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Topics: Benefits Realization, Government, IT Project Management
Are there any suggestions for setting up something/anything to deal with lessons learned and best practices?

My fellow project managers and I have been closing out projects with questionnaires and developing lessons learned, but have not developed a good way to manage the outputs. When subsequent projects start up, we don't have a an easy way to review previous projects for lessons learned and best practices. Does anyone have suggestions as to how to start a process that can be built upon? There are several dozen of us, spread across the country, but have shared directories, use OneNote, wikis and a limited knowledgebase. We do not have a standard for close-out procedures and docs, and it would be difficult to develop a standard.
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I would like to recommend you the following discussion when there are some very interesting notes about it.
1 reply by Ken Bradshaw
May 01, 2017 1:29 PM
Ken Bradshaw
Thank you Mayte!

May 01, 2017 12:44 PM
Replying to Mayte Mata-Sivera

I would like to recommend you the following discussion when there are some very interesting notes about it.
Thank you Mayte!

Hi Ken,

Are your questionnaires standardized? Are your projects somewhat similar in scope, or do they fall into one of several niches for your company? If so, perhaps a simple effort to collaboratively start a shared drive for the lessons learned files, along with with an excel or access table delineating the lessons learned of the projects. If you choose to go that route, I would recommend to start with current projects first, then recently completed projects.

Hi Ken,

If the goal is to be able to share Lessons Learned with multiple PM's or teams, most suggestions I have received were to either build out a SharePoint or Access database for storage, searching and retrieval.

Since I don't have the time or expertise to build a homegrown solution, I would be interested to learn of other solutions and will be subscribing to this thread. Thanks for asking the question! :)

Raise your hand if you've ever gone through an archive of lessons learned documents and read them...

Raise your hand if you have a lessons learned archive and know where it is...

When was the last time you learned something new from a lessons learned? Did you share it with others, or wait for them to find the lessons learned document in the archive and read about it?

This is just a thought that I have been bouncing around, since yesterday. If you want your peers to learn from your lessons learned, you have to take it to them - and I don't mean just email them the document and hope for the best. Maybe you do send them the document, but then do the following.

Take 15 minutes, in a meeting, to discuss the key points; things you learned from successes AND failures. Not everything that was documented, just the things that could apply, in a meaningful way, to other projects. Include what makes these points relevant and recommendations for how to take action on them for current and future projects. These should be actionable items.

Give your peers a chance to provide feedback and ask questions. Do this shortly after the lessons learned document is complete so that the information is more fresh in your mind.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts. If you don't create the mechanism whereby lessons learned documents are reviewed, how you store them really doesn't matter.

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