Lessons Learned

From the Voices on Project Management Blog
by , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with--or even disagree with--leave a comment.

About this Blog

RSS

View Posts By:

Cameron McGaughy
Marian Haus
Lynda Bourne
Lung-Hung Chou
Bernadine Douglas
Kevin Korterud
Conrado Morlan
Peter Tarhanidis
Vivek Prakash
Christian Bisson
Cyndee Miller
David Wakeman
Jen Skrabak
Mario Trentim
Shobhna Raghupathy
Rex Holmlin
Roberto Toledo
Taralyn Frasqueri-Molina
Wanda Curlee
Joanna Newman
Linda Agyapong
Jess Tayel
Ramiro Rodrigues

Past Contributers:

Jorge Valdés Garciatorres
Hajar Hamid
Dan Goldfischer
Saira Karim
Jim De Piante
sanjay saini
Judy Umlas
Abdiel Ledesma
Michael Hatfield
Deanna Landers
Alfonso Bucero
Kelley Hunsberger
William Krebs
Peter Taylor
Rebecca Braglio
Geoff Mattie
Dmitri Ivanenko PMP ITIL

Recent Posts

Do You Know The 3 Drivers Of Project Success?

It’s Time for a Long, Hard Look at Processes

Trust: The Secret Ingredient to Project Success

The Traps of Textbook Scrum

Assessing Risk in the Real World


Categories: Teams


Recently I had a team meeting to discuss lessons learned from a project and how we could document them to help reinforce the positive experiences and avoid the negative ones.

As expected, we had a template to document the lessons. We had one team in the room and other teams on a conference bridge and two hours to get it done. Of course, that came with pizza and drinks.

How do you manage to collect, assess, validate and populate data in a two-hour window? You have to have this data already present and entered into the system of some kind (whether it's electronic or paper), with such parameters as experience rating, failure points, links to deliverables each item refers to, impacts etc. And you have to have this information ready and available for this special meeting that simply reviews the results of what you've gathered over the course of the life of the project.

A system of lessons learned would include or require the following:

1.    Lessons learned as one of the deliverables of the project

2.    Method/forum for submitting lessons learned to the project management office or senior management overlooking the project or running the functional areas that require changes based on lessons learned

3.    Method or process for integrating those lessons into the organization

4.    Method of entering the information, such as electronic lessons learned system (web- or network-based) or collection of documents, spreadsheets etc.

5.    Method of accessing lessons learned information from past projects, relating to specific areas of the project or organization

6.    System to have these items as required components of milestones on the project plan

7.    Contribution to the lessons learned from issue reviews in a semi-automated way, so that at the end of the issue review or steering committee meeting you could use the data to post it to the lessons learned system

Success of a lessons learned system depends on a buy-in from the sponsor, the steering committee and the organization to all the items above.

Have you implemented a lessons learned system recently or participated in a lessons learned review? What was your experience?

Posted by Dmitri Ivanenko PMP ITIL on: March 31, 2009 12:04 PM | Permalink

Comments (2)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item
I use SharePoint for a similar team discussion and although it sounds ideal, who really has the time to read through everyone's 'lessons learned.'

I agree that sharing lessons learned is an important step in growing as a project manager, but there is another important step that comes before. To grow as a project manager, it is important to learn how to make sure your people know and understand your requirements. If your people don't know whats expected, they cant give their best. To do this, you (the manager) need to get weekly feedback during each project, and take that feedback seriously.

Please Login/Register to leave a comment.

ADVERTISEMENTS

"Bad artists always admire each other's work."

- Oscar Wilde

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors

Vendor Events

See all Vendor Events