Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Lessons not learned

We don't learn lessons in projects.

Why not?  According to Jason Fried (21 Signals) the organisation learning of how we got somewhere is important to know just why we did what we did, bit also the mistakes we made and the things we learned on the way.

So, if we're looking to develop a new thing, it's important that we understand what worked, what didn't and why.  That way we can inform other work in the organisation, so they gain the benefit of our experience.

But we don't learn, because there's no appetite to do that.  People say "let's move on, let's not focus on failure", but sharing that failure is critical or the learning is limited.

I'm not overly keen on getting criticism, but I accept that it has to happen in order to improve.  Someone who says that you're great all the time isn't helping you grow in the longer term.

So, if something went well, let's hear the feedback of how it could have gone better and if it failed completely, let's hear why that happened too.  Don't just sweep it under the carpet! 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Using the phone on the train

I have no idea why people use their phone on the train for voice calls.  The signal is just too flaky.

Consider this conversation:

"Hi there...I'm on the train...yes, yes I just wanted to let you know in case we get cut know how people do...hello? Hello?"

Dials again

"Yes, I know, terrible isn't can never have a full conversation, can you?  Uh huh, the signal is a bit dodgy...pardon? Hello? Hello?"

It went on like that for about 10 minutes, and absolutely no information was transferred apart from how bad phones are when used at 120mph inside a big metal can.

The worst one of these calls (and the reason why I no longer use my phone for voice calls on the train) was when my boss called me for a chat and we both were on the train at the same time.  I don't think we managed any more than 5-10 seconds of connection.  In the end I just turned my phone off so the call making/breaking couldn't continue.

Relax and watch the world go by, work, read, whatever...but just don't try and call anyone.  Use texts or e-mail to communicate and enjoy that your messages will be received gratefully by the other end knowing that they didn't have to try and maintain polite conversation about how phones don't work very well on trains.