Strategic Planning for Project Management

FIGURE 9-1. Characteristics of Level 5.

Documenting project results in lessons learned files and the preparation of case studies can be difficult to implement. People learn from both successes and failures. One executive commented that the only true project failures are the ones from which we learned nothing. Another executive commented that project de-briefings are a waste of time unless we learn something from them.

Documenting successes is easy. Documenting mistakes is more troublesome because people do not want their names attached to mistakes for fear of retribution. Company employees still know which individuals worked on which projects, even when the case study is disguised. A strong corporate culture is needed to make documenting mistakes work effectively.


Project management methodologies must undergo continuous improvement. This may be strategically important to stay ahead of the competition. Continuous improvements to a methodology can be internally driven by factors such as better software availability, a more cooperative corporate culture, or simply training and education in the use of the methodology. Externally driven factors include relationships with customers and suppliers, legal factors, social factors, technological factors, and even political factors.

Five areas for continuous improvement to the project management methodology are shown in Figure 9-2 and in the following:

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