Project Management Office

Learn from Failures to Lead Future Endeavors

Taking positive learnings from past mistakes is easy to say but difficult to implement. However, if you continue mourning over your past mistakes, it would take you nowhere. Instead, listing all the learnings from past experiences will help in ensuring better future outcomes.

In this article at Project, Brian Anthony O’Malley shares how his past mistakes turned into productive learnings, thereby ensuring success to his future projects. He analyzes his year-on-year progress to scale his capability as a project manager and tries to bridge the skill gaps hampering his competency.

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Self-analysis helps in judging efforts better and scaling up to the achieve the project goals. While assessing their abilities and skills, the project managers need to think about the criteria they have designed and strive to be as objective as possible.

Confession of a Project Manager

The author further defines the outcome of his self-assessment exercises with an example of his past failure. While meeting customer expectations, O’Malley ignored the profit and loss of the business. Ultimately, the business was unable to hit the desired revenue score, leaving his superior upset.

Their loss was too huge to recover. However, instead of mourning over it, O’Malley decided not to repeat the same mistake again and aimed to fix the gaps. He decided to closely monitor all the business transactions and billing across the project on a bi-weekly or weekly basis. This would give them a clear view of the profit and loss status.

To keep his idea on track, the author went to the PSP team, and an Italian woman was assigned to support him. Together, they designed a tool in MS Excel to calculate financial transactions based on warehouse product data. The tool helped in keeping track of the profit and loss while enabling everyone involved in the business process to track the billing details.

Post the implementation of the tool in the process, O’Malley held meetings with the PMO, PM staff and financial support team to closely monitor the matters pertaining to the billing process on a monthly and quarterly basis. He also ensured quick updation of the data on warehouse product, current revenue recognition and invoicing forecasts for the customer account. The new tool helped managers in each department to keep track of financial transactions effectively.

By quoting this example, the author wants to emphasize on three facts:

  • Learn from the mistakes and move on to improve the next step.
  • Take ownership of your mistakes and use a sensible approach to bounce back.
  • Always promote your learning process or tools across the organization to bring excellence in every part of the system.

To read the original article, click on the following link:

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