More Lessons Learned on LinkedIn

More Lessons Learned on LinkedIn

The following interesting LinkedIn and blog posts highlight the challenges we have with lessons learned:

Lesson Learned Fact Sheet  at Jose Carlos blog

Lessons Learned and when training hurts the future at David Griffiths K3- Cubed blog

Both of these posts supports the Syllk model in highlighting the barriers of lessons learned and discussion around the learning element of the model.

Enjoy :-)

Stephen

 

 


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Project Management Around the world #pmFlashBlog: Project organisations require a new paradigm for organisational learning through projects

Project Management Around the world #pmFlashBlog: Project organisations require a new paradigm for organisational learning through projects.

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(Picture Source: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com reports)

At the end of the last #PMFlashBlog I highlighted a 2011 project management PM World Today editorial post on Lessons Learned but Knowledge Lost, where  Wideman a recognized project management global expert stated:  “…in spite of all the technology that is available to us today, we have not yet found a presentation format that captures the essence of this wisdom in a way that is relevant to future usage, readily searchable and easy to store. …we have a serious cultural problem. …we are probably condemned to continue to throw away the valuable resources.”

The majority of project managers think of lessons learned as… follow a process and enter your lessons learned into a tool…am I right?  Well the focus on with this #pmFlashBlog will be on the various Project Management guides and models on lessons learned.

Not for the want of opinions, guides, and models on lessons learned

Generally speaking, there are many opinions and guides, but little practical advice regarding workable processes that effectively enable the organisation to learn from past project experiences. Over the last 14 years the PMBOK® Guide has increased its references to the term lessons learned. In the PMBOK® Guide 4th edition there is a focus on process improvement as a result of lessons learned. However, in the PMBOK® Guide 4th and 5th editions the ‘lessons learned’ process is not discussed anywhere except for a glossary description and both versions refer to a different description on what is a lesson learned. PMBOK® Guide 5th edition has an additional twenty two references (mainly due to a new knowledge area – Stakeholder Management) and still remains focussed on project closure lesson learned activities. The PMBOK® Guide 5th edition also aligns with the Knowledge Management (KM) Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom (DIKW) model. However, the DIKW model which is based on the work of Ackoff (1989) has been challenged by the KM community as “unsound and methodologically undesirable” (Frické, 2009; Rowley, 2007; Vala-Webb, 2012).

Organisations are also not to be found wanting for lessons learned models and methods. The Project Management Institute’s OPM3 Organizational Project Management Maturity Model references lessons learned. However, there is less guidance than that provided in the PMBOK® Guide. The APM Body of Knowledge 6th Edition refers to knowledge management as the governance process rather than identification of the specific process around lessons learned and highlights the importance of people skills (communities of practice, learning and development) and delivery of information management. The Office of Government Commerce PRINCE2  project methodology encourages project teams to “…learn from previous experience: lessons are sought, recorded and acted upon throughout the life of the project”. PRINCE2 has a single process (a lessons learned log) for recording lessons learned and reporting on them (lessons learned report). The last to consider would be the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) model which provides for best practice organisational process improvement where process improvement proposals and process lessons learned are said to be key work products and sub-processes. The benefits of CMMI identifies the classic approach of collecting and translating key lessons into processes.

The Syllk model research to date…may influence changes to our Project Management guides?

 syllk model

 Syllk model (http://www.pmlessonslearned.info)

The Syllk model is developed to enable project organisations to learn from their past project experiences by capturing lesson learned from projects and distributing knowledge across an organisational network of elements such as people (individual learning, culture, social) and systems (technology, process and infrastructure).

This blog is about sharing project management lessons learned research findings. Initial research progress suggests that by reconceptualising lessons learned in terms of an adaptation of the Swiss cheese model for safety and accident prevention, the Syllk model can influence the identification, dissemination and application of project management lessons learned. Early results have established that the alignment of the people and system elements has the potential to positively influence the success of an organisation’s lessons learned processes and that the people element and culture factor may well be the most likely to negatively influence lessons learned in organisations.

Furthermore, the initial research progress has also established that several elements of the model need to align to ensure organisational lessons are learned by means of projects. Finally, the research findings will contribute to the project and knowledge management literature and provide an opportunity to improve project knowledge sharing, and ensure projects achieve success for organisations to maintain a competitive advantage.

Understanding the impact of culture and just culture was identified as a key factor in the research and this was supported by the strong parallels found with health care, nuclear power, rail and aviation organisations. By applying the Syllk model to an organisation and identifying the lessons learned and knowledge management facilitators and barriers one can better understand the organisational systems required to support an environment that captures, disseminates and applies lessons learned.

 Until next time…Thanks for reading, Stephen

 About “#PMFlashBlog – Project Management Around the World”: This post is part of the second round of the #PMFlashBlog where over 50 project management bloggers will release a post about their view of project management in their part of the world. 

