Categorized | Management

Improve Project Performance with Lessons Learned

There are always lessons that can be learned within businesses and this includes the successful delivery of projects. Capturing learning and translating it into policies and processes that can be used in future projects can not only help facilitate best practice but mitigate potential failures. Being willing to take on board the opportunity to exploit potential benefits or avoid pitfalls does not only help future activities but can also aide the project your in now.

Use previous learning

At the outset of any project – one key activity should be to review lessons learned logs from prior projects. The important thing to remember is that this is not just about lessons learned from ‘bad’ events but also where opportunities were exploited (these can help shape reductions in schedules and cost).

Capture lessons learned

One way to learn is to take time to talk about the lessons as they happen throughout the project through periodic reviews. Developing processes to discuss what happened, what could have been dealt with differently and then playing this back into the project team.

Share the knowledge

Consider knowledge sharing as an important objective, not everyone may have been involved with the issue but everyone could benefit from understanding how it was dealt with helping the team should the situation arise again.

Milestone reviews

Endeavour to look at how lessons learned reviews can be woven into the milestone review process. This ensures that the project cannot proceed to the next phase in its schedule without completing and reviewing the lessons learned log.

End of Project reviews

Another way is to review lessons learned at the end of each project to discuss what went well and what didn’t. Encourage each project work stream and owners/project leads to contribute.

Summary

Organizations should always encourage knowledge to be transferred between projects. When you learn from your mistakes it only makes you and your team stronger and better for the next project.

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