Within the PMO Competency Framework, communities of practice (CoP) are mentioned in two different competency areas.
The first one is knowledge management and the second is capability development. Communities of practice are created within organisations today to help share knowledge between people within the organisation and to also help them develop, using communities of practice as a form of social learning and social interaction.
The bottom line is, communities of practice, when implemented and managed well, help to improve performance and when we talk about CoPs in relation to project management, that means they can help us improve project delivery performance.
With the PMO, CoPs can mean something which people within the PMO choose to join and get involved in. This could be within or outside their organisation. It can also mean that the PMO itself runs a CoP of their own within the business - especially if its a large or global business with many people working in PMO roles.
According to the poll taken during this session on Lessons Learnt About Lessons Learnt, only 50% of projects in our participant's organisations have a lessons learnt approach as part of their project management delivery methods. Personally, I was surprised at how low that was.
You can't deny that learning lessons from everything we do - in our own lives as well as at work - just makes sense. Taking the time to think about and reflect on how we've done something - whether that's successful or not - should mean we come at a similar or related challenge in the future just that little bit wiser about how we'll tackle it.
Projects and project management are ripe for insights and little nuggets that help smooth the path for future projects - after all, the methods and ways of working in project management have all come from someone's previous lessons on what has worked and what definitely hasn't.
In this PMO Flashmob session about Lessons Learnt, we heard from PMO professional Ken Burrell. Ken is passionate about Lessons Learnt, so much so he wrote a book on it -Learning Lessons from Projects: How it works, why it goes wrong, and how you can do it better - so who better to help PMO professionals understand more about what we can be doing to better support our organisations in this area of Knowledge Management.
It's always good to find out what the latest insights are from research papers based on PMO themes. In this article we take a look at the paper, The Role Played by PMOs in the Transfer of Knowledge Between Projects from the Department of Engineering and Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa published in 2018.
The paper presents a conceptual framework with the promise of further research to come which will look at the empirical results (the realities).
The argument is that projects are focused on the short-term goals, and rightly so, however, we can learn lessons and gain knowledge from carrying out these projects that should benefit the long-term goals of the organisation. The argument is old - how can we really learn the lessons of previous projects to help us deliver future projects better.
The paper presents the PMO as being the function ideally placed within an organisation to play an important role in supporting and facilitating the flow of knowledge between projects. The PMO can be seen as a catalyst - interestingly there are three definitions of catalyst that could all apply, you choose:
something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected.
a person or thing that precipitates an event or change.
a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.
The PMO acts as a catalyst that moderate and mediate the transfer of knowledge between projects. In the rest of the article, we take a look at the role of the PMO in moderating and mediating plus take a deeper look at the research findings.
In this article we're not delving too far into what PMO professionals have learnt about themselves in 2020 - it's more about a session we ran just before Christmas at our virtual party in Qube.
We had chance to do a short retrospective - hopefully that's something you'll also be doing too to uncover the many lessons we've learnt over the last extraordinary year.
Using a virtual world like Qube allowed us to gather around a whiteboard to use a specific technique to help draw out what we've learnt during 2020 about ourselves.
The technique - called LearnBySharing™ - is also one you could use in any lessons learnt session, either inperson or virtually using Zoom, Teams or anything else you're using to stay connected.
From our weekly #PMOwfh we asked the question and you let us know! [Click to enlarge] #lessonsfromthelockdown
Do we really learn lessons from our projects? It's an area of project management that brings much eye-rolling yet the basic premise of Lessons Learnt is something that we all agree is - if done well, will really make a difference to the successful project rate as well as improving performance (and morale) of people working on projects.
The subject was covered at a PMO Flashmob hosted by Genesis Notting Hill Housing in London and presented by Ken Burrell. Ken loves this subject - and why not, if you're an experienced PMO practitioner, passionate about what you're doing, you too would want to bring some new ideas and thinking about this subject. Ken focuses on the practical and this session is full of great insights and things to try in your organisation.
Included here are the video session, presentation, notes and a small apology from us because the sound cut out about 5 minutes from the end *eye roll*. We cover the last few slides here in the post.
So sign in, read on and make sure you get in touch with Ken and let him know if you use some of the things you learn here, he'd be delighted to hear from you [connect to him]
Here we are with our tenth (lords a-leaping) 12 Stand Up for PMO Days Before Christmas and some further insights from our first PMO Unconference.
In this post we share a couple of the templates we used during the Stand Up for PMO event, it's the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire one and the Generation Game!
You could easily amend both of these templates and use them in your own PMO meetings (community of practice meetups etc) or training events - especially the millionaire one.
It's another of our 12 Stand Up for PMO Days Before Christmas and in this post we're sharing seven (swans a-swimming) things the delegates learnt plucked from the ah-ha board we had.
The idea of an unconference is to share as much of the insights you can and for us that meant good old post-it notes after the Breakout at the Bar sessions and from thoughts after listening to some of the sessions.
Here we share seven insights:
It's another of our 12 Stand Up for PMO Days Before Christmas and some insights from our first PMO Unconference from Manchester. This is number four and we're learning lessons.
In this session, Ken Burrell told us not to give up on the whole lessons learnt recorded challenges we face. We can do better, we must do better if the PMO is there to ensure the organisation performs better at programme and project management.