 

 


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Syllk update

It has been a while since the last post…starting a new role within a Safety organisation has opened up many new opportunities to explore the Syllk model, as I have always seen a strong association with safety culture having a positive impact on how an organsiation learns. I am now enrolled full-time on the PhD, so my workload has increased significantly along with the confirmation process. Good progress has been made on two projects as part of the PhD, early indications show the Syllk model does help organisations learn from mistakes of the past. The knowledge power of story telling will be revealed in the next post…


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Syllk replaces the SLLCK model

As you know this blog supports my PhD research on pm lessons learned aka knowledge management. My initial work focused on a SLLCK model (systemic lessons learned and captured model) published in a PMOZ 2012 project management conference.

The on-going research work has refined the model to a systemic lessons learned knowledge model or Syllk model (current paper in journal peer review). This model is derived from an analysis of how complex adaptive systems learn and from how the Swiss cheese model for safety and systemic failures is successfully implemented for learning by health care, nuclear power, rail, and aviation organizations. The revised model focuses on the capturing, disseminating and application of lessons learned. The model is developed to enable project organizations to learn from their past project experiences by capturing lesson learned from projects and distributing knowledge across an organizational network of elements such as people (individual learning, culture, social) and systems (technology, process and infrastructure). 

syllk modelSyllk model

Until next time….Stephen


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What does project management mean to me – “lessons learned” (A #PMFlashblog)

 What does project management mean to me – “lessons learned”

file ll hereFrom my perspective project management means to me the effective management of  people and systems. This is where I find a strong connection with lessons learned / knowledge management.

The majority of project managers think of lessons learned as… follow a process and enter your lessons learned into a tool…am I right?  Well the focus will not be on the process or the database/spreadsheet/document/log etc as we all know it from PMBOK, PRINCE2, ISO21500 etc.

I have had to learn a number of lessons in my project management career as we all have. Some have been good lessons about humankind and myself, and some have been surprisingly hard lessons to learn about others, and about myself.  Some lessons you only have to learn once, other lessons you seem to have to learn over and over…

Dale E. Turner said “Some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future”.  

We have a significant challenge for government and business project organizations to ensure that lessons are learned and those mistakes of the past are not repeated. Both the knowledge and project management literature suggests that the lessons learned process in practice rarely happens, and when it does it fails to deliver the intended results.

We all need to do something about this, as our professional image as project managers will suffer in the wider community.  The problem does not seem to be with identifying lessons, nor is it to a lesser extent the ability to store knowledge. But rather the problem appears to be that organizations are unable to apply or implement the lesson learned (knowledge) they have. They lack, anthropomorphising somewhat, an organizational central nervous system. Much of the literature re-enforces the point that people factors influence the success of the lessons learned process and that a just culture / learning culture is critical to successful dissemination of lessons learned.

There are some successes in health care, nuclear power, rail and aviation. A common element in these organizations is the cultural practices for learning through safety.  There seems to be a connection between organizational learning and how naturally evolved complex adaptive systems (CAS) learn. My research to date has developed a conceptual Systemic Lessons Learned Knowledge model or Syllk model. This model is derived from an analysis of how complex adaptive systems learn and from how the Swiss cheese model for safety and systemic failures is successfully implemented for learning by health care, nuclear power, rail, and aviation organizations. The model is developed to enable project organizations to learn from their past project experiences by capturing lesson learned from projects and distributing knowledge across an organizational network of elements such as people (individual learning, culture, social) and systems (technology, process and infrastructure).

syllk modelSyllk model

The challenge as I see it is that Project Management needs to consider how to align with the complexity issues of the people and systems elements within the lessons learned (knowledge) organizational environment. This challenge is supported by a recent project management PM World Today editorial post on Lessons Learned but Knowledge Lost. In response, Wideman a recognized project management global expert stated:  “…in spite of all the technology that is available to us today, we have not yet found a presentation format that captures the essence of this wisdom in a way that is relevant to future usage, readily searchable and easy to store. …we have a serious cultural problem. …we are probably condemned to continue to throw away the valuable resources.”

In summary, as stated earlier, we as Project Manager’s need to continue contributing to the project and knowledge management literature and provide an opportunity to improve project knowledge sharing, and ensure projects achieve success for organizations.

Finally, I will leave you with a quote from Hugh White (1773 -1840)When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind, and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.”

Thanks for reading, Stephen

As Shim would say “think about it”

#PMFlashblog

(Picture Source: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com reports)

P.S. This post is published as part of a first ever project management-related global blogging initiative to publish a post on a common theme at exactly the same time. Over 70 bloggers from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UK and the USA have committed to make a blogging contribution and the fruit of their labour is now available all over the web. The complete list of all participating blogs is here so please go and check them out!

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e-book is now available (wef 26 November 2013)


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What Project Management Means To Me #PMFlashblog Teaser

Something exciting and unique is happening on 25th September in the world of project management. On this day at least 70 people of which I am one will be publishing a blog post at the same time on the same topic. What does project management mean to me. Welcome to #PMFlashblog

This fantastic idea has been created by Shim Marom over at Quantmleap (a great blog that you really should subscribe to). You can read more about the #PMFlashblog here

Henny Portman who is also taking part in the #PMFlashblog has created a fantastic infographic the plots all those taking part on a world map. You can view the map hereSee here for a list of those taking part in the #PMFlashblog.

Looking forward to the 25th…. Stephen


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