Perform Lesson Learned
At the end of every project it is imperative that lessons learnt are identified and materials developed are gathered for reuse. This process ensures that future project continue to benefit from leading practices and knowledge is shared.
The importance of lessons learnt
Lessons learnt are experiences distilled from a project that should be actively taken into account in future project.
A lesson learnt is knowledge or understanding gained by experience. The experience may be positive, as in a successful test or mission, or negative, as in a mishap or failure. A lesson must be significant in that it has a real or assumed impact on IT operations, valid in that is factually and technically correct, and applicable in that it identifies a specific IT design, IT process, or IT decision that reduces or eliminates the potential for failures and mishaps, or reinforces a positive result.
Capturing lessons learnt should be an on-going effort throughout the life of the project. This mindset should be strongly encouraged by the project manager from day one. Whether we are using lessons learnt to prepare for a current project or for identifying project management process improvements, we learn from project failures as well as project successes. By not learning from project failures we are doomed to repeat similar situations. By not maximizing on project successes, we miss opportunities to implement good processes and practices to successfully complete existing and future project.
- Identify recipients of lessons learnt materials.
- Conduct a project wide lessons learnt workshop.
- Document the findings and recommendations.
Hints and tips
- Lessons learnt at this stage relate to the whole project, leading practices, useful materials and innovations worthy of capture.
- It will take time and effort to do this properly, beware of stripping out the entire team and redeploying them without conducting this activity. At least, identify the key team members who know the most about the entire lifecycle of deployment, get them together repeatedly, on various topics.
- Use this project framework to recall where the useful materials and improvements lie.