Happy Guy Fawkes to you all – not breaking with tradition I would like to tie in today’s blog to the theme of bonfire night.

Remember remember the fifth of November

Gunpowder, treason and plot.

I see no reason why gunpowder, treason

Should ever be forgot…

A poem brought about after Guy Fawkes was put on trial in 1606 for treason having been caught in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with several dozen barrels of gunpowder and subsequently found guilty, which saw him hung, drawn and quartered. The poem was served as a reminder to the next generations regarding treason and the tradition has evolved with time, to include rather fantastic firework displays etc.

A powerful and emotive story which despite its age has certainly played a huge part in our lives over the years – if only we could be as effective in the workplace for lessons learned. Time and time again I have worked with project managers to programme directors who tell me stories of woe from managing pieces of work which would have greatly benefitted from the lessons learned log. This document has been either ignored / not completed or hidden away like it is a bad thing because it highlights where we went wrong. Of course it also highlights the good too but attitude seems to be that if we pretend the bad bits weren’t there now we’ve completed a project then it didn’t happen – then low and behold, history repeats itself.

Now I am not suggesting we have a bonfire and burn all the confidential waste every time we learn something but surely we are at a point where it makes sense to drag out and dust down the lessons learned log for projects similar in complexity etc. each time a new project is being scoped and particularly when it is being planned.

Here’s a poem which you could adapt for your project team:

Remember remember the project of last September

Stakeholders lost all respect,

I see no reason why lessons learned should be tossed

Or ever not be kept…

Blatantly I was never meant to be a poet but you get the idea – maybe adopting something in the office which reminds all to revisit times passed to better understand how to do things more efficiently moving forward could save a lot of time, money and energy.

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