Lessons Learned About 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
Mario Trentim
Jen Skrabak
David Wakeman
Roberto Toledo
Vivek Prakash
Cyndee Miller
Shobhna Raghupathy
Wanda Curlee
Rex Holmlin
Christian Bisson
Taralyn Frasqueri-Molina
Jess Tayel
Ramiro Rodrigues
Linda Agyapong
Joanna Newman
Soma Bhattacharya

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

Put Your Users First—Here’s How

3 Ways to Balance The Delivery Ecosystem

6 Steps for Improving Organizational Maturity

Debunking Six Misconceptions About Agile

3 Reasons Project Managers Are Like Jugglers


Categories: Agile


Many teams benefit from reflecting on their process after they complete their project. Any errors in the process, however, have already had their impact. Agile software development includes ways we can improve our lessons learned - not just for software, but for any project. These lessons from agile projects may help your projects too.

Lesson 1: Perform lessons learned sessions during the project.
This lets you benefit from your ideas in time to make a difference.

Lesson 2: Smaller, more frequent meetings flow better.
There aren't as many items to discuss and it becomes easier to focus on observations.

Lesson 3: Don't whine, refine.
Avoid spending a lot of time digging into why problems happened. There won't be enough time to plan for positive changes.

Lesson 4: Follow the cadence of change.
Sometimes we forget the team will be busy with work. Try limiting the changes to two actions. But nail those actions! And don't start new process improvements until the other ideas have been deployed.

Lesson 5: Changes should be by the team, for the team.
Lessons learned should not be viewed as a scorecard -- it will make all the metrics climb to suspiciously good levels. Management should have visibility into the process used and some lessons learned, and anonymous examples of triggers that led to their discovery. But the retrospective itself has to be a judgment-free zone where all problems can be discussed.

If you're using scrum or another agile method, this might sound familiar. Lessons learned or retrospectives are built into your iteration cycle.

How do these tips fit with your project's life cycle model? 
Posted by William Krebs on: July 01, 2010 12:39 PM | Permalink

Comments (2)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item
Thanks for sharing!

Please Login/Register to leave a comment.

ADVERTISEMENTS

One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.

- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors