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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

We Achieved This but I Screwed That


I was a part of an interesting dialogue:

– Pawel, tell me about your last success.

– The last launch went flawlessly which means the way we chose to organize the project proved itself as pretty damn good.

– OK, and what about your last failure?

– I feel I can’t get through with ideas on improving the organization.

Now the good part isn’t really me answering these two simple questions, even though I think it is a great idea to ask your people from time to time about their successes and failures. The good part is something I caught myself at after a while.

It was our success and my failure.

And the better part – it is not just about words. It is about the way of thinking. I might have said I had chosen our methodology and probably no one would have noticed. But what you say isn’t as important as what you believe.

If you just switch words to the right ones you will achieve something important – recognition in front of execs is quite a token of motivation after all. But if you really believe in what you say you’ll achieve much more. You’ll always act as the success was an effect of collective effort, not only when you are in front of senior management. Besides, it was an effect of collective effort, wasn’t it?

So tell me, what your last success was. And how about your last failure?

in: communication, team management

1 comment… add one

  • Josh Nankivel August 4, 2010, 11:58 pm

    Excellent points Pawel! I wrote on similar lines in “Adam Smith and Ostentatious Avidity in Project Management”.

    My last success was our team presenting the need for a development tool effectively enough to convince our government customer to purchase it, at no small cost.

    My last failure? There are no failures unless you fail to learn from your mistakes. I have made many mistakes with my teams and haven’t yet made all of the positive changes I know are possible with the organization. These are not failures however, they are lessons learned and future achievements.



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