How many times do we read that we must learn from our mistakes (I would also add from our successes!)? We encourage all of our clients to:
- use lessons learned reports or learning logs throughout projects
- hold end of project reviews where learning is at the centre of the meeting
I came across an interesting article in Computer Weekly headed “Litany of errors plagued Housing Corp IT project” The article goes into some detail about the errors and gives information published from firm of Consultants – click here for details of the report. The key findings are shown below:
*The Corporation lacked the the expertise to manage the project. As a result managers relied too heavily on technical advice from a single freelance IT consultant, despite warnings that this posed a risk
*Managers did not challenge the technical solution, despite reservations from independent advisors
*Executives gave repeated but mistaken assurances that the project was under control, despite difficult pilots
*Business users had little input into the design of the system, which suffered from technical problems and did not meet their needs
Now, an important point. I do not write this to embarrass The Housing Corporation: far from it! I write this to see what we can all learn from it
How does your organisation go about identifying and sharing learning – both positive and not so positive? How many times must the same mistakes be made before senior managers realise there is a pattern going on? Do you hold meetings where real learning is identified and acted upon? If no, you should and you need to action this now!
BEWARE: You don’t want to be the next headline.