The “lessons learned” session seems to have become less of a tool to help ensure the success of future projects and more of a reflection on how well a project went. These sessions aren’t meant to be footnotes, but rather ways to build up knowledge and an understanding for future reference. How can we turn this around? In a post for the Association for Project Management, Karlene Agard gives some ways in which we can start really utilizing lessons learned.
Upgrading the Lessons Learned
Lessons learned aren’t meant to only come into play at the end of a project. There need to be sessions at key points in the project or when there’s a transition to delivery. You should also look into past lessons learned before you begin a project and use it to learn from prior mistakes. But in order to capitalize on that point, Agard notes that you’ll need to be able to access these lessons first:
In order to prevent your work from going to waste, you need a corporate retention system that is better than filing lessons away, never to be seen again, and certainly not learnt. Make lessons accessible by utilising metadata in your system to ‘tag’ files with key words, so they are searchable. This doesn’t have to be complex: SharePoint, Evernote and many systems that store files and metadata can be used for this purpose. Jive has been purposefully designed to enable collaboration and knowledge sharing in organisations.
The lessons learned from these sessions may require a large or small level of change, but regardless, they need to be meaningful to the business as a whole. Analyzing prior mistakes and successes will help ensure future successes and ultimately make the lessons learned sessions into a pivotal part of the lifecycle of a project.
You can view the original article here: https://www.apm.org.uk/blog/lessons-learned-too-little-too-late/