Project Practitioners > Where are those lessons learned?

Where are those lessons learned?

By Nova Rose

At the end of every project, the project team usually goes through an exercise to discuss what went well and opportunities for improvement. In some cases, surveys are sent out to different stakeholders, sponsors and team members. We gather all this data and file them in one form or another. The question is, what do we do with them afterwards?

Are they still on the flipchart waiting to be transcribed? Do we leave them in a file on our desktops waiting to put them on Sharepoint or are they already in the lessons learned database?

The intent behind this task is to share the lessons that we learn on one project so that they can be adopted for other projects. Here are some things that sharing lessons on a project can do for you and your organization:

  1. Ensure efficiency and move the organization or department up in its capability maturity.
  2. Highlight pitfalls that may be okay for this project but best avoided for the next one.
  3. Share the positives that in most cases can be applied to another project and have even greater impact.
  4. Give insight into what can be expected from the team, the sponsor and the stakeholders. This will help others gauge their expectations if they have to work with the same group in the future.

As project managers, we do want to hear how we can continuously improve on our projects and also share with others so they too can learn from us and avoid mistakes while bolstering the positives. We also want other project managers to share with us so we too can learn from their experiences.



Related Links
Capture lessons learned with a survey, or by holding a dedicated meeting or closeout workshop. Share hard-won wisdom beyond the project team in a lessons learned report, but keep a copy in a central location (just not an unusable black hole).


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We use a commercially available lessons learned database to capture our lessons. Each lesson entered is reviewed by a subject matter expert and classified for search purposes. Reviewed lessons are then made available for search by all project teams in the company. For anyone interested, this product is available from Secutor Solutions (www.secutorsolutions.com).


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