BEP 244 – Debriefing a Project (Part 2)

English for Project Management

In this Business English Pod lesson, we look at discussing the outcome of a project.

When you, your team, or your company finish a project, what do you do? Do you rush into the next project and put the last one behind you? Or do you take the time to talk about what you’ve done and try to learn from your mistakes? Let’s think about this another way: do you find that certain problems keep coming up in one project after another? Well, they don’t have to. Not if you take the time to learn, to discuss, and to debrief.

Yes, it’s important to discuss the projects we’ve completed. And in these types of discussions native speakers will use many common and useful expressions. Sometimes we call these useful expressions “collocations.” That’s a fancy way to talk about a natural combination of words. Just think about an expression like “to launch a new product.” We don’t say “start” a new product, or “let out” a new product. The natural collocation is “launch a new product.” As you listen to the dialog, try to pick out some of these expressions and we’ll go through them later in our own debrief.

In the dialog, we’re going to rejoin Dean and Michelle, whose company has just finished a project to expand a manufacturing plant. In our last lesson, they talked about some of the successes and delays in the project. Today, we’ll hear them talk about how to resolve some of the problems they experienced.

Listening Questions

1. What is Dean’s main concern about the problem with City Steel?
2. What was another contributing factor in project delays?
3. What does Dean suggest to Michelle about how to do things better?

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BEP 243 – Debriefing a Project (Part 1)

Project Management English

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on debriefing a project in English.

Every project has its ups and downs, its successes and its problems. But every company hopes it can get better with each new project, and avoid the problems of previous undertakings. So how can we do that? How can we improve what we can do at the project level?

Well, we talk about it. When a project, an experience, or a venture is complete, we need to discuss what went well and what didn’t go so well. And through this discussion, we learn. We find out why we succeeded in some areas and why we failed in others. Sometimes we call this “debriefing” a project. And the point of this debriefing is to learn how to do a better job the next time around.

In this lesson on discussing the outcome of a project, we’ll learn lots of useful collocations. Collocations can help you sound more natural in English, but what exactly is a collocation? Well, a collocation is a group of words that English speakers often use in combination. Correct collocations sound natural. For example, we say “make a mistake.” But incorrect collocations are sound unnatural. For example, people would find it strange if you said “do a mistake” or “take a mistake.” As you listen to the dialog, try to pick out some of these expressions and we’ll go through them later in our own debrief.

In the dialog, we’re going to hear a conversation between Dean and Michelle. Their company has recently finished a project to expand a production facility, and now they’re talking about how the project went. In other words, they’re debriefing the project.

Listening Questions

1. What were the successes of the project?
2. What were two causes of delays on the project?
3. What does Michelle say she’d like to see in their company?

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BEP 193 – English Idioms: Time Idioms (Part 2)

This is the second of our two-part Business English Pod series on idioms related to time.

Time is a very precious resource. And for this reason, time management is a very important issue at work and in business. We’re always thinking about how to better manage our time, get our work done, juggle deadlines, arrange schedules, and follow timelines. Time, like money, is something that we can measure, budget, save, and even waste.

English is rich in idioms related to time. These idioms are very useful in business considering time is such a constant concern. In our last episode, we covered many common and useful expressions related to time in general. Today, we’ll look at a few more, particularly ones related to a lack of time and expressing a sense of urgency.

We’ll rejoin Jeff and Claire, two managers who are overseeing the development of a mobile phone app and a new website. Previously, we heard them talking about the design and development of the app. Today, they’re going to focus their discussion on the new website.

Listening Questions

1. Why is the website behind schedule?
2. Which part of the team usually waits to do their work?
3. When do they hope to assemble the website?

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BEP 192 – English Idioms: Time Idioms (Part 1)

Welcome back to Business English Pod. In this lesson, we’re going to take a look at business English idioms related to time.

At work and in business, time is always a concern. We rush to get to the office “on time,” we work hard to finish projects “in time” and we sometimes have to work “overtime” to get it all done. If you’re like most people, you watch the clock and the calendar constantly. It’s hard not to with such busy schedules and tight timelines.

In English, time idioms focus on a few key ideas. We hear the word “time” a lot, as well as the words “clock” and “hour”. Many of the idioms are related to speed, duration, regularity, and how late or early something happens or is finished. We also see a lot of idioms related to time pressure.

In this lesson, we’ll hear a conversation between Jeff and Claire, two project managers who are overseeing the development of a mobile phone application and a new website. We will hear them discuss timelines on different parts of the project and different project teams.

Listening Questions

1. What does Claire say about the designers?
2. What does Jeff say about the writers?
3. Which part of the project is behind schedule?

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