Strategic Lessons Learned From a Battle-Hardened Project Manager

PMI Chicagoland Chapter

George Freeman, PMP, is a seasoned IT project manager and leader who has worked in the software industry for nearly four decades, including over 25 years of project management. He has significant experience and expertise in enterprise information systems, data, and business architectures, and is an advocate for “business and technical architectural awareness” among all project team members. Mr. Freeman has international and remote team experience, and has a passion for meta-modeling, domain-driven design, and “all things architecture.”

As project managers, we strive to learn from our past experiences and we guide and teach others to do the same. We leverage approaches such as lessons learned to fine-tune the methodology, all for the purpose of making each project better than the last, and sometimes we succeed.

However, these lessons learned normally exclude topics related to the plight of the project manager, who must regularly navigate the “domain of the unpredictable.” Hence this article proposes a new device called “strategic lessons learned” to address this void.

NOTE: The content in this article is serious, but its delivery has been injected with a bit of humor at different points to make the read more enjoyable and memorable.

My nearly four decades of IT have included over 25 years of project management, coupled with self-directed psychotherapy, to treat the condition known as the PIT (project-induced trauma). Most forms of this disorder are caused by nonadherence to prescribed practices, but also can be caused by the simple fact that projects, like life, are unpredictable. 

The disorder is rarely reported in literature, but most practitioners acknowledge its existence. For this project manager, the remedy requires one to produce a collection of strategic lessons learned from their career and commit them to memory, so as to mitigate "…

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