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Topics: Lessons Learned, Organizational Culture, PMO
Building Capability via Peer-Learning
I am managing a PM community of some 60 PMs globally located (4 sites). Now I am looking into a solution to accelerate peer-learning. This is our challenge brief: How can we introduce an attractive and scalable solution that makes peer learning efficient, simple and seamless, so that user adoption is high and duplication avoided. Anyone with ideas on how to solve this?
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Kristian,
great question.

Some years ago I was member of a bit smaller group of PMs working on different customers and projects, but within the banking industry. Our manager tried to support the spread of tacit knowledge within the group.

We met once a quarter as a group, more often as sub-groups (e.g. discussing estimations), established pairs of peers where each side had something to give and to learn, did peer reviews of our projects and over time inseminated projects with common good practices.

I especially valued the peer reviews, as they are beneficial for both sides.

Think actually we would see such groups as Spotify-type Chapters and Guilds.

A specialty of project management peer groups is that they do not team for work, just for learning. Every individual is lonely in that they are expected to lead a team and shield it against an outer world of user, clients, sponsors etc.
...
1 reply by Kristian Lindahl
Jun 29, 2020 12:25 PM
Kristian Lindahl
...
Thank you Thomas, I too agree that having something where there are smaller groups led by some facilitator would be very good. My problem though is that the complete group is very big. Today we have so called PM Forum chapters on each site with Chapter Leads that drive specific focus areas. So it is partially in place but what I would like to add to that is a better link between the different sites and also something like a db with a scoring system for best ideas and a strong search function.
Take a look to implement a Knowledge Management System where system is not software system. In my years in the field it was the only solution to gain knowledge and in this way helping to gain into agility.
...
1 reply by Kristian Lindahl
Jun 29, 2020 12:28 PM
Kristian Lindahl
...
Thanks Sergio, we will look into a KMS.
Kristian -

Sounds like a great endeavor! You could do topic-focused workshops using a virtual collaboration platform like Miro coupled with a persistent chat solution like Slack or MS Teams. Come up with specific topics of interest (using a Lean Coffee or similar approach) and then have workshops with the group to share learnings related to those topics on whiteboards using knowledge elicitation (e.g. brainwriting, affinity grouping, fishbone diagrams) tools.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Kristian Lindahl
Jun 29, 2020 12:33 PM
Kristian Lindahl
...
Thanks Kiron, yes I am excited to see where we end up. What you suggest is good and we are doing it to some extent, but we need to increase inter-site activities, which can be difficult we times zones in Asia, Europe and America at the same time.

What I would like to see too, is a db where all knowledge remains like in my answer to Thomas in this thread.
Few possibilities could be
1. monthly connect with a defined agenda (one topic share by one of the PMs and topic can be selected based on current project or previous experience.
2. Info share blog or page for queries where other PM can respond to query based on their knowledge and experience.
This will help others also to see the feedback. An searchable FAQ or tool will help avoiding duplication.
3. A award ceremony or event to bring best project based on different category will help in bringing best project and leasons learned to surface.
4. Workshops on selected topics e.g. process improvement, quality etc.
...
1 reply by Kristian Lindahl
Jun 29, 2020 12:39 PM
Kristian Lindahl
...
Thanks Tarun, you are touching on a couple of things that we are looking for, especially like you mention in you point 2 and 3. I am considering something like a wiki combined with something like IMDB, where you can go in and rate ideas and comment them. If this is combined with a strong search functionality you could very easily find the best ideas and practices, and, very importantly also add to the db.
Jun 29, 2020 5:48 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Kristian,
great question.

Some years ago I was member of a bit smaller group of PMs working on different customers and projects, but within the banking industry. Our manager tried to support the spread of tacit knowledge within the group.

We met once a quarter as a group, more often as sub-groups (e.g. discussing estimations), established pairs of peers where each side had something to give and to learn, did peer reviews of our projects and over time inseminated projects with common good practices.

I especially valued the peer reviews, as they are beneficial for both sides.

Think actually we would see such groups as Spotify-type Chapters and Guilds.

