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Topics: Energy
Project Legacy - what will be remembered

In my experience none of the major sources of conflict during a project (schedule, resources, scope and priorities) are remembered after a project is completed. Specifically within Oil & Gas projects, will a cost or schedule over-run be prevalent in stakeholders minds when first oil is achieved and revenue is generated? Safety, reliability (availability of the plant giving rise to stable operations), quality and the benefits to the business are longer-lasting legacies. A brave move perhaps but project priorities were defined as 1. Safety, 2 Quality, 3. Operability, 4 Schedule, 5 Cost. General question, what project attributes contribute most towards long-term legacy?
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Your question is starting to fall into the realm of psychology. A couple of buzzwords that come to mind are negativity bias and instant gratification. The things that will be remembered longest are 1) anything that went wrong, and 2) anything that quickly brought value ($$) to your stakeholders. There will be exceptions, but what will most likely be remembered about a project is what happened after the project - how successful was the product, and how quickly was it successful.

Beyond that, the only things that will be remembered are the things that are documented AND referred back to on a regular basis. Think Lessons Learned. There have been a lot of discussions about lessons learned, here. In practice, they often don't provide a lot of value BECAUSE THEY GET FILED AND FORGOTTEN. Sorry for the all-caps; there is no option to BOLD the text. It becomes the responsibility of the project manager to make sure that the lessons learned have content that will be relevant to future projects and then use that content when planning and controlling future projects.

This will not change human nature. Negativity bias and instant gratification will still have their way, but your projects will run better and, over time, that will be noticed. You may find that your legacy will vary by stakeholder because they don't all value the same things.

I think it depends on what your success factors were and what people value. If safety was a huge criteria and something stakeholders were really interested in, then that's a big part of the legacy. People will remember that safety was important and that you delivered a safe no-fatality project. If bringing in cash is top of mind throughout the project, stakeholders are likely to forgive a bit of schedule overrun as long as their ultimate goal is hit within a reasonable period.

I agree with Elizabeth, however my two cents about the project legacy would be the lesson learned from the project, and what was the success ratio of work around procedures and the success of Rist Mitigation/Elimination methods

Repeatable best practices come to mind. Also great teamwork and shared vision to be part of something bigger than yourself. You will carry this legacy with you and applied it to whatever effort you go move on to next. Each project is unique from the scope to the team to the final product/services.

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