In this lesson, you will document and share the lessons learned from this project so the next project can be even better!
Lessons learned are about leveraging project experiences to improve future efforts. Near the end of your project, gather your team to review the project outcome. You may also hear this called a de-brief, post-mortem, look-back or post-project review. Whichever term you prefer, just do it.
Gather your team and ask open-ended questions like:
* What went well?
* What didn't go well?
* What improvements should we make before we start the next project?
* Do you feel like the project was successful? Why or why not?
Summarize and document their feedback. Develop a plan to communicate this feedback and integrate it into future projects. Store this feedback with your project documentation.
If you have a large team or a geographically dispersed team, you can collect this feedback using a survey. Be sure to prepare a summary or report to send out to the team after the survey has been conducted.
Sharing Lessons Learned
Lessons learned can only be leveraged if they are shared.
Ways to Share:
* Document repository - Some organizations have a searchable and shareable database of lessons learned.
* Training future project leaders - This feedback is great to share when training future project leaders. One-on-one mentoring meetings are a great way to share the knowledge as a project leader prepares for an upcoming project.
* Sharing lessons at meetings or events - If the lessons learned are more general in nature, a short summary can be shared in a staff meeting or event where many leaders are gathered.
In the spirit of improvement, each effort should be better than the last.
In the Sustain & Share Template, list your Lessons Learned and how they will be shared.