
It very much appreciated...to clarify why projects estimate are most of the time optimistic, poor progress monitoring, being late - may not meet target just by increasing team size if project process is not scalable. It is excellent!
It was a very good use of my time. Thank you.
It was great and confirmed what I've been doing in practice.
"It's been a while since I've been able to join one of your sessions. This webinar was insightful and provided great insight to the topic. I've not considered the theory of man-months previously and now have new food for thought. Thank you for your commitment and the willingness to drive the practice forward. This will be hard win in my organization, but no time better than right now.
it's great that you provide these webinars for us antipodeans at a time that is convenient for us (although not so much for you!). Thank you. It was a very clear webinar, and I got a bit out of it. I will look to download the webinar also, so I can refer back to it in the future. Sorry no 'negative' feedback - my first webinar and it gave me what I wanted :-)
Material and presenter were very good.
Nice job, Peter. Lots of good information.
"Nice summary of Brooke's book. IBM provided this as one of the handouts for their week-long Project Management class in the early 80s which was my first PM class. The shoot the messenger theme is still an issue, along with the optimism that if we work harder we can make up time.
No proposed changes. Appreciate the opportunity to participate. Looking forward to catching up with Peter again when he is next in Australia.
One of the better webinars you've hosted. I liked the tying of the "classic" book with concrete suggestions on what this means for project management now. Even the questions were better than usual. Thanks!
One of your better webinars. Nicely done. Wish you could communicate a way to crash a schedule without adding bodies that I could use in my updates to Mgt.
Peter - One of your best webinars - Practical - timely, good memory hooks for key topics, a topic that needs much reinforcement. Please consider for a future webinar -"Other myths that need to be shattered".. Thank you
Peter, thanks so much for this topic and your ability to explain it so plainly. This will help me tomorrow when I go back to work. I have an immediate need to hire three highly technical VTC engineers. I am the SME on the technology but my boss wants me to have four other people in the office "help" me. There is only so much they can do since all candidates must eventually be vetted by me anyway. He doesn't understand why at a certain point I don't need help.
Now I can explain it to him - I hope. Tnx
Peter, your webinars are always so wonderful and full of great info.! I look forward to them. Thank you so much for all that you do!
"Thank you, Peter. I am of the same thinking about more thinking is necessary, that the statement that you must look busy is nonsense. I'll be there with you next month.
Thank you--if I had known about Brooks' book years ago, I would have had arguments in hand when I was confronted with "do it faster with more people'.
I've learned a lot about project management by observing others who were really bad at managing projects. Progress on the project plan often didn't match what was actually happening.
Thanks for the NZ friendly time
Thanks!. You took a project I am somewhat knowledgeable of and still kept it interesting and fresh. Good webinar.
thanks, was great!
Thanks. I liked the time people had for Q&A on the topic. Amazing how so little has changed since this book was written.
"Thanks. I appreciate your webinars. The information is not something I didn't already ""know,"" but
your webinars are a good reminder and your illustrations and enthusiasm make the information memorable (rememberable?)
Thanks. Very timely reminders as today I am drafting a report for our Board about the delays to a specific high-profile project. I am expecting to be asked by the Sponsor to gloss over these issues when he reviews the report, but shall
endeavor to be more like a cook.
The webinar is well organized and the presentation is spot on the concepts to be presented. The examples like 'clinking the glasses' to demonstrate cost of communication, and taking real world problem and examining the possible responses and analyzing response to demonstrate/explain the concepts was really a nice thing that was done in the presentation.
I certainly recommend this webinar to any one who is practicing project management.
"The webinar was quite informative and I could relate to a number of the points.
Also thought you might like to know that we could hear heavy breathing before the webinar started."
There were some excellent points. I particularly appreciated that PM's do not appropriately understand the true status of a project and because of it they very unlikely to communicate it to management. You cannot clearly communicate something you do not understand. It would be great to have a seminar that focuses on common mistakes PM's make within their role: not embracing their leadership role and understand that is what their project team wants, not really understanding the project, etc.
This was a great webinar. Thank you for your time.
This was a pretty good memory jogger. Thanks. It was a while ago that I read the book. Nothing much has changed since it was written.
This was an excellent presentation. I first read Brooks' book several years ago, and I still recall many of the points you brought out.
"This webinar was very insightful. I also appreciated the other books that Peter mentioned during the presentation.
thx peter, good topic, relevant and important. follow ons would be very interesting, incl mapping these key lessons to agile, mapping them to "crisis" jobs (ie just get it done, genuinely(!) no time to plan before commencement), identifying the flip side on 'can' say no' which is the whole implicit and explicit censure on a PM's ability, career, manhood (yes, even for the girls) if they can't get it done, don't have faith, won't try. this seminar IDed the problem - next step it to develop the tools and co
TX - always great to be reminded of commonsense and reasons to explain to doubting
Thomas's aka Management
"Useful insight into the thinking behind planning and resourcing..
First time joined so keen to attend further sessions"
Very good webinar. Good to hear I am not the only PM having these issues. Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated. I look forward to your next webinar.
Very interesting subject and the suggested books. Samples during presentation are very attractive to me because this is the real world where we are
Very pragmatic approach. This will help me articulate why the project will take more time despite the "gift" of extra help.
Very useful and well presented, thanks a lot.
Was great information, especially on the estimation - was very enlightening.