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Everyone has incredible suggestions. And all are incredible professionals. All I have to recommend is to think about live situations that you are in, and remember what steps took the longest. Not what others teach for 10 years or those who haven't been in live situations. Not that its a bad thing. But lessons learned are like the military and intel for frontline use. Before technology, you still called in for intel on areas you were going towards. File folder 18,000 miles away was opened, and SWOT (obviously SWOT may not have been called that), Risk Assessments, and anything else done, was in that folder; Then it was faxed to your S-2 field office.
Now think on that. What you might want is not ONENOTE, but something that retains the ENTIRE DOCUMENT in the computer. Then you can either create your own simple database of document lists that will be searchable thru text parsing, and a library or two that simply stores the file name and abstract, and that can retrieve the document with a click of a button.. Save it to the cloud. Share it on google drive. Nothing has to so complicated that we need to keep creating lesson plans on how to save lesson plans! Im not a guru, but I am a geek from the old days.
One real over-looked feature in all of MS products is the document info. You can ADD user-defined fields for even more searchable information. Like simply a checkbox for SUCCESS- FAIL. Also ask the little people who have to actually do this, and see what their ideas are! You might be surprised! Someone could already be doing it.
I would ask one additional question: do you have a Project Management Information System (PMIS)? Most of them have a Lessons Learned module. So if you have one, there you go, and if you don't, you may want to ask yourself if it's the right time to implement one and hit two birds with one stone? (most SaaS solutions are low cost and easy to get started with)
I have never really come across an app or piece of software that is solely for recording Lessons Learned. I think the one thing I have taken from previous projects is that Lesson Learned Logs need to be accessible to all or a chosen few.
I have created one in Excel before and have also used OneNote as I believe another poster also mentioned, but a collaborative tool such as SharePoint is a good place to log these for others to see and learn from.
I was building before a data base on MS Excel with aid of Pivot tables functions at excel features and I am fully satisfied from this tool and technique. Hoping to help you with the best tool and with my best wishes for you to reach the ultimate success.
Interesting discussion, i still believe no cost is understatement, anything involving data/data processing actually has price tags on it right ;-)??
It's not enough to RECORD lessons learned. You have to INCORPORATE lessons learned.
A lesson isn't learned unless it changes behavior. Don't just record them. Change things!
Change your standard operating procedures, project management templates, guidelines, policies, training programs, checklists, and so on so that you avoid problems experienced on previous projects. Embed what you learn into the organization's culture & practices. Don't just come up with a fancy way of storing them and making them searchable.
One drawback from putting lessons learned into any database is that the information and knowledge will stale very quick i.e. the actual lesson learned will only make sense to the person populating the database information and the description that they provide. One approach I would take to lessons learned is to the distill the information in to a high level guiding principle that that use in any and all projects going forward e.g. if a piece of information from a lesson learned is based on local knowledge such as Supplier A of car part does not keep to the exact delivery dates setting back the project, then distill the lesson learned as ensure Suppliers will be fined if they do not keep to contracted deliver dates.
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