A specialty of project management peer groups is that they do not team for work, just for learning. Every individual is lonely in that they are expected to lead a team and shield it against an outer world of user, clients, sponsors etc.
Thank you Thomas, I too agree that having something where there are smaller groups led by some facilitator would be very good. My problem though is that the complete group is very big. Today we have so called PM Forum chapters on each site with Chapter Leads that drive specific focus areas. So it is partially in place but what I would like to add to that is a better link between the different sites and also something like a db with a scoring system for best ideas and a strong search function.
Jun 29, 2020 8:10 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
Take a look to implement a Knowledge Management System where system is not software system. In my years in the field it was the only solution to gain knowledge and in this way helping to gain into agility.
Thanks Sergio, we will look into a KMS.
Jun 29, 2020 8:39 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Kristian -

Sounds like a great endeavor! You could do topic-focused workshops using a virtual collaboration platform like Miro coupled with a persistent chat solution like Slack or MS Teams. Come up with specific topics of interest (using a Lean Coffee or similar approach) and then have workshops with the group to share learnings related to those topics on whiteboards using knowledge elicitation (e.g. brainwriting, affinity grouping, fishbone diagrams) tools.

Kiron
Thanks Kiron, yes I am excited to see where we end up. What you suggest is good and we are doing it to some extent, but we need to increase inter-site activities, which can be difficult we times zones in Asia, Europe and America at the same time.

What I would like to see too, is a db where all knowledge remains like in my answer to Thomas in this thread.
Jun 29, 2020 10:06 AM
Replying to Tarun Nair
...
Few possibilities could be
1. monthly connect with a defined agenda (one topic share by one of the PMs and topic can be selected based on current project or previous experience.
2. Info share blog or page for queries where other PM can respond to query based on their knowledge and experience.
This will help others also to see the feedback. An searchable FAQ or tool will help avoiding duplication.
3. A award ceremony or event to bring best project based on different category will help in bringing best project and leasons learned to surface.
4. Workshops on selected topics e.g. process improvement, quality etc.
Thanks Tarun, you are touching on a couple of things that we are looking for, especially like you mention in you point 2 and 3. I am considering something like a wiki combined with something like IMDB, where you can go in and rate ideas and comment them. If this is combined with a strong search functionality you could very easily find the best ideas and practices, and, very importantly also add to the db.
Hi Kristian,

I did setup in the past regional PM community with around 200 PMs across 14 countries. As part of community, I implemented a one-stop-shop Intranet site, based on Sharepoint, for best practice sharing.
It was a virtual community, we did not have face-to-face meetings, and all had to be done virtually. The main goal was to give transparency on PMs, their specific skills, projects, business areas where they had experience, as well as any news and updates in the company's processes and regulations which would have an impact on project management and governance.
Later on, we included a sections - jobs, where HR would post projects and open assignments in projects in other countries (internally), in order to help the cross-boarder assignments and gaining more international experience.
It was a big success, and the approach became a best practice example for global implementation - we are talking of 1000's of PMs globally.
If you are interested, I can share more details, you can send me a message.

Br
Milena
...
1 reply by Kristian Lindahl
Jun 30, 2020 11:08 AM
Kristian Lindahl
...
Hi Milena, It looks as there are aspects and experience in your implementation that could be of great value to our initiative so I am interested in more details if you would like to share.
Jun 30, 2020 5:21 AM
Replying to Milena Ilieva
...
Hi Kristian,

I did setup in the past regional PM community with around 200 PMs across 14 countries. As part of community, I implemented a one-stop-shop Intranet site, based on Sharepoint, for best practice sharing.
It was a virtual community, we did not have face-to-face meetings, and all had to be done virtually. The main goal was to give transparency on PMs, their specific skills, projects, business areas where they had experience, as well as any news and updates in the company's processes and regulations which would have an impact on project management and governance.
Later on, we included a sections - jobs, where HR would post projects and open assignments in projects in other countries (internally), in order to help the cross-boarder assignments and gaining more international experience.
It was a big success, and the approach became a best practice example for global implementation - we are talking of 1000's of PMs globally.
If you are interested, I can share more details, you can send me a message.

Br
Milena
Hi Milena, It looks as there are aspects and experience in your implementation that could be of great value to our initiative so I am interested in more details if you would like to share.
...
1 reply by Milena Ilieva
Jun 30, 2020 3:02 PM
Milena Ilieva
...
Hi Christian,

Happy to share, we can take it offline. For more information, you can send me email on milenailieva623@gmail.com.

Regards,
Milena
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