Last week was an exciting week on #PMChat. The topic was Project Closure and Lessons Learned. The week began with Project Management Expert and Author Michael Greer contributing an outstanding post to the #PMChat blog the topic of the week. Michael also joined us on the PreGame Show to help us ‘tee up’ the topic for the Twitter Chat.
Also on the PreGame show, we announced some very exciting news for the #PMChat community – how to receive PDU’s for your participation in #PMChat. The ability to earn PDU’s is something that we feel will add to the benefits of #PMChat and expand the community. Detailed information and instructions regarding PDU Certification and Submission can be found on the Earn PDU’s page of PMChat.net
Additional big news from last week was the creation of #PMChat LinkedIn Group. The group has quickly grown to 30 members in less than 5 days. Thanks to Dennis Hull for taking the initiative to set-up the group and provide a forum for discussions beyond 140 characters.
Now let’s get to the Chat recap for Project Closure and Lessons Learned:
Q1 – What are the common mistakes made by PM’s when closing out a project?
- @RailComm_Paola @null A1. lack of documentation overall
- @dwrichy Not collecting lessons learned from project team members. Not sharing those LL with the org.
- @Project_World A1 Moving on too quickly to the next thing, not taking the time to learn from successes or failures
- @sewah_kram @null A1. Seen this a few times… the PM is released from the project prior to the closure
- @michael_greer A1 – Failing to get formal, physical signature for the records
- @RailComm_Paola @null A1. We want to move on and we don’t make sure we have the sponsors/customer sign off letters of acceptance / charter
- @UnlikeBefore #PMchat A1: not confirming signoff of acceptance criteria
- @SteveCarterNC A1: not easy for PM to do, but most groups don’t measure long-term success after a proj. Did we meet business goals. PM moves on
Q2 – How can you assure that lessons learned are actually ‘learned’?
- @danalcraig A2 – Best way is to have opportunity to put them into action immediately – preferable,but not always possible
- @sewah_kram @null Q2. Rather than wait till the end of the project, implement LL during and throughout a project and make them measurable
- @dwrichy Keep PMs around long enough for them to manage similar projects. Grow the PMs into SMEs
- @SteveCarterNC A2:two audiences to review lessons “noted” to make them “learned”: project team and the functional team. Both should use for future
- @danalcraig A2 Some LL are situational, some are universal. Learn to identify the difference
- @UnlikeBefore: A2: Learning from LLs is not just for PMs. Most LLs are org, decision, people related
- @dwrichy Document the basics around each area of the business. Include related LL in those findings
Q3 For large projects or programs, how do you incorporate lessons learned as you transition from initial implementation to phase 2?
- @danalcraig A3 You really need a team who embraces this as part of their culture and agrees to be agile enough to make mid-stream adjustments
- @SteveCarterNC A3: Share lessons across groups. All Phase 2 resources may not have been engaged in Phase 1 work, so don’t assume they “got it.”
- @sewah_kram @null A3. Document LL recommendations, ensure monitoring in P2 project and watch for unplanned side effects
- @michael_greer Q3 – Present a formal review of Charter w/adjustments highlighted based on Lessons Learned; get informal support/formal sign-off
- @UnlikeBefore #PMchat A3: Right at proj start. Even wrote a whitepaper – Principles for Intelligent Transition (sorry shameless plug there… )
- @UnlikeBefore RT @rkelly976: Got a link to it? ¦ For whitepaper go to http://t.co/QZFb2KkW You do need to register b4 download
- @irivera #PMChat A3 you have to teach the team to use LL. Not just write them after phase ends, but to read all before starting new phase
Q4 How do you deal with team members being defensive or taking offense to criticism of their part of the project? #PMChat
- @danalcraig A4 Sweet southern charm, @robprinzo #PMChat But when that doesn’t work…
- @sewah_kram @null A4. Providing each team with a LL leading questionnaire allows a PM to prepare for hot topics – then diplomacy and integrity
- @Project_Mom @null A4 -there is a need for tact during delivery, but then also direct, but kind conversation to follow up…
- @dwrichy Be honest with them. Look at the facts. If they’re not willing to look at the facts, confront them in private
- @michael_greer A4 – Give them the criticism one-on-one first. Let them make peace with it & help position it publically.
- @danalcraig A4 It needs to be clear from the beginning that we intend to be our biggest critics bc our goal is to provide best value to clients.
- @UnlikeBefore Go for a beer? Or, bring out the bat… RT @danalcraig: A4 Sweet southern charm, @robprinzo #PMChat But when that doesn’t work
Q5 In 140 characters or less, share your best lesson learned.
- @UnlikeBefore #PMchat A5 Always have a bat in the contingency plan
- @twchat A5: manage whats important to the project not just the schedule
- @Project_Mom @null A5: ALWAYS have the contract signed PRIOR to conversion weekend!
- @dwrichy Just yesterday I learned that an error on one of my projects broke the BI reporting tools that were critical for success. Oops
- @danalcraig Q5 Manage according to the situation as it is, not as you wish it would be.
- @SteveCarterNC A5: Best lesson learned: Bob means it when he says he can’t do it in 4 weeks!
- Project_World A5: Let’s see, I can do it in 16 characters “more communication”
Thanks again for your participation and contributions. We are looking forward this week’s topic: Setting Up a PMO and excited to announce Steve Carter will be writing a guest post for the PMChat blog and will also join us on the Pre-Game show at 11:30am EST.
See you Friday
Great summary rob, thank you. I think the big mistakes on closure are made because its just not as exciting as initiation, even though long term rewards of doing it well are high. The lure of kicking off something new is just too strong sometimes. it takes great self discipline to do ll well and to really learn from past mistakes, jon.