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Formally conducted lessons learned sessions are traditionally held during project close-out, near the completion of the project. However, lessons learned may be identified and documented at any point during the project's life cycle.
The purpose of documenting lessons learned is to share and use knowledge derived from experience to: Promote the recurrence of desirable outcomes Preclude the recurrence of undesirable outcomes As a practice, lessons learned includes the processes necessary for identification, documentation, validation, and dissemination of lessons learned.
Utilization and incorporation of those processes includes identification of applicable lessons learned, documentation of lessons learned, archiving lessons learned, distribution to appropriate personnel, identification of actions that will be taken as a result of the lesson learned, and follow-up to ensure that appropriate actions were taken.
Lessons learned document the cause of issues and the reasoning behind any corrective action taken to address those issues. When thinking about how to effectively document a project's lessons learned, consider these types of questions: What was learned about the project in general?
What was learned about project management?
What was learned about communication? What was learned about budgeting? What was learned about procurement? What was learned about working with sponsors? What was learned about working with customers?
What was learned about what went well? What was learned about what did not go well? What was learned about what needs to change? Lessons learned should draw on both positive experiences— good ideas that improve project efficiency or save money, and negative experiences— lessons learned only after an undesirable outcome has already occurred.
Every documented lesson learned should contain at least these general elements: Project information and contact information for additional detail A clear statement of the lesson A background summary of how the lesson was learned Benefits of using the lesson and suggestion how the lesson may be used in the future At any point during the project life cycle, the project team and key stakeholders may identify lessons.
The lessons learned are compiled, formalized, and stored through the project's duration. Upon project completion a lessons learned session is conducted that focuses on identifying project success and project failures, and includes recommendation to improve future performance on projects.
The lessons learned session is typically a meeting that includes: Did the delivered product meet the specified requirements and goals of the project? Was the customer satisfied with the end product s? If not, why not? Where costs budgets met? Was the schedule met?
Were risks identified and mitigated? Did the project management methodology work? What could be done to improve the process?
What bottlenecks or hurdles were experienced that impacted the project? What procedures should be implemented in future projects? What can be done in future projects to facilitate success?
What changes would assist in speeding up future projects while increasing communication? Lessons learned and comments regarding project assessment should be documented, archived, presented, and openly discussed with the intent of eliminating the occurrence of avoidable issues on future projects.
The ultimate purpose of documented lessons learned is to provide future project teams with information that can increase effectiveness and efficiency and to build on the experience that has been earned by each completed project.
If documented and disseminated properly, lessons learned provide a powerful method of sharing ideas for improving work processes, operation, quality, safety and cost effectiveness, etc. They also helps validate some of the tougher times endured during the project's life and helps future Project Managers avoid similar difficulties.
Best Practices Include All Experiences - Lessons learned should draw on both positive and negative experiences. Act Quickly - Obtain feedback as quickly as possible to avoid people forgetting the challenges faced during the course of a project.
Document - Store lessons learned throughout the project in a central repository. Make Accessible - Make lessons learned accessible to other projects. Archive Lessons - Lessons learned should be archived as historical project data and incorporate into the organizations lessons learned.Lessons Learned In Life strives to offer you unique illustrations, posters and quotes besides collecting the information from the internet, books, magazines and various visual media.
Lessons Learned In Life does not claim credit and own any of the matter compiled from them. We take care to give due credit if . Disclaimer for Lessons Learned: These documents are designed to convey lessons learned from NERC’s various activities.
They are not intended to establish new requirements under NERC’s Reliability Standards or to modify the requirements in any existing Reliability Standards. Disclaimer: Information is provided with the intent to share knowledge to improve safety, performance, efficiency and organizational learning throughout the entire wildland fire community.
The lessons learned session is a very important part of the lessons learned process. If the session is not successful, the organization loses out on the lessons learned opportunity. To obtain optimum results, the lessons learned sessions should be facilitated by someone other than the project manager.
Lessons learned should draw on both positive experiences– good ideas that improve project efficiency or save money, and negative experiences– lessons learned only .
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