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Lessons Learned: It's Not Just a Good Idea... <link updated to site home>


In the world of managing projects you might hear talk of Lessons Learned, Retrospectives, and/or Postmortems to refer to a meeting(s) at the project's end to determine: A). What went right, B). What went awry, and C). What could be done differently next time. Notice how I said "talk" about this <link outdated-removed> meeting. Most understand the importance but still these meetings which can provide so much value are frequently cancelled, postponed, delayed, pushed out, mismanaged or simply squashed, forgotten or overlooked.

Enter an article from Global Knowledge Lessons Learned: It's Not Just a Good Idea... - a great piece that stresses the importance of planning and conducting a postmortem, and also lists some common roadblocks to their occurance and suggestions for overcoming the challenges. Here's a clip:
Why Don't we Hold Retrospectives?With so much agreement that we should be doing retrospectives, why do I find that they are so rare? When I probe, I get many different answers as to why they are not done in specific organizations. But after a while, two themes have begun to emerge:
1. Logistical problems prevent the sessions from happening, and
2. The organization is unable to gain value from the lessons they
learned.
Let's take a look at some easy ways to overcome these reasons.
Logistical Issues
There are many logistical issues involved in holding a retrospective session at the end of each project; and they mainly revolve around the availability of the participants.
First, staffing is not steady throughout a project. The well-known "project-staffing hump" is characteristic of most projects. Staffing is the greatest in the middle of the project, and is relatively low at the end. That means most of the people who should be involved in the retrospective session have moved on to other projects by the time the session is held. Getting their time for something as non-critical as a retrospective session can be difficult in the face of more pressing issues on their new project.
Second, the project members who are still on the project often have their hands full with post-rollout support, handholding, or problem resolution. So, even they have the same issues with urgent work taking precedence over the non-urgent retrospective session.
Finally, exacerbating the problem is the fact that doing a good retrospective on a project of any reasonable size will take several hours. It is not unusual for retrospective sessions to be 2-4 hours, or even a full day for a large project! With all of the competing demands for people's time, how can we expect to carve out enough time for a retrospective workshop?

From India , Mumbai
it's Really good topic for project management & control, using lession learn easily we can estimate cost & Duration the similar kind of new project.Define the Risk as per our past lesson learned history.
From India , Bangalore
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