Projects are unique in nature. Although the context might be the same for various projects, products, and even customers, the uncertainty and variable objectives that define the project environment gives each individual project this characteristic of uniqueness. As a result, organizations can learn from previous experiences and pass on to future projects the lessons gathered during the project’s life cycle.
Learning that a particular technique is more effective than another, finding out that a specific tool is obsolete or coming to a realization that team members have to be replaced because of a lack of skills should all be recorded, analyzed, and reported to help future projects be planned more efficiently. For example, if a particular supplier of catering and hospitality services proves to be unreliable, it would be wise to record this and evaluate it for future events so that the supplier is dismissed and the search extended elsewhere.
Lessons Learned are defined by the PMI as the learning gained from the process of performing the project.
To be captured, a Lesson should be:
Significant in that it has a real or assumed impact on operations,
Valid in that is factually and technically correct,
Applicable in that it identifies a specific design, process, or decision that reduces or eliminates the potential for failures or reinforces a positive result.
Usually, the lessons learned are organized at the end of a project during its closure. Even if Memory is good, Memory is short! Thus it is generally a better idea to register lessons learned during the performance of the related actions.
There are plenty of ways to capture lessons learned and to share them. However, the most important thing is that you act on them next time.
In Sciforma, Lessons Learned can be managed at:
The Project level
The Portfolio folder level
The Work Package level