Greek mythology chronicled the demise of the demigod Narcissus, who obsessed upon his own reflection, with tragic results. Many ancient superstitions around the world purport it was risky, unlucky, or even fatal, to gaze at one’s reflection.

In project management, reflection offers great and beneficial power. When team members reflect together, it provides a robust tool for ensuring solid progress through structured change. The team assesses what’s working (or not working) in their approach, how to improve teamwork effectiveness, and what team progress can be communicated to stakeholders. In those moments some of a team’s greatest actionable insights can be made.

Holding regular sessions to review the project’s work status may be seen by some team members as a waste of time. Why should it be done when moving forward with the greatest speed possible is a top priority?

Reflection is an essential tool for effective project management, which enables evaluation of what’s working or not working in the project and facilitates the ability to apply lessons learned and implement iterative change.

Key Takeaways

  • Encourage your team to understand the value of review and reflection
  • Schedule team sessions dedicated to reflection
  • Look for patterns that have proven to be successful
  • Repeat those patterns for more expedient progress downline
  • Eliminate, adapt or change unsuccessful patterns when appropriate