Inspire : Public Works Mar Apr 2013
40 Public Works Professional March-April 2013 CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION Have your say on this story. Visit http://goo.gl/cKbBB to comment on this article. AVOID THE BLAME GAME Often people's reputations are on the line when you start looking at successes and failures on projects. If you have challenging egos or relationships on the project, managing group dynamics can be especially challenging. Setting some ground rules and good preparation can help, but it’s also worthwhile thinking beforehand about how you might handle particular people or behaviours in the room. You should consider having someone external to the project chair the meeting, so they can be a neutral party and more objective. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A PROCESS TO ENSURE ACTION The most important part of the workshop is planning for what comes after it. This helps design workshop outcomes and a follow-up process that maps workshop goals with business goals. Running a workshop has intrinsic value on its own, through the refective discussion that ensues. Understandably though, the most value comes from actually using the lessons to improve in the future. If your project management process doesn't allow resources to do this, how is it going to happen? If you are responsible for a lessons-lear nt workshop, ask yourself upfront: 'What do we want to do with the lessons and how will we ensure action?’ Make sure you design how you will carry through these actions. This may involve tabling the actions in a regular project control group, giving individuals accountability and integrating them into KPIs and role descriptions. IF YOU WANT TO CREATE A LEARNING CULTURE, DON'T MAKE IT OPTIONAL If you are going to start holding lessons-learnt workshops regularly, you should establish very clear expectations in your organisation or project around these workshops and your commitment to them. You must explain why they are important and when to do them, ensuring you match the process to the scale and phase of the project. Some of the considerations include the type and detail of process you will use at the start of, during, and at the end of projects. Even running a brief meeting at the start of a project to fnd out what was It's hard for busy people to commit to something that's considered 'optional' when they have plenty of other deadlines to meet. If you or your organisation wants to be a market leader, this must change. learnt from previous projects and experiences can be invaluable. By being clear on when you r un workshops, you avoid an ad-hoc or optional approach. The reason being, it’s hard for busy people to commit to something that's considered 'optional' when they have plenty of other deadlines to meet. If you or your organisation wants to be a market leader, this must change. By avoiding these pitfalls and adopting a collective, feedback-based approach, you will foster a culture of continual improvement, inspire commitment to act on previous lessons and overcome any complacency in your team. Ultimately, this will generate competitive advantage and ensure your organisation’s future success. ••• Nick Bruse has more than 13 years’ experience in offering strategic advice and facilitation to organisations and businesses.
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