Improve Project Performance With Lessons Learned


Continuous development is a function of maximum cutting-edge high-quality structures. The concept is that people learn from doing – study from their mistakes and from their successes. Since the paintings underneath fine manipulate are being accomplished through human beings, the strategies, techniques, and methods used to carry out the paintings have to enjoy the equal mastering technique. Although people do examine from doing that gaining knowledge of is generally proportional to the want for development. Learning to apply oven mitts on pots and pans being moved on the range changed into borne of the need to keep away from the painful burns incurred when the prepare dinner tried to transport a hot pot together with her naked palms. When we are rewarded for our errors we tend now not to study speedy. Let me come up with an example of what I imply by means of worthwhile mistakes. In a manufacturing surroundings, manufacturing benchmarks may be set the use of a susceptible manner or technique and the employee is paid to meet those benchmarks. The procedures and techniques tend now not to be advanced if so due to the fact there is no ache worried in the usage of the susceptible tactics and approaches and no incentive to enhance on them.


The classes we study from our paintings, consisting of the ones learned from the work of an assignment need to be officially identified, stated, analyzed, and upgrades recognized earlier than we will improve our performance. This is particularly actual inside the world of projects because of the group movements on after mission final touch. The lessons may be painful and the compulsion to study may be strong at the time but with out a formal manner of organizing the gaining knowledge of, the upgrades that come approximately because of the capability of the crew members to research from their mistakes (or the errors of others) is misplaced. Lessons Learned periods are designed to prepare the getting to know that occurs certainly, seize the lesson, analyze it, and convert it into a plan for improvement. Lessons Learned to go one step further than that. They understand matters that went nicely and organize them within the equal fashion so that they come to be repeatable.


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The first step in enforcing Lessons Learned for the task is to agenda Lessons Learned periods. Lessons Learned have a tendency to be only while they’re performed right now after a painful failure. Obviously, trying to schedule those sessions for the complete venture crew after each man or woman mistake would be impossible so there are 2 answers available to the task supervisor: agenda crew Lessons Learned at strategic points all through the venture, and instill a “Lessons Learned” culture inside the challenge in order that group individuals seize their instructions and proportion them with the relaxation of the crew with out your involvement.

There is a wide form of strategic factors to be had to you for enforcing a Lessons Learned session. The approach, passing, or failing, of a Gate, is an excellent time to hold a session. You also can maintain sessions at intervals that coincide with the iterations of a task performed the use of an iterative approach. You can maintain sessions at your weekly challenge overview meetings if you can trim down the method in order that it does no longer devour too much time. The blessings of Lessons Learned for tasks may be divided into 2 categories: blessings that assist the current venture and blessings in an effort to assist destiny tasks. Choose a Lessons Learned schedule so one can offer each type of blessings and with the intention to suit nicely with the mission schedule. Don’t get carried away and agenda so many sessions that the group does not have sufficient time to supply the project work.

The first step in the Lessons Learned session is to capture the event that went wrong or went proper. The backbone of a great consultation is the way the statistics are captured and processed so pick an excellent template that captures all the relevant records approximately the lesson. There are 3 categories of facts that the form ought to capture: the aspect that went properly or went incorrect, why it went properly or wrong, and things to do to avoid the mistake or repeat the fulfillment. The form needs to additionally be uniquely identified and there may be other, administrative, records you desire to capture.

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The group must be knowledgeable within the motives for doing Lessons Learned and what’s predicted for them. The project repute review assembly you hold with the team is a perfect possibility to educate them in the manner and acquaint them with the template and a way to fill it out. Try sending out a brief description of the benefits of Lessons Learned classes and how they paintings in an electronic mail before the meeting so the team will be prepared to discuss Lessons Learned on your meeting. A vital part of your verbal exchange will be how the records accumulated from the Lessons Learned session may be used to enhance challenge overall performance.


The team member should whole the part of the Lessons Learned form that describes the occasion. Encourage them to complete this section of the shape as accurately and concisely as viable. Specifics as to time, area, the mission being carried out, equipment, tactics, procedures, and techniques are helpful. Avoid the usage of the form as a non-public assault on a group member who may have made a mistake. The reporter should also provide as an awful lot understanding as viable in the “Why it went properly/wrong” category. Information captured in this vicinity of your template will help others with their evaluation and inspire better suggestions. The reporter needs to also complete the guidelines segment if they have done evaluation themselves.

