Thursday, November 22, 2007

'True' Learnings

Following on from last post I will continue on with the second point I made in presenting feedback to a number of Project Managers in an Enterprise PMO upon studying a number of their post implementation reviews.

Last post we talked about Blind Optimism and how despite PMs having the worst project in the world, they tend to be blindly optimistic about the outcome of the next.

This time I want to talk about the identification of 'true' learnings.

what I had discovered from studying a number of Post Implementation Review reports is that where challenges were faced during the delivery of a project, the workaround that got them over the line was highlighted.

Now this knowledge has value and can provide someone who finds themselves in a similar situation, a description of the experience and decision to hopefully improve their chances of success.

What was glaringly omitted is what I termed the True Learning. I described the true learning being the actual root cause of the challenge faced. By describing this you can give the gift of foresight to a PM by allowing them to be aware of the root cause and pre-cursors to the challenge in order to mitigate the risk of it occurring.

We have introduced After Action Review (AAR) questions and the 5 Whys technique to help people identify these root causes. But it is not just enough to identify them. We need to ensure they are shared and available for people who are no longer Blindly Optimistic.

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