Everyone loves good stories. Whether it is romance, fiction or historic, a good story can be remembered for a long time.
This is why we can use it as a learning tool.
I remember one time, I was sick at home during my elementary schools days. I was watching a TV show for kids about exponentiation ( I wonder what today kids see…). It was not boring like learning at school. It was built around a really interesting story which helped me remember the topic long after I come back to school.
Stories really help us to learn new ideas.
From a survey made by the PMI (PMI Publication (2007)- Survey results from : Post projects review to gain effective lessons learned) we can take this number * which present the amount of PMs thinks that Lesson Learned get to root causes of projects outcomes :
Not good at all…
Most of the projects managers use regular Lesson Learned techniques like collecting the high, low and things to improve from the project team members and customers. Similar techniques have basic drawbacks:
- Projects are dynamic and transient. Regular learning techniques can not catch it.
- We have tacit knowledge hidden in projects. Not just the explicit one.
- They do not captures he experience of the project manager/ member
- Actual project usually progress in a different way than the company procedures.
So what can we do?
We can use story telling as a learning technique (see the survey above or The “learning through stories” project : how the best project leaders in Defense, NASA, and across government make things happen for example).
It could be written or verbally, it could be done by a single man or collected from a group of people. It does not matter. We can use the story telling technique to capture additional knowledge on projects.
The story telling technique should not be implemented alone. But it is an additional tool project managers can use to achieve better learning and knowledge transfer.
* The number was taken from a graph so it might be +/- the presented number but the direction is clear.