Your activity as undertaking manager is to facilitate the Lessons Learned consultation. You have to gather all the Lessons Learned, uniquely perceive them and speak them to the team in advance of the consultation. Collating the Lessons could be helpful when discussing them. It is normal to acquire several Lessons Learned bureaucracy when an event occurs that affects more than one individuals of the group. Establish the assembly regulations for the session. These regulations should consist of avoidance of finger pointing and another well-known assembly guidelines hooked up for the task. Begin the dialogue by way of studying the description of the event from the Lesson Learned form. You can do that yourself or have the writer do it. The creator should be within the room to answer any questions the crew may additionally have about the event. Read the “Why it went well/wrong” description if one has been supplied and ask the group to verify the cause or provide an opportunity purpose in the event that they reject it. Ask the crew to brainstorm a reason if one was no longer provided. Record the motive while the team presents one or adjustments an existing one.

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The group needs to examine the event and the purpose of the event with a view to become aware of the movements that need to be accomplished with a purpose to keep away from the error or repeat the fulfillment. The team is probably to offer you with a couple of motion in lots of instances relying on their character experience, talent, and prejudices. There isn’t any reason a Lesson cannot spawn a couple of movement but look for actions which can be incompatible and ask the crew for consensus in that case. Recommendations need to be proven to make sure they deal with the cause the event occurred and are feasible. Capture the recommendations within the form when the team finalizes their mind storming. There can be cases while the group is stumped and can’t mind hurricane an advice that would be powerful in addressing the purpose of the event. You may additionally want to talk about that Lesson with an SME (Subject Matter Expert) after the consultation to discover an powerful advice or truly archive the Lesson with the alternative Lessons Learned for a future undertaking, or destiny section of the contemporary challenge.

Having the group prioritize the tips is an additional step you could want to take to get most enjoy the technique. You might not always have sufficient budget or time to enforce all the recommendations from the consultation so let the crew manual you in figuring out in which the challenge could get the quality bang for the greenback. You need to also allow the team recognize that the assignment may not have the finances or the time for even the very best priority recommendation.

Use interviews whilst a brain storming session with the group isn’t always possible. This approach might be appreciably extra time eating than the brain storming consultation so inspire the reporter to complete as an awful lot of the form as feasible. Interview the reporter and verify the “Why it went properly/wrong” records if it’s far supplied. Elicit the information when it isn’t always supplied by way of asking the reporter open ended questions which include “Why do you watch this passed off”. This workout is a chunk like a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) consultation so hold asking why until you are glad that the foundation cause of the problem has been diagnosed. The subsequent step is to analyze the problem and determine hints to keep away from it or repeat it, subsequent time. Don’t be eliminated if the reporter doesn’t have a recommendation geared up for you, take the Lesson and visit an SME or surely forget about the recommendation for the time being. The facts you collect from the interview should be recorded at the Lesson Learned form.

The purpose of the workout is to become aware of the action gadgets on the way to be introduced to the plan, modified in the plan, or eliminated from the plan so one can implement the Lessons Learned suggestions. The recommendations won’t continually result in adjustments for your undertaking, specifically where they apply to work performed in the past which might not be repeated at the mission. You additionally may not be able to implement all the suggestions that do follow to deliberate paintings in your undertaking; price range and schedule constraints will commonly limit these. This is where having tips prioritized with the aid of the crew will assist. Implement the high priority tips first after which decrease precedence hints as money and time permit. You will offer the prioritization primarily based on your information as undertaking manager inside the absence of group prioritization.


Implementing Lessons Learned guidelines is just like taking corrective or preventive motion. Depending upon the scope of the additions/deletions/adjustments for your project plan and your Change Management technique, you could want to author an alternate request and are seeking acclaim for the changes from your CCB (Change Control Board). Close the verbal exchange loop after enforcing the changes by means of speaking those adjustments to the stakeholders and identifying the suggestions that precipitated the trade.

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Lessons Learned form an essential part of your employer’s information so make sure that they are to be had to destiny tasks. The way to do this is to index the Lessons and archive them. You can categorize Lessons in an expansion of ways: by challenge segment, by undertaking function (e.G. Programming, unit trying out, machine testing), by way of challenge institution (systems analysts, programmers, QA testers), by the system, etc. Choose the set of indices that satisfactory in shape your assignment. Each Lesson can be captured below more than one class. To keep the material properly organized, keep a system that uniquely identifies each Lesson Learned so readers can easily spot ones that fall into a couple of class. This type of method may be without difficulty supported by means of the use of folders in a document machine, one in line with class or index, and submitting a copy of the Lesson Learned in each relevant folder. The Lessons Learned have to be labeled, filed, and made available to the business enterprise irrespective of what filing machine you decide to use.

Perhaps no-one does Lessons Learned higher than the airline enterprise. Mistakes in this business cannot most effective be extraordinarily high-priced in monetary terms, they are able to cost hundreds of lives. In December of 1972, a flight certain for Miami, Florida, USA crashed in the Florida Everglades killing 103 people and totally destroying the aircraft. The investigation by means of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) uncovered a number of errors described as “pilot blunders” however the Lessons Learned from this disaster modified the manner pilots manage their flight crews and brought about the status quo of a new discipline.