So, what have I learned this year 1?

learning diary 1As the year draws to a close, I sat last Sunday and decided it was time to reflect – after all, I am asking or have suggested others should do this, try here and here . Out came the note pad and I started to make some jottings.

This is part I,  part II will appear next week.

These are examples I have come across over the last 12 months

  1. People: there is a huge debate about agile v waterfall however what these fail to take account of is that it is people who deliver projects. These may be project staff, stakeholders, contractors – they, more than the process are much more important. I rarely get someone saying their project nearly failed because of a badly drawn Gantt Chart, but I do get many negative comments about people and projects.
  2. Skills: I have trained many hundreds of people this year to build on or further develop their project management skills. However there is a shortage of other skills in companies:
    • management/leadership skills
    • financial management skills
    • people skills (see point 1)
  1. Project sponsors: they are still not playing their role effectively. Despite many publications (including a co-written book) and attempts to train and develop top managers they are still fighting against coming to the ‘training table’.
  2. The fragmented nature of project management: I wrote about this recently and I am most concerned that companies are expecting projects to deliver strategic change without having the project management infrastructure in place to manage this.
  3. Qualifications: at the risk of being controversial I think we are too driven in the project management world with qualifications. You will not even get on the short list for a job unless you have PRINCE2 or APM or PMP. Why? These are good in themselves however they do not mean that someone is an effective project manager. What about good old common sense or the person who has driven a strategic change through a company against all odds and delivered – but they don’t have any qualifications…This links back to point 4 above.

Now it is all too easy, I hear you say for Consultants to sit down and write this stuff but actually it is not. I would much rather be writing positive information around what I had learned and seen. I say this because re-reading all of the above it is so negative, but I have to write as I find.

You may well have learned things this year that do not support the above points. If so, do let me know before I publish part 2 in the New Year as I am taking a break over the holidays.

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