A challenge for many projects, especially in research, is describing the quality criteria and distinguishing it from scope. A really big clue that you're talking about quality is when those subjective words start happening - better, faster, smaller, less, more, cheaper.
This is the second of a short series of posts about quality management, to include some of my take-aways from teaching as part of the Mohawk College and CARA Research Administration Certificate program, as well as experiences in my own work related to quality.
There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job, by Kikuko Tsumura. Pub 2015. Translation by Polly Barton. Pub 2020.
I don’t usually include fiction on this blog. When I first received this book (as part of a set of books won in a raffle earlier this year), I thought it was a non-fiction book, a guide to job hunting in the realities of a complicated world. It is not really that, but it is a good fable about the difficulties of finding work that is utterly easy, disconnected, or non-impactful.
Anyone who’s spent time with me learning or working on projects will have heard my philosophy on project quality: better is the enemy of good enough. Anything other than “excellent” can seem like failure, and yet putting in extra effort that will not be valued by the end user or other relevant parties means that resources (time, money, effort) are spent on things without any return. One area that can be challenging in the study of project management is the difference between scope and quality, and how to determine and measure quality, especially in research management.
As Robyn Roscoe and through Lyric Management, I deliver teaching and training in project management and leadership skills. I have been teaching again this year as part of the Mohawk College and CARA Research Administration Certificate program. As part of a discussion, the class considers effective approaches to conducting a post-implementation review – a project post-mortem or lessons-learned meeting. These are typically the last meetings a project team will have together before disbanding and moving on to new projects or back to their regular roles. Based on those discussions* over the past few years as well as my own experience, here are some approaches to consider in structuring your own reviews to effectively collect lessons for your next project.
Last year, I started a new program called the Leadership Square*. Modelled after the concept of a Mastermind Group, the Square is a monthly-ish virtual gathering to talk about leadership, work, balance, and all manner of topics. I provide a topic and some suggested reading, and then those who are interest gather in the virtual square for discussion.
The topic for February’s Square was passion and purpose.
Who is Robyn?
My career as a research project manager is rewarding, dynamic, challenging, and fun. I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience in communication, organization, and common sense approaches in research management and leadership, and to enabling others to learn and grow in this exciting career.