Last Thing First

Squeezed in at the end of a project – if there’s the time and the emotional desire – is the lessons learned/retrospective workshop.

It’s a critical review of the project, reflecting on past events and behaviours. Revealing facts or feelings about things that had a measurable effect on delivery – positive and negative – and facilitates constructive conversation about suggestions for next time.

  • What went well, not so well and new ideas
  • Start, Stop, Continue.

And it’s a good thing – it is good for the customer, the organisation, the team and future projects. Because if you take the feedback onboard you’ll become better.

But do we take it to heart? Do we keep the past lessons we learned with us? Or do we tick a project box and archive the lessons away?

What if we repeated the last thing first?

What if we had a project preemptive – where we dusted off the ‘documents’ and reminded ourselves of the past lessons learned/retrospectives when we start to go again?

Unlocking Locked Down Silos

There was a wonderful example recently of a flaw with hierarchical decision making.

During the Covid-19 ‘economic’ lockdown new vehicle sales plummeted by 98.4% in April 2020. In early May the South African Government reopened the automotive industry for business.

You can now buy a car (albeit, sales must be done remotely via the internet or telephone).

But, unless you are an essential worker, you are still unable to register your new vehicle with The Department of Transport and Public Works during Level 4 lockdown. Meaning, that a new owner is unable to get insurance cover.

This is one trouble with silo thinking…

With departmental blinkers on, we may fail to connect the process dots and leave people (customers) frustrated and scratching their heads.

And the bottom line…

What effect will this solution actually have on solving the problem of reduced vehicle sales?

FYI – key detail inside…

On its own, FYI is a lazy move.

We like to tell ourselves that it’s a form of giving. That we’re passing on something useful to someone else, because “I care for them to know”.

(And there, perhaps, lies the truth – “I” care for them to know.)

In reality, we’re shifting some responsibility from our inbox into somebody else’s – we’re passing a monkey:

FYI – it’s your problem now/don’t say I didn’t tell you.

It’s a classic CYA move.

(Okay, perhaps you have good intentions and you genuinely wish to share some key detail inside for someone else’s benefit.)

But let’s not expect the receiver to trawl through the thread to figure out what it is that’s ‘FYI’.

If we sincerely care enough, if there’s a good enough reason for the FYI, the least we can do is to briefly explain the context for their information:

FYI – this is what/why you need to note in the thread below.

(And if there’s not a good enough reason for the FYI, then we’re adding to the unnecessary clutter. And if we’re expecting someone else to do something about something, then our message needs to be something other than an FYI.)