Are Your Project Engineers Learning and Growing from Their Mistakes?

Are Your Project Engineers Learning and Growing from Their Mistakes

I have just finished building out my home gym in my garage.
I’ve got a Squat rack, Olympic bar, and weights.  I even installed a small sauna. I love lifting weights, and my goal is to increase (and maintain) strength without getting injured.

Last week I was bench pressing, and my fourteen-year-old son was helping me out. I had the bench set up in a specific spot to get the bar off the rack efficiently, and my son was behind the bench and bar, spotting me. I was standing around between sets, and my son accidentally kicked the bench, moving it out of position.

“Hey, listen, can you do me a favor and not kick the bench because I’ve got it set up specifically in a certain place,” I said.

He said, “Sure.”

We readjusted the bench. I finished another set and got up to rest.

My son kicked the bench again. I started to get frustrated.

The situation reminded me of a typical challenge I hear from Project Managers (PMs)
When teaching their Project Engineers (PEs) how to run work, the PE makes a mistake, the PM corrects them, but the PE repeatedly makes the same mistakes.

Thankfully, I didn’t let my frustration get the best of me. I said to my son, “It’s ok to make mistakes, as long as you don’t make the same mistakes again and again.”

“When you get a job, and you’re learning a new position, if you keep making the same errors, it tells people that either you don’t listen, or you’re not smart. But if you don’t, it shows your supervisors that you can learn and grow.”

Your PEs are going to make mistakes. Don’t let your frustration get the best of you.
Show them what to do. If they listen and their smart, they’ll self-correct, and each mistake will be an opportunity for them to learn and grow.

Besides kicking the bench, my son did a great job spotting me. I’m looking forward to the next time we workout to see if he’s taken to heart our discussion.

Here’s a tool that your PMs can use to develop their PEs: 90 Day High-Performance Dashboard

The dashboard covers five areas:

  • Rally Cry: What is the one thing you must accomplish in your role in the next 90 days to be able to say, with any credibility, “I had a good quarter!”?
  • Initiatives: What are the most critical initiatives that will drive the achievement of your Rally Cry? Where should you focus your time? List the three that should account for the majority of your focus.
  • Performance metrics: What are the decisive performance metrics that define the success of your Rally Cry, the execution of your initiatives, and overall success for you and your area of responsibility?
  • Relationships: Who are the most important people who are critical to helping you achieve your Rally Cry? Be sure to consider relationships up, down, across, and outside the organization.
  • Development opportunities: What are the experiences, assignments, skills, educational opportunities, and other professional development opportunities that will advance your ability to achieve your Rally Cry and lead your area of responsibility? What behaviors and attitudes do you know you can build on, start doing, do less, or eliminate?

To get a copy of the dashboard, click this link.

The download outlines, step by step, how to use the dashboard. Your PMs and PEs will find it extremely useful.