My presentation „The Learning Project Organization“ I gave at the PMI Global Congress North America in Dallas on Oct 25 is now available on Slideshare.  A pdf version can be downloaded here.

Synopsis of presentation:

We live in a dynamic, ever-changing world where we can expect lots of changes. Project objectives, requirements and collaboration rules are subject to change, performance levels may fluctuate and even the vision may vary. Knowing this is one thing. Doing something about it is another thing. In order to cope with changes and lead our projects to success we have to be flexible and adjust our plans accordingly. However, a flexible project plan alone is not sufficient to master project dynamics. One of the prerequisites for project success is to actively create a culture of learning. It is an environment where team members are not punished when they make mistakes; making mistakes is normal. What we want to do is build project teams that are capable of learning from mistakes and mastering change. This cannot happen overnight. The key is that from the very first day we establish learning routines in our projects. Learning has to be part of our daily project routines. This holds true for individual projects as much as project organizations including programs and project management offices. This lecture sheds light on project organizations and how they can create a learning culture for all projects it coordinates.

The lecture starts out with explaining the need of a learning culture in project organizations and outlines how we can create this culture. One example is the definition of learning standards which address team synchronizations, project reviews and training. Other examples include facilitating knowledge sharing across projects and setting up innovation days. The lecture explains the critical success factors of learning in a project organization. It identifies common learning obstacles and shows how we can overcome them. The lecture closes with an illustration of the benefits of a project learning culture. Last but not least, it shows how a learning organization can nurture the ground for project success.