Please find attached Jon’s PMIQ Chapter Meeting – Brisbane – 19 June 2013 Presentation.
The evening went well with many Q & A’s.
|Introducing Dr Jon Whitty – Senior Lecturer, Project Management
Many organisations today are struggling with implementing the somewhat unclear concepts of ‘lessons learned’, ‘knowledge capture’ and ‘knowledge management’. This presentation tackles the problems with these concepts head-on and proposes a new practical conceptual model of building organisational knowledge through projects. What is innovative is that this new model has its roots firmly grounded in naturally evolved biological systems.The new conceptual model is practical and somewhat intuitive when properly understood. At the end of this session you will be able to immediately reconceptualise how your organisation truly learns and could better adapt to its environment.
This talk is linked to this paper.
Jon is my PhD Supervisor, I would encourage you to attend this presentation, as it represents the SyLLK model in another perspective.
Found another great public available lessons learned site from NASA, this time we have a strong connection with Risk Management…my other passion of interest. Enjoy the search…as we dont want to file them as per the picture. Regards, Stephen
At a recent event in the PM UK APM Knowledge SIG November 2012 an interesting conversation took place. To watch the outcome click on http://www.apm.org.uk/news/courageous-conversation#.UXE_pLXfCSp.
Great words by Judy Payne and Jon Whitty, pictures by Vanessa Randle and Tech by Ian Sabell.
I currently struggle with the BOK approach and this clip says it all…
We are not learning our PM lessons…
We need to find another way…
Update 25/4/2013: Check out also the related discussion in Linkedin – fascinating!
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS)
DOE Corporate Operating Experience (OE) Program: The Department of Energy’s (DOE) corporate OE Program helps to prevent the recurrence of significant adverse events/trends by sharing performance information, lessons learned and good practices across the DOE complex. A great source of lessons learned links…..
Lessons Learned from a Nuclear Accident (A new addition to the lessons learned available to the general public)
As most of you know, I am always on the look out for public domain lessons learned. While researching for a new journal paper I came across the
Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). The INPO was created as a result of the Three Mile Island event. The INPO help to identify precursors, disseminate lessons learned and best practices, and generally ensure that every plant operates with the best knowledge available (and also to forestall further regulation). The World Association of Nuclear Operators performs these tasks globally. Although knowledge development and dissemination have been successful overall, problems continue in this industry, which is under continuous scrutiny by regulators and a wary public (Carroll 2004).
Nuclear Energy Institute
INPO Updates Report on Lessons Learned From Fukushima Daiichi Accident
Lessons Learned from the Nuclear Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
The lessons learned make an interesting read…..
Looks like to me the SLLCK Model could help?
Doesn’t a new knowledge policy just mean another layer of bureaucracy? Looking forward to the new policy http://go.nasa.gov/15QrjzO
“…Where knowledge is concerned, the primary concern is ensuring that we manage the knowledge resources that enable us to execute the agency’s programs, projects, and missions. Up to now, the focus of NASA’s knowledge policy has been on capturing lessons learned in the Lessons Learned Information Systems (LLIS) database. As I’ve written in the past, there is a rich diversity of knowledge work going on across the agency, from the Shuttle Knowledge Console at JSC to the case studies developed at Goddard Space Flight Center. Our policy needs to reflect the breadth of knowledge management efforts already in place across NASA.
In January, the CKOs and points of contact from the centers, mission directorates, and cross-agency support organizations (such as the NASA Engineering and Safety Center and the NASA Safety Center) got together at the Academy Center for Excellence at Kennedy Space Center to forge a new knowledge policy for NASA. We left the meeting with a working draft that is being internally reviewed and revised. Two weeks after that meeting, the NASA Program Management Council granted us authority to proceed with developing this new knowledge policy. In the months ahead, I will be writing more about what the knowledge policy covers and how it should ultimately help NASA practitioners be able to find the knowledge they need when they need it. Stay tuned”
Sure will be….
Calling on Project Managers to Share Success Stories in: Project Management
Lessons Learned but Knowledge Lost!
This was the title of an editorial that was published by David Pells in PM World Today in 2011. It was about the loss of experience and knowledge that was occurring as project managers retired. While this is particularly pertinent in South Africa where skills shortage is considered an acute concern, it is clear that this is a global phenomenon.
The reality is that 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. It needs to be shared with present and future generations in a format that’s interesting and easy to use. This highlights the significance of project management, knowledge management and the lessons learned process.
Lessons Learned Discussion
Recently there has been a lively discussion about Project Lessons Learned on the Association of Project Management (APM) blog. A few key take-aways are shared here in order to understand how various individuals and companies have dealt with this requirement.
Some organisations have a more proactive approach and would gather in PM forum meetings specifically to share lessons learned from all projects from the whole PM team. This heightens awareness of problems, lets you see where the same thing is a happening and find solutions to prevent them from happening again. It also allows you to highlight the good things and not just focus on the problems.
The documenting of lessons learned on most projects is not particularly good. In many cases it isn’t done at all. Where it is undertaken (often only because it is mandated by corporate procedures) it is all too often seen as a tick in the box exercise. At least it sometimes is done. What almost never happens is a review of relevant lessons reports by new projects.
Some individuals create a Lessons Log during Project Start-up and record anything that could help to create a best practice for my projects. The Lessons Log is reviewed regularly along with the RAIDs (Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies) management documents at Checkpoint Meetings and Gate Reviews. This really makes a difference when populating the Lessons Log and makes the job of writing the lessons into the End-of-Project Report so much easier. (Colin Hewson, APM blog)
Lessons Learned a Contributor to Success
An interesting finding was published by Cranfield University School of Management. They conducted research to find out what helps projects to succeed or contributes to failure. They have found that the biggest differentiating factor between organisations that generally succeed with their projects and those that don’t is “the willingness to publish and distribute lessons learnt”.
