A farmer grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.
One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.
“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.
“Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”
Farmer is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor's corn also improves. So it is with our lives. Those who choose to succeed must help others to succeed. Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all. If we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn. Call it mutualism. Call it a principle of success. Call it a law of life. The fact is, none of us truly win until we all win.
Albert Einstein famously said, "The only source of knowledge is experience" and what better way to gain wisdom from the lessons that we learn while executing projects, programs, portfolios or managing operations. Sharing 'lessons learned' across teams is one of the key aspects of a matured PMO in an Organization. Many of us have not personally experienced the pain of slipping, by stepping on a banana peel, but have learned those lessons through someone elses experiences.
This is applicable for a matured Organization to have a functional PMO and create an environment of sharing lessons learned across projects, programs or portfolios. Note that 'lessons learned' is not only for documenting failures but also the success stories. The more knowledge shared, the more we gain and lessons learned from successes or failures helps an Organization to leverage on the successes and not repeat failures. For a matured PMO, its an important aspect to share 'lessons learned' on what went well and what did not go well so that an Organization does not repeat past mistakes while following patterns that are proved successful in the past. One template of documenting 'lessons learned' include
- Document the pre-condition(s) and condition(s) in which the negative (issue) or positive event (best practice) occurred
- Describe how the issue arose and define the problem or positive event encountered, and
- Provide concrete, practical solutions or recommendations based on this experience.
and can be then tagged under 'Lessons Learned Knowledge Base’, which could be managed by PMO.
"Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” -Brian Tracy