What Have You Learned Today?

In a meeting this morning talking about Rapid Results, we started to talk about learning and more particularly post-mortem or project wrap-up learning sessions.  It made me pause and think of all the past versions of these sorts of sessions I have been to and what was missing:

  • Difficult to make happen
  • The preparation process is lengthy and often not completely relevant to the situation
  • People feel that they are approved "B*tch" sessions to lay things out or get blamed
  • They are rarely productive for capturing new learning

Why was this pertinent?  Well in Rapid Results one of the key
attributes is building internal capability in the clients
organization.  There are many aspects to this, but two of them are:

  1. Driving expirementation
  2. Make learning a deliberate outcome

I think these two points can not be focused on enough and are also the
toughest to accomplish with most of the given tools and approaches we
use (which often have purpose and are used in the best interest of the
goal).  But we want rapid results so we need to learn from our
expirementation as fast as possible.  This is where we can take a page
out of Agile methods by having daily or regular (bi-weekly or weekly)
meetings in a proactive environment to capture all the learnings along
the way – good, bad or indiferent.

Learn and Reflect

This can help us change direction quickly, learn a new approach that
has been developed, share our thoughts or problems to get fresh
external thinking and also deal with risks/issues.

So I am not saying that these two items are the same, but the synergy
in helping to support or drive our personal development is huge.  So make the learning process more apparent with less preparation and closer to the event so that it is fresh.  If the learning is good it will support our development of Zest.  If it is bad, by sharing it with others, the team will help shoulder and support the person through the lack of Zest and possibly learn something to avoid this in the future or turn it around.

Stephen, Project X

  1. Jim Reply

    I always had difficulty with Post Mortems and maybe it was in the name or the way they were run. I think reflection and making learning deliberate are much better terms and indicative of an approach.
    Good post and something we can reflect on.

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