Project Management

Leverage These Lessons Learned Questions for Better Project Results

Lessons learned from previous projects or sprints help you prevent avoidable mistakes in the future. You do not want to repeat the same mistakes or channelize the team in the wrong direction again. In this article at Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall shares 3 lessons learned questions for better project results.

Working Through Lessons Learned

As a project manager, you must learn and evolve on the job. While there are several project management guidelines, you do not always know what lies ahead. Instead of caving under the management pressure, ask yourself the following 3 lessons learned questions to get better project results:

What Worked for You?

Instead of starting with the negatives, work on the positive aspects first. Though the project has failed, identify the good moments you shared with the team. For example, the developers finished their coding within the deadline and worked on all the client requirements. The project sponsor delivered a clear project vision and helped allocate a tester at the nick of time. All the changes occurred following the change control process.

What Did Not Work for You?

The purpose of identifying the issues should not be about blaming people. Focus more on processes rather than individuals. For example, point out how some of the stakeholders were unaware of how their work affects the business. You should have communicated more proactively. Numerous glitches were found during the testing process due to misinterpretation of the requirements. Since some of the requirements were not included in the design plan, developers worked on them later. This delayed the project.

What Alternative Route Would You Take if This Project Restarts?

Answering the other lessons learned questions will make this one easier to respond to. You already have better results when you successfully answer this. Continue working on the positive aspects of the project and address the negative ones. For example, compile a requirements traceability matrix. Perform two more requirements analysis, just to be on the safe side. Confirm the project requirements with your clients once more. Keep some time aside in the project plan to conduct ongoing training sessions for the team. Hire a business analyst on the team.

Learn at the Right Moment:

These questions are helpful when you ask them at the right moment as below:

  • During project closure
  • After accomplishing a project milestone
  • When nearing the end of a project phase, sprint, or iteration
  • When faced with issues in an ongoing project or during a project recovery stage

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Indrani Roy

Indrani Roy is currently working as a Content Specialist for CAI Info India. She has knowledge in writing blogs, product descriptions, brand information, and coming up with new marketing concepts. Indrani has also transcribed, subtitled, edited, and proofread various Hollywood movies, TV series, documentaries, etc., and performed audio fidelity checks. She started her career by articulating a knowledge base for an IT client, and, eventually, went on to create user manuals and generate content for a software dashboard. Writing being one of her passions, reading books is naturally her favorite pastime. When not lost in the world of letters, she is a foodie, movie buff, and a theater critic.

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