Michele Martin, one of my fave bloggers, has a great post today on Reflective Practice. Both reflective practice - that is the process of reflecting on what you do, and how you do it, as well as conscious, deliberate evaluation of projects, are things that are not very common in our field, nor things that are valued or encouraged. In many ways, we are focused on solving technology problems, or completing projects. But I have really come to believe that the way that we work with people is as important as the "final" outcome. We might be able to build the most wizz-bang amazing website ever (in a technological sense) but if we haven't really thought about how we moved through the project, never evaluated how the project really went, and didn't learn from the process, in the end, the project wasn't the success it seemed to be. In fact, it's amazing how much we can learn from projects that might be considered failures by technological criteria. In the last few months, I was involved in helping three organizations choose vendors for varied technology projects, and in the course of that time, I talked with almost a dozen technology vendors of one type or another. One question I asked all of them was about whether they had a process of reflection and evaluation of their work, as it was going on, and when the project was coming to a close. Unfortunately, none of them had an answer to that question. That is something I would love to see change.