Published on Thursday, April 13, 2017
A fundamental mechanism for passing on human wisdom since early civilisation, has been story-telling. That is how the idea was born to use story-telling techniques to capture the experience of high-performing Project Managers.
If you have ever been concerned about the loss of knowledge and experience when senior project/programme managers retire you will recognize it as a classic case of lessons learned, but knowledge and wisdom lost.
As skills shortage is pertinent and a global phenomenon the challenge we have today is to capture the essence of this wisdom, Project Lessons Learned, in a way that is relevant to future usage, readily searchable and easy to store.
It is important not only to capture knowledge from retired project managers, but also to share the know-how and experience of our most successful practising project managers. This will help to promote learning across the project and programme management community globally. And it will retain the wisdom to be shared with future generations!
A story collection framework was established as a means of collecting success stories, writing them up, storing them and publishing them in a way that is easily accessible to all project practitioners.
Read more about it at Virtual Project Consulting.
This is the story of a project manager who formed part of a multi-national team charged with regaining market share for their client. It was a complex project with international stakeholders introducing language and culture barriers and a timeline of eighteen months.
The company was not a convert of formal project management methods and was, at the time, using a lite version of Prince2. The translation of strategy into an executable plan whereby stakeholders’ visions of success as a single and agreed common understanding, was particularly difficult.
The successful outcome of the project was based largely on the company’s strong corporate governance working to achieve the strategic objective which was to recapture its market share. The Prince2 Board structure proved to work well with decision makers working quickly and decisively.
Highly effective skilled specialists collaborated regularly by sitting together, resulting in fewer meetings than normal and a cohesive, integrated team. Dealing within a marketing environment, the team had to adopt flexible project management processes, translating PM terminology into business terms, with ‘risks and issues’ translated into ‘considerations and opportunities’ and the project plan becoming the 'cycle plan'.
In retrospect the project management team learned that, in spite of the size of the organisation in question, which is governed by bureaucracy, the project team achieved a quick turn-around time from decisions to implementation. The lesson learnt from this is to prevent delays with decision-making by global stakeholders, the project plan included a schedule indicating the decision makers’ levels of responsibility in the chain of command which proved to be an invaluable time-saving measure.
While the organisation values and uses the formal Prince2 approach, here it was crucial that this approach was adapted by the project manager to meet the demands of this specific project in order to achieve the objectives and desired results.
Would you like to contribute to this exciting initiative by sharing some of your hard-earned experience with a global project management audience? I invite you to become part of a community who is passionate about passing on wisdom to the next generation to encourage them to succeed at project delivery and having fewer project failures and money wasted due to people not learning from past mistakes, but rather using recommended practices that have been proven to work well.
If you are interested in conveying your message to your target market, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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