Project Lessons Learned

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Telva Sosa, Panama
One of the greatest contributions of a PM to an organization is the set of lessons learned.
After every project concludes, a formal meeting with all of the team members should be conducted and both good and bad experiences should be duly written down in a document that should be a part of the project.
But it does not end there. There should be a kind of library of lessons learned from each project implemented in the organization, to save time and effort and implement best practices born from within the organization.

Are Project Lessons Observed?
Jim Combs, USA
Does anyone have a proven successful way of incorporating lessons learned? It seems projects continue to make the same mistakes again and again...
The Importance of Documenting Project Lessons Learned
Sam Abiem, Nigeria
Lessons learned is indeed a very important component of PM that is often overlooked by many organizations. Though it's outside the project design cycle, it needs to be incorporated in the evaluation phase.
It is also critical at the closure of project. This prepares managers to better manage subsequent projects building on such lessons, whether positive or negative.
Every project has lessons that an organization can build on in subsequent projects.
Recording, Storing and Retreiving Project Lessons
Sankar, India
Recording lessons learned is one aspect, and equally important is the storage and retrieval mechanism!
I personally think an organization should give the right emphasis to knowledge management and project lessons should be part of managing this knowledge, with the right categorization.
Best Practices for Storing and Reusing Lessons Learned: Storytelling and Checklist
Eduardo Rodriguez Ringach, Consultant, Spain
I've seen two totally different successful strategies for caputuring and sharing lessons learned from projects:
1. Storytelling: capturing the nuances of the lessons in a narrative way, or even better by using multimedia tools, best in the own words of the protagonists.
2. Checklist: integrate lessons learned in a mandatory checklist to be filled in for every new project.
Best Practices for Storing and Reusing Lessons Learned: Coaching
David Dicanot, Project Manager, France
I share the idea that same mistakes in project management occur again and again.
The main reason to my mind is the non application of fundamentals in project management, that is the subject of another stream.
Formalised best practices are good, but not efficient enough, and could be replaced or complemented by coaching by a senior project manager.
This role could be fulfilled by a programme director (if available) to avoid the cost hiring an external coach.
How to Prepare for the Post-Project Evaluation
James07, Business Consultant, India
Successful project managers lay the groundwork for repeating on future projects what worked on past ones (and avoiding what didnít) by conducting a post-project evaluation. A post-project evaluation (also called a post-project review or lessons learned) is an assessment of project results, activities, and processes that allows you to:
  • Recognize project achievements and acknowledge peopleís work.
  • Identify techniques and approaches that worked, and devise steps to ensure theyíre used in the future.
  • Identify techniques and approaches that didnít work, and devise steps to ensure they arenít used again in the future.
A project postmortem is another term for post-project evaluation.


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