Monday 28 February 2011

the knowledge capture meeting - who is it for?

I spent the last couple of days facilitating lessons-identification meetings in Sweden, and it reinforced to me that there are really two beneficiaries from these meetings.

The obvious beneficiary is the rest of the organisation. The project team are donating their time and energy in identifying and discussing learnings which will hekp others in future.

Yet the project team are not just philanthropic donors; they also benefit.

They benefit in two ways.

Firstly they also become conscious of what they have learned. Until we discuss as a group, they are largely uncionscious of their learning.

Secondly the discussion itself is very therapeautic, especially when you are reviewing a project that went wrong. Project teams are often too busy, or never take the time, to talk through some of the challenges and shocks and problems and disasters. WHich of course we have to doi before we can draw out the learning. Often when conducting these meetings it feels a little but like group therapy or analysis.

But in a good way!


Barbara Fillip said...

I would add that it is important to do these capture meetings with all kinds of teams --not just those where something went wrong-- because if the meetings become viewed as "therapy" for teams that are or were in trouble, the resistance from teams that feel they're doing just fine will increase. The capture meetings have to be something all teams do and all teams benefit from.

Nick Milton said...

You are absolutely correct Barbara; thank you.

These discussions are of value to every project, as well as being of value to the organisation. The therapeutic angle comes in especially when things went wrong, but it's a side-effect rather than a purpose, and its not something I talk about at all before hand.

Sandra Higgison said...

I completely agree with the therapeutic benefit of lessons-learnt sessions. Teams get a sense of closure, which is hugely valuable as they're normally being pushed straight onto their next project. I often joke that I go in armed with a couch.

Also, I've not experienced many projects where everything has gone swimmingly, regardless of how successful (or not) the end result been, so there's always a cathartic element.

Great post - these are certainly benefits I've experienced. And I have used them as USPs to encourage people to attend beforehand - although not as the main benefit.


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