Crossing the line and learning from it

By Alison Smith, Project Agency

I managed to see the recent Formula 1 Grand Prix from China.

The teams spent the winter months (when not racing) redesigning their cars and making adjustments according to the new rules in place. They tested the cars in wind tunnels, and on tracks at both their factories and all over the world, to ensure that on race day all would go to plan.

They have spent millions in developing the cars, and preparing the teams for this year’s racing. They have also gained experience in the 2 previous races this year (Australia and Malaysia) to refine their processes.

But in the end after practice and qualifying sessions it really all came down to the last few laps of the race. Various teams made mistakes when the drivers made an agreed pit stop. Some drivers tried too hard and left the track via the grass or safety lanes, and one driver almost managed flight.

During the race weekend there were stewards’ enquiries into incidents that happened to see if the rules were obeyed, but more importantly to see if there were any lessons that needed to be learned by the drivers and their teams.

Many of us work really hard on a project (investing time and money) but how many of us miss the key issues and learn the lessons from them?

At Project Agency we believe that you have to treat any project as a whole process and take every opportunity of learning by:

  • having good monitoring and control processes
  • having milestones to check progress
  • ensuring that there are lessons learned in place and people really learn from them

The big question is: Do we really spend enough time at the end of projects learning lessons and then applying them to the next project we tackle? Or, do we keep on crashing?


Picture credits – my thanks go to

  • 1st picture: Jon Whiles:
  • 2nd picture: Pete Keen:
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2 Responses to Crossing the line and learning from it

  1. Pingback: Do you recreate your successes in projects? | Project Management Training with Ron Rosenhead

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