Positive learnings from chaotic projects: can we really learn from them? YES…

Even though that we all dream of perfectly organized projects and even though that no one has ever been in a dream project… Some projects are better than others, that is clear. But what can we learn from complicated ones? last minute projects? new technologies ones? etc…

There is an infinite capacity of learning in these projects. The fact of missing information, oblies one to learn. I.e. missing contracual information oblies the responsible contact person to check contracts and investigate customer, supplier, internal documentation for them. Important in these projects is the capacity of one to set up standards for the future. The ability of writing history. Working repetitive with the same customer helps you to understand the minimums standards and update them. Though, we always say that every project is different, comparison is always reasonably way of start. But success in the past does not guarantee success in the future:

Further to comparison between projects. Important is not to set up too high the expectations. When you enter a project, you need to understand the needs and levels of exigence in current project. Some projects are reduced versions of others, etc…

But straight to the point, what good can chaotic projects bring us? Let us start with undefinition. Imagine a project with clear definitions, clear responsabilities,etc.. what do you do there? nothing just work on your part of the project. Undefined projects help you to understand other departments, crossing the line between departments, helps you to dot it. By supporting the others in some activities not directly related to your department you can either expand your influence area or improve comunication with other departments since one understands each other and the information needed from the other department to work.

Have you been to a chaotic project and you realized afterwards that all activities were done and perfect? not a casuality. And this is an opinion, the fact that at every stage of the project no one is able to say finishing date or status of activities forces people to react faster and quicker.
One negative point is that for the team, the chaos in projects originates big tensions and some of them are difficult to solve and create all time rivalties in between departments. Only for that I prefer to work in good organized projects.

This is not a defence of chaotic projects, since I consider that the more organized a project with clear responsabilities, tasks, milestones,…but a motivation to deep work in these projects because only when we fail, only when we loose our confort zone, we learn. And simply ask yourself what you explain in project interviews, straightforward projects or difficulties you jumped into and solved with lessons learnt?

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