5 lessons I learned from making my #OpenToWork video series

This post uses the lessons learned process framework in my book to describe what I learned from producing my #OpenToWork video series.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you will probably know that I recently published a series of videos aimed at helping people who are looking for work in the wake of the impact that COVID19 has had on the world economy, and that I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about learning lessons from experience.

So I thought I’d walk the talk and share with you the lessons I learned from the experience of producing my #OpenToWork video series using the steps in the lessons learned process framework that I describe in my book (Experience, Reflection, Capture, Storage, Retrieval, Application) so that you can see it in action.

A framework of how organisations learn from projects
A framework of how organisations learn from projects
Continue reading “5 lessons I learned from making my #OpenToWork video series”

Managing Knowledge in Project Environments (Book Review)

This book presents knowledge management as integral to projects, and explains it using KM principles and fundamentals that apply anywhere. Hidden KM is exposed, myths are debunked and practical guidance explains how to build KM into projects and portfolios.

Overview

  • The book aims to illustrate how knowledge management (KM) contributes to successful project work. The authors present KM as an integral part of project work and explain it using KM principles and fundamentals that apply anywhere.
  • Hidden KM is exposed, myths are debunked and practical guidance explains how to build KM into projects and portfolios.
  • The aim is to help project professionals, sponsors, PMO members and others who can make a difference manage knowledge more effectively in project environments. Managing Knowledge in Project Environments offers everyone involved in project work a definitive short guide to the subject.

Continue reading “Managing Knowledge in Project Environments (Book Review)”

Project data analytics impact (and promise): hype or reality?

This is the question that the panel set out to answer at the most recent meeting of the Project Data Analytics Meetup, hosted as usual by Martin Paver. I’d like to focus on a few key things that resonated with me during the evening…

This is the question that the panel set out to answer at the most recent meeting of the Project Data Analytics Meetup, hosted as usual by Martin Paver.

I’d like to share with you a few key things that resonated with me during the evening…

Continue reading “Project data analytics impact (and promise): hype or reality?”

5 Lessons I learned writing a book about learning lessons

I recently published my book Learning Lessons from Projects: How it works, why it goes wrong, and how you can do it better.


My former colleague Andrew Fleming commented “Well done on the book. What lessons did you learn from writing it?”

As that’s a really good question, I thought I’d answer it properly in the form of this blog post.

So what did I learn? Here are my top five learning points. Continue reading “5 Lessons I learned writing a book about learning lessons”

Learning lessons from projects

I’ve always had something of a bee in my bonnet about lessons learned.

It saddens me to think that many organisations don’t fully exploit the learning that passes under their noses every day from running projects. I have long thought that there must be something that we in the project management community can do to improve the situation.

So I have written a book, Learning Lessons from Projects: How it works, how it goes wrong, and how you can do it better, and various resources to accompany it.

This book looks at how organisations learn from the experience of running projects, and how this can go wrong. It looks into how failures can creep in at the various stages of the learning process, and offers to project managers and project management office (PMO) people some practical suggestions as to how to make things better.

The book is available exclusively from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions:

As part of the writing process, I have:

  • Created three prototypes of lessons learned databases that you can build yourself (in a spreadsheet, in Trello®, and in Microsoft® SharePoint®) with instructions on how to do it yourself.
  • Created a companion web page to host some of the resources I talk about in the book.
  • Proposed a simple video interview format as an alternative to the traditional Lessons Learned report
  • Recorded a series of videos using my proposed format so you can see what they look like, and
  • Made the audio from the interviews available as a podcast that you can download to your mobile device (from your device, just search your favourite podcast directory for Pragmatic PMOCast)

So that you can judge for yourself whether they would be useful.

You can take a sneak peek inside the book using this Kindle previewer:

I hope you find the book interesting, and a useful addition to your PMO bookshelf.

If you’re coming to the end of a project and you want to make sure that your organisation learns from its delivery experience but you’re not sure how, then Pragmatic PMO can help. Why not take a look at our “Learn lessons from your project” service, and if that looks interesting, schedule a free 30-minute consultation to discuss how we can help you?

Agile Retrospectives: Making good teams great (Book Review)

Overview

  • The aim of the book is to introduce a structure for retrospectives and to walk the reader through planning, designing and leading a retrospective, with activities and guidance on how to use them
  • The book appears to be aimed at people who want to use retrospectives in their organizations, whether these organisations are currently using Agile techniques or not.

Continue reading “Agile Retrospectives: Making good teams great (Book Review)”

Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance (Book Review)

Overview

  • This very popular book looks at the relationships between success, failure, and improvement.

  • Drawing from approaches used by aviation and sport, it suggests ways to improve how we think about our experience to learn how to do things better.
  • Unusually for a book review on this blog, this book is not aimed at project management professionals particularly, but falls more into the category of “general self help”. I reviewed it because so many of my project management professional friends told me that I should read it (including the PMO Flashmob Book Club night)!

Continue reading “Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance (Book Review)”

Lessons Learned: Specific or Universal?

lessons-learnt

At a recent PMO FlashMob event, I got chatting with a few FlashMobbers about what can be done with the Lessons identified in project closure reports. There were split opinions in the group:

  • Some thought that Lessons are usually specific to the Project concerned, and are only useful in later stages of the same project, or in running future projects that are very similar to the one from which the Lessons were learned;
  • Others (including me) thought that it is possible to extract more generic learning from at least some Lessons that can be implemented across many projects (even those that are different from the project that identified the Lesson), perhaps by adding or making a small change to a checklist, template, approach, BAU process or corporate PM methodology, or by including the Lesson in PM training or coaching.

I have written before about Lessons Learned and my ideas on how to use them, but I thought it might be fun to try an experiment, with which I would be grateful for your help. Continue reading “Lessons Learned: Specific or Universal?”