Tuesday, October 17, 2006

 

How do we record project Lessons Learned?

Have you considered implementing a monthly report of Lessons Learned - a mini-newsletter?

It's the idea that I not only offered to companies where I worked, but volunteered to implement it. And it worked quite well.

As the Lessons Learned editor, I interviewed each project manager each month. I asked questions, and became trusted by writing the stories objectively. No blaming; no finger pointing. Every month the project managers would read the Lessons Learned newsletter to see if their story was in it.

There were only two companies where project managers didn't gather at the water cooler to discuss lessons learned. One company was probably too small, and the other wasn't interested in changing.

Lessons learned are best told as stories. And told in a stand-alone format. No going through physical or electronic files. No blaming others. Just a learning experience.

My proudest moment at one company was when a new project manager was hired, and our COO gave him several issues of the Lessons Learned newsletter BEFORE he gave him the project management manual.

Stories - that's how humans learn.

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