Lessons Learnt: Every Project Manager’s Tool

The part of project management that interests me the most is the segment that deals with “lessons learnt and review of our projects”. The feedback I get is always mind-blowing and these are very common with undelivered projects. I always wonder what was on my mind while my gaze was on the red flags – the danger signs of inconsistency with words and actions. If I wasn’t  in the mix,  I was always spot-on  these  patterns, but since I’m involved  like every other  optimist,  I was blind to them…

I would put myself up for scrutiny  and take a swipe on me – my first character flaw with my team was taking  people for their words rather than their  actions which I think was very  pathetic! Doing your ‘lessons learnt’  with different   personality types  on your assessment  team  sheds more light on your weakness  and  gives you the opportunity to  take a  look into your own dark spots  earlier neglected, and  use your vulnerability as teaching points. The ability to recognize the patterns our project is taking before the final plunge is very key!

That most projects we embark on in life fail is no news, but the effort to do a ‘lesson learnt’ at the end, and use for future projects must be explored. Project management has been perceived by many to be complex with so many myths surrounding it that at times we barely remember that some of our activities fall into some project management terminologies

Let’s dive into our personal lives and consider the risk factors involved in this scenario as a result of no proper stakeholder management.

Scenario: Ken is engaged to Titi his new found love, their marriage is scheduled to hold in nine months time, it was good news to everyone – or so they assumed. Interesting as it may sound, they both pass their love test milestone. Titi for once haven’t taken the time to find out who the most important people in Ken’s life were, likewise ken – “love covers all” they assume. They fix their wedding date on Ken’s late Dad’s memorial – this move was to replace the memory. Ken has five sisters. Titi doesn’t seem to have issues with all but one; they were all within her age bracket. She figured out that if she was accepted by the four, the only one who wasn’t on her side would have to live with it and that was what happened.

On the wedding day something remarkable transpired when the priest asked for any reason for dissolution of the wedding. Juliet, Ken’s youngest sister stood up and accused the bride to be of stealing her dearest brother from her and that since she came into his life he has paid less attention. There was dead silence in the church, which eventually turned out to be a pity party. “You promised to always be there!” she cried, at the end of  her  speech, the priest stopped the wedding and stormed  back to the inner chamber of the church, the couples at this time were running after  him to their embarrassment.  He stared at his digital wrist -watch and finally spoke. “Two hours or no wedding”! If in two hours they don’t manage the neglected stakeholder Juliet, there would be no wedding! Your guess is as good as mine as to what happened. The little ordinary girl turned, linchpin. Very important! The scene is no blockbuster, but a scenario of what finally happens when we ignore or refuse to identify our stakeholders. In Project management it is called stakeholder management. Let’s meet here next time to shed more light on these and other Project management terms. Until then, keep watching this page.

A question that achievers ask themselves frequently: What have I learnt from this?

A question that achievers ask themselves frequently: What have I learnt from this?


Charles Umeh known by friends as Charismatic-Charles is a life coach and project manager. He is a Member of the project management Institute (P.M.I), Lagos - Nigeria Chapter, and a Project Management Consultant at Jeman Consulting.

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