Therefore it’s not enough to close out the project and to create a Lessons Learned report – the reports have to be made available to others in a way that makes them want to read and apply. The key capability here is communication and some best practices could be:
organising the critical information in a way that makes it appear relevant and easy to understand,
making the different stakeholder groups aware that the information is available,
ensuring that stakeholder know where to find it,
arrange things so that they can quickly turn the information presented into useful actions.
Unfortunately, most lessons learned, although captured, are not being communicated out, and key learnings mostly remain with the individuals involved. Also, for major complex projects, what you can actually capture in a report is only a small percentage. The only way real learning gets shared is through conversation.
Certainly access to historical information in the form of validated lessons learned will be a valuable way of helping people who want to deliver successful projects. The challenge is developing a way to make the information accessible.
Case Study: London 2012 Olympics
An excellent example of capturing lessons learned, disseminating it and applying it immediately is the Learning Legacy Project of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) who was responsible for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. The Learning Legacy Project was developed to share the knowledge and lessons learned from the London 2012 construction project for the benefit of industry projects and programmes in the future, for academia and the government.
Reports and related information from the Learning Legacy have been categorised into ten themes on this website. Each theme contains short reports, tools and templates, case studies and research summaries that document how this area of work was approached and the lessons that have been learned and the successes that could benefit others.
Another recommended resource would be the PM Lessons Learned blog from Stephen Duffield. He has completed his Masters in Project Management with the thesis theme: “Exploring factors that impact knowledge management dissemination of project management lessons learned”
His study focused on the significant factors that impact the dissemination of project management lessons between the project team and the organisation. The literature review focused on the areas of: knowledge; knowledge management; knowledge conversion; learning; organisational learning; lessons learned practices; and culture. His hope is to enhance the understanding of project technology, learning, process and people factors that will assist in the dissemination of the Project Management lessons learned practice being improved.
Learn Your Lessons
In conclusion, here are a few suggestions to ensure that we learn our lessons from past projects and that the knowledge is transferred across to future projects.
The PMO’s role in Lessons Learned is to make sure the teams are conducting retrospectives on a frequent and regular basis and incorporating the lessons learned into their planning.
Success Stories Shared Framework
As you can see from the Lessons Learned debate and the Learning Legacy project, this is a challenge that our current generation of project managers need to face and solve. In an attempt to capture the wisdom and transfer the knowledge to future projects, a framework is proposed. This is to collect Success Stories from experienced project/programme managers in order to share experiences and to promote learning across the project and programme management community of South Africa and abroad.
Would you like to become involved with the Success Stories Shared initiative? Please visit the Success Stories Shared page and send me an email should you wish to participate and to make a contribution in leaving a legacy to future projects and generations.
About the Author: Linky van der Merwe is a Sr Project Manager at Microsoft Consulting Services. She is also the Founder of Virtual Project Consulting, a project management blog where aspiring and existing project managers find project management resources relating to training, software, products and services, as well as practical advice on project management processes, templates and tools based on best practices.
………..Is it working, do PMs share their stories?
Lessons Learned from failures (A new addition to the lessons learned available to the general public).
Government and business need to successfully manage programs and projects, to learn from success and failure, and to capture, disseminate and apply lessons learned (Duffield & Whitty 2012). Lessons from failures are a special class of Lessons Learned.
The term failure is defined as ‘a lack of success in doing or achieving something, especially in relation to a particular activity (Collins 2001); or ‘omission of occurrence or performance, or a failing to perform a duty or expected action’ (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary 2010).
Often individuals and organisations prefer success over failure due to the rewards brought by success. Even discussions of success are more welcome, and we are motivated by success more than by failures. We keep away from discussing failures because blame is usually accompanied with such a discussion. From the collective point of view, project teams often know they are in trouble, however they take no or minimal effort to resolve errors as owning up to failure may cause shame. So not unexpectedly, we tend to hold close to successful experiences and avoid stories of failure. This favouritism leads to a disparity between success and failure as sources of learning’s. Failures are necessary in the sense that they are essential prerequisites for learning, especially for learning lessons to prevent the mistakes of the past.
As you would know from this blog I keep a list of lessons learned available to the general public. I recently came across a Failure Knowledge Database (FKD) hosted by the Japan Hatamura Institute for the Advancement of Technology (Japan Science and Technology). The work of Dr Yotarou Hatamura makes interesting reading.
Enjoy the lessons
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
PM Community (Linkedin) Wayne asked the question ‘Most of us know how to conduct Lessons Learned, but how many of us actually have an organizational process for conducting Lessons Learned. I’m looking for some examples of documented processes. It may seem like conducting LL is easy, just like falling off a bike, but in my experience I’ve seen some very effective methods and some that just allow the lessons to be observed and then re-experienced. Or the lesson may be handled through tribal knowledge with no artifact to fall back on. So if you’ve got a documented process that your organization uses and can share it, I’d be very interested in seeing what you’ve got.’
To date 37 responses, all very interesting and continues to suggest that the open public discussions highlight the significance of project management, knowledge management and the lessons learned practice. As you know my research to date supports the premise that the project management lessons learned processes today can largely be considered incomplete and misunderstood.
I am focussed on exploring whether a systemic lessons learned and captured knowledge (SLLCK) model can influence the dissemination and application of project management lessons learned between the project team and the organisation. The study suggests that by reconceptualising lessons learned, the SLLCK model can influence the dissemination and application of project management lessons learned. I look forward to continuing with the study over the next few years and sharing the results with the Linkedin pm communities.
All the best, Stephen