Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lessons Learnt

How many industries do this?

Imagine the conclusion of a big project, or an event... Everyone's had a week or so to recover, and it's now time to break it down and figure it out.

What is it?

Well... I guess you could call it a "debrief", only, it's a lot bigger than that. You get EVERYONE into a room together. You take as long as you need. You make sure that EVERYONE talks about:
  • Anything that went particularly well.
  • Anything that went wrong.
  • Possible solutions for avoiding or mitigating the things that went wrong.
  • How to maximize the things that went well.
  • Where improvements can be made.
Why is this important?

Well... instead of leaving a project only to repeat past mistakes, it's helpful to turn it into a learning exercise. You get to learn how other people felt about it in comparison to how you were feeling about things. You figure out how to make the next iteration even better. I see it as professional development.

Is this common practise though? There's this whole thing against any sort of negativity and, by extension, critical thinking. But people who poke holes in things are making informed choices - they're trying to figure out what's wrong with a decision. The decision they come to is going to be THE most scrutinized of all the choices. But it also looks like they're trying to cast down the idea.
It takes a thick skin. In the case of a project, something's probably gone wrong that you feel responsible for. Perhaps it was a break down in communication between your team and another.

If you only look at the rainbows, and not the rain, chances are you're missing out on a whole lot of learning. It's that learning that you should be taking away with you. That's the positive that you miss out on by ONLY looking at the positive... and to me, that's a far worse negative than anything that might come out of looking over the negatives....

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