The value of capturing Lessons Learnt

Lessons Learnt tracking ..  sounds like more work right?

There is hidden value in creating a Lessons Learnt Log for you as a Project Manager, if you look at it from a different perspective.

Take all of the learning’s from the different aspects of your project and capture them in a way so that there is a ‘real’ lesson taken from it.

I have seen many Lessons Learnt Logs that contain lots of words, but little actual value.  Why?  Because they don’t really look at and consider the real underlying lesson in what has occurred.  Here I am going to look at this from the aspect of you, the Project Manager.

It is really important to look deeper than the surface to discover the value in what has not worked or for that matter, what has.

Some of the things that you might find in your Lessons Learnt Log are :

  • You could have communicated better and more clearly
  • You didn’t track things as well as you should have in order to deliver on time
  • Risks weren’t raised so that they could have been monitored.
So, from these things, lets see what the real lessons for you as the PM might be, and the questions that they raise:
  • It is important that I understand how to communicate clearly and in the right way to my team and stakeholders
  • I need to do some training on communication skills so that I can increase my knowledge on how to be a more effective communicator
  • Where can I get assistance to understand good communication practice?
  • Do I understand how to plan a project in the best way?
  • How can I gain further skills and knowledge on how to plan and monitor my project?
  • How can I communicate more clearly the need for me to be notified when things aren’t working?
  • I need to remember to run a risk workshop at the start of the project, to ensure that risks are raised and tracked.
  • I must communicate to the team the importance of monitoring risks during the life of the project

Create a Lessons Learnt log as a personal development tool for yourself, then you will see how really valuable it is.

Don’t look at what is raised as criticism, but rather as opportunity.