Whilst at the BPUG Members' Conference last week in Crewe I saw even more vividly the connection between the work we are doing on the Crib Sheet research and this whole idea of better projects being ones that demonstrate a regular cycle of reflection on experience and learning. One of the emerging principles in the work to refresh the PRINCE2 project management method is 'Learn from Experience'. This is more than just logging or reporting on lessons, but demonstrating an adaptation to these lessons during the life of the project, where possible. This would be evidenced by conscious adaptation in the light of that learning.
Of course, this has implications for the organisations within which projects happen. Most projects assemble temporary teams. Once the project ends, the team breaks up - and usually so does the opportunity to exploit the collective learning which that team has gained.
It is one thing to understand knowledge management; it is quite another to mobile that knowledge for future benefit.
Enter P3O (R). One of the three main functional strands of this kind of office is as a 'Centre of Excellence'. Knowledge mobilisation is very much central to this. I see members of a good P3O being rather like worker bees, cross-pollinating valuable learnings from one project to another.
But at the individual level, at the level of the professional project manager, our research shows that those regarded as higher performers seems to have greater emotional intelligence, in particular a self awareness, a concern over learning and adaptation of their own working patterns.
Now there's a lesson for us all.