The Gift of Failure

Craig is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and has worked with ProjectManagement.com for the last six years developing the various HEADWAY processes (Project, Change and Portfolio). He has hosted a series of webinars and is a business intelligence subject matter expert.

When I look back over my career, I smile a lot. There are many things that I have done that I enjoyed and many moments where I felt that I was making a difference in the company I was working for, the team I was working with or that one individual who seemed to be better off as a result of a conversation we had. I know I can say that I am a better person because of those people, projects and companies.

However, I can't say that my project career hasn't been without its share of mistakes, missteps and mishaps. When I look back over my timeline that includes both my personal and professional experiences, I can easily pick out the larger hurdles and obstacles that I jumped over. I can also pick out some of the smaller and larger hurdles I attempted to jump over but didn't quite clear. I have my fair share of bumps and bruises, and I think that I can say that I have earned every one of them. In this article, I would like to relate to you one of those experiences.

Years ago, I was working for a small consulting firm. We had been working with an organization to help it establish and manage a small project management office. The goal of the PMO was to assist the larger organization in getting a handle on their current project load and to help them become more confident and effective in managing those projects in the future. Our objective was to support the …

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"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore."

- Mark Twain

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