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A New Year for Project Management, but what can we learn?

Learning Lessons in Project Management for Future Success

New Year, new projects? At the turn of the year, many of us go through a period of self-reflection and resolution-setting. It's a time when we evaluate the past and aspire for some new, positive changes. As with any goal setting, the fundamentals of project management can provide valuable insights into how we can approach our development and efficiency.

In project management, every endeavour, whether successful or challenging, offers a variety of lessons. These lessons serve as the foundations for improvement, creating a culture of continuous learning, improvement and growth. Similarly, as we set our New Year's resolutions, we can draw upon our experiences and apply project management principles to ensure a more successful and fulfilling year ahead.

How did the projects of 2023 operate?

Did you achieve everything you wanted to achieve in 2023? Were some events better than others? Why might this have been? The art of reflection is key in project management, yet the tool of evaluation is priceless. In most cases project managers can identify what went well / what didn’t go so well with relative ease, but the questions of “why” poses more difficulty. Is it a lack of logs or registers? Not enough staffing or resources to cope with workload? Poor information management? Ultimately project managers that fail to make notes and maintain control, also struggle with future evaluation from a lack of detail. Learn lessons as we work and save ourselves the stress of mopping up at the end of a project.

Can we improve our projects in 2024?

No project is perfect. We will have ups and downs, twists and turns constantly throughout the life of any project. We will want to avoid issues and risks but enhance opportunities. When a project manager is faced with new scenarios, having experience to look back on and apply can majorly aid success. Our lessons have been learned, but are useless if not applied. Take the best elements of your 2023 projects and push them into your 2024 projects; likewise, avoid making any costly errors previously made in your projects and ensure you are working in a new, efficiency focused direction.

Can we all always learn from experience?

Thus far, we have discussed self-evaluation, but we haven’t looked at how an organization or a team can learn from each other. The sharing of lessons is essential for progress made by all. It may not always be the project manager who learns all of the project lessons, not even the most significant ones either. All team members and stakeholders should go on their own path of improvement. These findings, experiences and stories should be shared with those who have goals aligned to your own. It is beneficial for all project teams in an organisation to help each other. While one lesson may not be applicable to your project, another may be, so note them all and use them as appropriately as you can.

A final message on lessons

In conclusion, the principle of learning from experience positions project managers well for approaching our projects. With rigorous project logging, detailed evaluations and sharing our lessons in our industry, we can set ourselves up for a successful and fulfilling year in the world of project management. Looking to learn some extra lessons and pick up an internationally recognised qualification? Join me on one of my 2024 project management training courses! Call 01202 736 373 to enquire about available dates and let’s share our findings together.

About Harley

Having worked in the industry since 2016, Harley’s experience is vast and knowledge of project management methods is of an elite standard. He has covered a wide variety of roles in a plethora of projects and has worked with some incredible project professionals over the years; there is seldom a scenario that Harley has not encountered.

Residing in Poole, Dorset Harley has specialized in maritime projects and programmes in and around the stunning natural harbour. From project managing major yachting events, to advising on risk management approaches, the natural elements have thrown endless challenges into projects where Harley has strategically extracted the best outcomes from each scenario. These tales make up some of Harley’s most interesting  examples used when delivering his training of which attendees enjoy.

SPOCE is proud to have industry leading pass rates for delegates in the PRINCE2® and APM methods which Harley has played a vital part in achieving. Starting his training career in 2019, he would run sessions such as “what makes the perfect business case?” and the much loved “PRINCE2 Practitioner exam workshops”.

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