What lessons do we learn from projects? What do we look for from the lessons, both as individuals and organizations? What value do lessons learned deliver in future projects?
Lessons that we choose to learn from our projects are based on the purpose that is set for the project. Purpose is the key. In the project postmortem review, we need to focus on what was or wasn't met as a goal. What worked or didn't work in the use of the methodology and resources? What worked and didn't work within the project team and its members?
To understand what can be improved on a project, it's essential to always look at the original goal or objective, the initial assumptions and the project management plan. Looking solely at the end result with a narrow view of the cause-and-effect elements can lead to a long report with no actionable improvements to positively impact the organization's future.
A lessons-learned review is effective based on the questions asked about the project results, the purpose for the postmortem and the implementation of the review findings into the organization. An effectual review could be the key factor to the success of future projects and organizational improvements.
How do you successfully use a lessons-learned review?