Never Stop Learning
The new year marks the half-way point of our first rotation. I like to think of it as the “limbo-phase”. Once we overcome our current challenges, new challenges await and the expectations will only get higher as we progress throughout the graduate program. Four months have passed already and most of us are now in a phase where we can really contribute to – and challenge – the organization as well as our respective departments. While we are slowly getting settled in the organization, we are now also staring into our second rotation and even more new challenges with excitement.
Well rested and fresh from a few days off during the holiday period, we kicked off the new decade by resuming work on our common graduate project. The new year began with preparations for our second Steering Committee meeting to update the project sponsors on our progress. We have done A LOT of research for our project recently and we were full of ideas after the SteerCo meeting – so it was extremely convenient that the next workshop of the graduate program was just around the corner.
Project Management Course on the Agenda
Monday through Wednesday meant three full days of project management with an external instructor. Frankly, I was a bit skeptical ahead of the course, as I was concerned it would be three long days of lectures. I personally had some project management experience and completed a PM-course during my university degree. Those concerns were quickly put to rest. While our fantastic instructor, Jon, brought a wide variety of tools and techniques, we were full of inspiration from interviews with external companies and internal stakeholders which we got to apply during the course.
Our instructor did a good job of aligning expectations ahead of the course, so while Monday consisted a lot of useful tools to manage projects, we also slowly started applying them to our own project. One particular tool I’d like to share is the Eisenhower matrix:
Useful for both projects and for individual or private tasks, this matrix makes the distinction between which tasks are urgent and which are important. A key take-away is to get rid of the distractions that are neither urgent nor important, while using the urgent/important-distinction to make priorities among your tasks.
Tuesday and Wednesday kept building on the tools and theory but integrated more workshops, where we were in charge of the planning, facilitation and ultimately received (and provided) useful feedback based on our performances. Some long days but with plenty of ideas, snacks and coffee for us to power through. As one of the course’s last activities, we also had a presentation from the head of our internal Project Management Office (PMO) at Falck. Expectedly, it was very much in line with the overall course’s focus and particularly regarding the importance of keeping stakeholders satisfied.
Overall, the project management course provided a highly useful framework and plenty of inspiration for us to continue working on our graduate project. With a presentation to executive management coming up in April, I really appreciate that we are being put in the position to succeed – a phrase which applies broadly to our graduate program as a whole.