Lesson Learned – The Forgotten treasure
Lessons learned or lessons learnt are experiences from a previous project that should be actively considered in future projects. Lessons learned are the learning gained from the process of performing the project.
The only way to improve is feedback taken out of ‘Lesson Learned’
“On Lesson Learned- Don’t look where you fall, but where you slipped”
Why lessons learned are important?
Creating a Learning Environment. Organizations initiate lessons learned processes with an awareness that knowledge adds value. Acknowledging that they are losing valuable knowledge gained during projects is an important first step.
What is the purpose?
The main purpose of lessons learned during project closeout is to promote the recurrence of desirable documents and to preclude the recurrence of undesirable outcomes. It is very important for the project managers to get the information documented. Project documentation is required for successful project completion.
Lessons can be learned from the most successful and failed projects. Whether you’re building the palace or upgrading an IT system there will be lessons you can learn from your project. An effective Project Manager documents and analyses the lessons learned from his project and applies them to future projects throughout the organization.
As the failed project teaches us the way we should not do the project when we get some similar project next time.
Let’s learn from the famous quote of ‘Thomas Edison’
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work”
When to document Lesson Learned?
This should be done towards the end of the project in project closure phase. Project manager should collect feedback from all stakeholders in a meeting and should collect positive and negative feedback from all stakeholders for various phases.
It can be divided into three parts
- What worked well?
- What can be improved?
The solution/improvement for negative feedback items should be documented and implemented in future projects.
Lesson learn can lead to reduced efforts/timeline, cost and improvement in productivity, growth, efficiency, profit and faster delivery in any organisation. It can be stored at (a) central repository to be utilised as a treasure for future projects. The time & efficiency saved by project team through lesson(s) learned can be utilised in automation, research and other innovation activities.
Lesson Learned can be termed as a tool or utility or treasure for future projects. Every organisation should utilise this treasure due to above said reasons.
Agile and Iteration approach are the best example(s) of lesson(s) learned only. At the end of each sprint, sprint retrospective meeting is held and bases on the learned lessons from the earlier sprint, implement the improvement in next sprint.
Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Saurabh Garg