Few have ever taken me up on this. I suspect there are people who are pushing their way through the learning curve of improving their project management. I am also convinced that most of the conviction to improve has fallen away for the reasons learning always falls away - not enough time, too much work, and of course, a lack of prioritization. No matter what learning occurs, these evil villains challenge our abilities to improve.
If you have a rule for your child that their room must stay clean but never enforce it, how clean will their room be? There are leadership reasons that prevent project management improvement including:
- No one asking to see their deliverables. Make sure you have management and peer support by getting people to ask each other "Where is your Project Charter?"
- As a leader be clear that EVERYONE needs to know project management, not just project managers.
There are certain steps that help transition project management from the classroom to project management competence in the organization:
- After a workshop, consider adding a "Doctor Is In Day" for students and alumni to work one-on-one with one of our facilitators, your internal PMO (Project Management Office) staff or peers who share the project challenges like McDonalds and Daiichi Sankyo do. Whether learners take 10 minutes or 4 hours to talk with someone else about their project, it greatly increases success.
- If you are lucky enough to have a PMO, leverage it as a Knowledge Exchange vehicle and consulting asset, not as an auditor. The PMO has the unique ability to see all the projects going on and can help connect projects that are either overlapping or would benefit from each others bruises and lessons learned.
- Figure out ways to grow a community for people transitioning to project management competence. Traditional lunch n' learns or meetings during the work day will probably not work because of the chaos in the workplace right now. Think about meeting for coffee for 30 minutes prior to the work day, or grab a drink after work somewhere. Once the face-to-face community learns to trust and support each other, an online discussion board, blog or Twitter may be useful. NASA has done a great job with this... search for ASK magazine at their site www.nasa.gov for their excellent e-zine on project management lessons learned.