Project Management

Lessons Learned Program

last edited by: Kyle Silverstein on Aug 16, 2017 2:10 PM login/register to edit this page
Keywords: Lessons Learned

Contents
1 Objective of Lessons Learned:
   1.1 When a Lessons Learned Discussion should be held:
         1.1.1 Variables that should be considered when determining if Lessons Learned is necessary:
   1.2 How to Conduct a Lessons Learned Session with Your Project Team:
         1.2.1 Definitions
         1.2.2 Preparation
         1.2.3 The Discussion:
   1.3 Internal Process for Reviewing Lessons Learned
   1.4 Internal Process for Lessons Database

Objective of Lessons Learned:

The main objective of defining Lessons Learned is to identify how to sustain strengths and improve weaknesses on future projects. Lessons learned or lessons learnt are experiences distilled from a project that should be actively taken into account in future projects.Lessons Learned Discussions are straightforward and are meant to identify the following:

  • Identify those things that went well with a project so that they are repeated in future projects where applicable.
  • Identify those things that did not go well so that project planning, processes, and communication may be improved allowing future projects to benefit favorably from the improvements made.
The Discussion provides a forum for public praise and recognition of project team members. A Lessons Learned Discussion is not meant to critique, allocate blame or solve problems.

When a Lessons Learned Discussion should be held:

A Lessons Learned Discussion should be held, at the Project Managers discretion based on multiple variables, at the following stages of a project:

  • Key Milestone Completion
  • Project Phase Completion
  • Overall Project Completion

Variables that should be considered when determining if Lessons Learned is necessary:

  • Length of time spent on milestone or phase
  • Length of time since last Lessons Learned

How to Conduct a Lessons Learned Session with Your Project Team:

Definitions

  • A Successful Lesson is something that reduces risk or improves the project’s result.
  • An Unsuccessful Lessons increases risk or reduces the project’s success.

Preparation

1. Customize the Lessons Learned template to include only lesson categories applicable to your project.

2. Distribute the project customized Lessons Learned template to the participants of the Lessons Learned at least one week prior to the date of the Discussion:

a. Ask that the team members provide their feedback in the attached Lessons Learned Form at least one day prior to the Discussion.

b. Ensure all participants understand their responsibilities and the goals of the meeting

c. Send a reminder at least two days before the Discussion to those who have not provided their feedback.

d. (See Appendix 1 for details on what to include in email)

3. Compile all feedback into one Lessons Learned Form for review at the Discussion.

4. Based on the Lesson Categories distributed on the customized Lessons Learned Form, use the Questions by Category tab in the Lessons Learned Database as a tool to be prepared to initiate and or strengthen the discussion with specific questions.

5. Determine if a separate facilitator or scribe is needed prior to the meeting and make any necessary arrangements.

6. Send out Agenda for Lessons Learned Discussion (See Appendix 2)

a. Add time durations to the Agenda items to stay on track during the meeting

The Discussion:

1. Take Attendance

2. Share compiled, summarized Lessons Learned Form with participants.

a. Determine root cause on Unsuccessful Lessons

b. Agree on how to resolve issue so the lesson is not repeated on another project

c. Document and assign any possible Action Items to ensure future resolution of Lesson

d. If necessary, prioritize the Unsuccessful lessons

3. Follow the Agenda

4. Take Notes of the Discussion if scribe has not been included. Ensure details of lessons and all action items are documented.

5. Watch those that don’t participate. Ask them directly if they have any comments and be willing to wait patiently for an answer.

6. Prepare Lessons Learned Report and distribute to participants (See Appendix 3).

Internal Process for Reviewing Lessons Learned

1. As a team, review all identified lessons once a month in Project Management Team Meeting.

a. Lessons can be presented in the form of the Lessons Learned Report.

2. Determine which Lessons shall be added to the Lessons Database.

a. Both Successful and Unsuccessful Lessons should be included

b. Identify the Lesson Category for each as a team.

c. Include repeated Lessons to determine frequency.

3. Determine if any communication needs to be sent, and to whom, on both Successful and Unsuccessful Lessons.

Internal Process for Lessons Database

Lessons Learned will be captured and placed in a database that will be available to the Project Management Team. The main objectives of this database are to:

  • Focus on what was learned from the Lesson that could benefit the performance of future projects.
  • Ensure there is no finger pointing or blame attached to a Lesson; Reference individuals who can be contacted for more information.
  • Data is clear, concise and has the appropriate key words so that the Database is easily searchable.


last edited by: Kyle Silverstein on Aug 16, 2017 2:10 PM login/register to edit this page


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