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Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me..!

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Fool (verb) / to trick or deceive some.
 
Morale
 
Fool me once shame on you, fool my twice shame on me..!
 

How many of you have heard the saying, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”..?

Usually, this saying is offered up to remind us not to be fooled by tricksters, those folks that offering you something that sounds too good to be true, and that almost always is. So, try to avoid being taken for a ride, and for heaven’s sakes, don’t be taken for a ride a second time.

So what does this have to do with the PMO? Well, I will get there, but I need you to stay with me on this for just a bit.

You see, the first I ever heard, or remember hearing, the expression, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” was at a process improvement class and it stayed with me ever since. The instructor, a process improvement expert, was making the point that often times in an organization when we experience a process defect, the first thing that we do is bitch about it in the break room, and to whoever will listen. And often, we find out that someone else experienced that same difficulty or process defect earlier and was similarly frustrated at the time. But no one did anything about it. No..!

So, time after time, one after another would experience the same, repeat, process defect. Whether that is a workflow defect, a tooling defect, a communication defect, or an input, output, or process defect.

Now, think about all of the various problems, issues, observations and/or lessons learned feedback we get to see everyday in the PMO. How many of these do we just allow to reoccur and how many do we take note of and fix? And why is it that for so many of us, and organizationally, our natural tendency is to just grin and bear it? INMJ - it's not my job.

It would like to suggest a new mantra for the PMO regarding these little defects, and that is, “Have a PMO process defect once, shame on our process; have the same defect again and again and again, shame on us..!"

Posted on: September 04, 2012 11:27 AM | Permalink

Comments (4)

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Well said - “Have a PMO process defect once, shame on our process; have the same defect again and again and again, shame on us..!"

Maybe, it is much more easy to talk than to walk that is why we hear lots of complaints but no action.

As a dueling quote:


“The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won''t sit upon a cold stove lid, either.” - Mark Twain


A single failure does not imply a pattern and analyzing and reacting to one-off events is time consuming and often counter-productive. It is actually more effective to "be fooled" multiple times - until a pattern has been established - before taking action to address the issue.


I agree with you Mark.
The PMO should be looking very closely at repeatable patterns and if the same problem shows up time and time again, they should look into finding ways of addressing it.

I agree with you Mark.
The PMO should be looking very closely at repeatable patterns and if the same problem shows up time and time again, they should look into finding ways of addressing it.

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'Human existence must be a kind of error. It may be said of it: "It is bad today and every day it will get worse, until the worst of all happens."'

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