By: Megan Huffman
Photo by Fauxels
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), "Learning occurs on every project" from our own experiences as well as the experiences of our team. While project managers are primarily responsible for the identification of lessons learned, team members and leadership of all levels should participate and review the lessons learned sessions and reports. It is important to share these lessons to prevent repeat mistakes and to utilize best practices for future projects. Identifying roadblocks and successes can help prepare for future projects as well as pinpoint any areas for improvement such as enhanced training or refined project management processes.
"It is not necessary to wait until the end of the project for the learning to occur. Lessons can be identified at any point during the project."
Organizations require "a defined process and basic tools and techniques" to develop consistency for the input of information. This allows for easier identification of issues and faster discovery of resolutions to ensure current and future project successes. A lessons learned template should include necessary information such as the project category and/or phase, a section to record the lessons learned, action items, and key words for easy retrieval. Consistent processes ensures that everyone on the team understands how to identify, document, analyze, store, and retrieve lessons learned.
Through the identification process, the team will pinpoint comments and recommendations that were valuable for the current project and may be useful in the future as well. Distinguishing lessons learned can determine what went right, what went wrong, and what needs to improve. Documenting the findings through team sessions or surveys allows for easy reporting to share with the team and project stakeholders to keep everyone in the loop. Analyzing the results can determine next steps, areas for improvements, and gaps in training. Utilizing a shared drive or folder to store the lessons learned allows for easy retrieval for the rest of the team.
Lessons can be documented at any point during a project to ensure that you're heading for success. Download our free Lessons Learned template below to get started:
Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with
questions or if you'd like help filling out any of our templates!