Dynamics CRM 2011: Lessons Learned

Jaime Smith, 15 September 2012

Recently I had an awesome holiday in Queenstown, NZ and after perhaps a 12 year gap I tried my hand at snowboarding….it was fun and frustrating!


This photo is of me after a big tumble on the beginners slope…of all places!

In reflection of the whole experience I realised that many times I heard friends and instructors tell me “sit back like you would into a chair”, “stay on your heels”, “stay on your toes”, “don’t lean back on your back leg”, “that was awesome you held your body in the right position that time!”

Words confirming success, words defining improvement…but I kept making the same mistakes!  Honestly, I just wanted to escape the beginner’s area and get up to the top of the mountain…I didn’t really have time for a lesson.  Doesn’t this sound familiar…?

So often in the project lifecycle we are like horses with blinkers on – focused intently on the Go Live date, that we do not take the time to reflect on the series of events along the way  – the successes and failures we experience.  Nor do we take the time to review the lessons that others have learnt from which we can glean valuable and precautionary measures in order to guide us to a successful project implementation.

I know that this is an area within our own organisation that I need to prioritise and create a simple and effective way for my team to capture and share the lessons they learn and not just at the end of the project.  It is really important that we make the capture part of the process accessible to our project team.  I am thinking specifically of developers who in my experience just prefer to get stuck into coding and have little patience for documentation, yet they often learn enormous amounts that need to be shared with the organisation.


So what sort of lessons do we need to capture? 

We must remember that we need to celebrate our successes as well as learn from our mistakes.  Both provide essential learning’s and enable us to be proactive in our planning and approach to future projects.  Hindsight always allows us to have 20/20 vision so we should use this to give ourselves a head start and ensure that we do not underestimate the paths people have walked before us.

The Project Management Body of Knowledge highlights a number of areas that can act as a guide, some of these include…

  • Process improvement
  • Risks
  • Quality
  • Communication
  • Customer/Client Management
  • Performance
  • Improvement areas

My commitment to my team and my organisation is to create an environment that fosters continuous improvement and leadership in our field.