We’ll learn from that – but will you and will the company?

That’s what I heard the coach of the team say. Two weeks later he said the same thing about the same situation. It was not just me; several people commented the same problem existed 2 weeks ago but what has been done to try and rectify the situation.

Had they learnt? Maybe they had identified the lessons to learn but not yet quite got round to fixing the issue.

I run many project management courses within companies and I find that the same mistakes are occurring time and time again. For example; I spent a long time working with someone within a company. We developed a specific project management approach – one that fitted well with the way the company worked and we rolled out the training.

I have fed back to the company the need to train and develop sponsors. After 2 years we ran two half day workshops for sponsors.

Some months later and I had 2 comments to an introductory question on the 2 day course:

What goes wrong in projects you are involved in?

The two comments are:

  • Sponsor is not high enough in the company to get authority needed
  • I do not have a sponsor

We’ll learn from this. Need I say more?

 

Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net – Stuart Miles

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3 Responses to We’ll learn from that – but will you and will the company?

  1. Pingback: We’ll learn from that – but will you and will the company? | #PMChat

  2. Ian Cribbes says:

    Hi Ron,
    Lessons Learned is one of those areas within Project Management that easily lends itself to a ‘tick in the box’ mentality. The project has come to a conclusion (good or bad), the PM team have (mostly) moved on, as have the stakeholders / sponsors. During a presentation I was giving at Henley Business School I was challenged on the term Lessons Learned – the challenger commented that until the lesson (positive or negative) had been implemented into a new project it remained a Lesson Observed. Appreciate your thoughts.

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Thanks for this Ian. Sadly I agree with the comment raised above:

      “…the challenger commented that until the lesson (positive or negative) had been implemented into a new project it remained a Lesson Observed”

      Many people identify a lesson however do not change systems, approaches or behaviours. It is therefore only a lesson observed. Once there is some form of deliberate action then it becomes a lesson learnt. That of course is the big issue; it is a deliberate approach to change something.

      I also agree it becomes a tick box process in project management. Just imagine if companies actually did learn lessons AND shared them. maybe projects and business as usual would be delivered more effectively – saving time and money!

      Thanks again Ian

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