I have been blessed to work on some large IT projects.
Multi sites, states and years worth of work. Large budgets. Lots of people. And plenty of opportunity to deal with problems, rejects and poor performance. From identifying alternate actions in case a key player goes missing (we called it being hit by a Mack Truck), to alternate processing options if we loose power or face a natural disaster.
The part that we learned from the most was reviewing the project as a whole and answer some really tough questions without accessing blame. This reporting process went through a multitude of names, like, After Action Report, Project Recap, and other words like this.
What these reports did was make each of us better when it came to a current, or next, project. In fact, without these reports we would probably slug through one project after another and improve only when we faced something we had face previously – and learned from that mistake, only to make it again.
Having an official Recap process is a good idea, and it’s a shame when we fail to do it for everything we deal with. The documentation of the successes and failures will help the next person in line learn what works, and what doesn’t.
As I do every Sunday, I spent some time recapping how the service went. The good, acceptable, and questionable. What needed to be better? What needs to change, or adjust? Which holes did we easily trip in because we failed to cover them up properly the prior week? Who was missing? What was missing? Is someone following up on the prayer requests? Visitors? Did the church get locked up? (Yes, because I was the last one out!) Who’s on the cleanup schedule? Was everyone present in their assigned roles?
You know that old saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” It makes for a good sentiment. But without a proper review you may get what you experienced every time no matter which steps you take.
Let’s take this to a spiritual level. How many times do we go through the same trial or test because we did not make a change in our life from the last trial or test? We sometimes keep doing the same thing over and over because we do not change.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6 KJV)
Think about the repetitive cycle we find ourselves in. Over and over. We face the same punishment and loss. At the same time, it is like we are crucify the Son of God afresh because of our failure. It really makes us look bad, just like it paints a picture of our savior in a different light.
He is quick to forgive, but we are just as quick to fail. Maybe because we did not write an after action report, or do a recap. And learn from the mistake so we do not do it again. It won’t be easy. But we can do it. You can do it. I believe in you!