Lessons Learned Documentation: Is this a common practice in your business?

November 25th, 2013

You’ve run projects for many years and are very efficient so you’re positive your projects went off without a hitch and you’ve done everything well…right?

Today’s post is by Dennis Nicoletti, Manager at SafeSourcing

What steps or processes do you currently have in place to ensure continued quality, successful projects and best in class customer satisfaction, not to mention achieving the desired results?

The major benefit of completing the lessons learned process is that the organization retains and documents both successful and unsuccessful project activities for future reference by project managers and staff. This allows new projects to repeat successful activities and to avoid those that were not successful.  Documenting lessons learned will provide for ongoing improvement and help deter the recurrence of significant adverse events.

A Lessons Learned session also provides a forum for praise and recognition for project team members, allows the team to acknowledge what worked well, and offers an opportunity to discuss ways to improve processes and procedures.  Participants of a Lessons Learned session are typically the Project Manager and project team, but even more effective is the practice of including the customer and/or external stakeholders as appropriate. This will allow for candid feedback and will help to avoid the pitfall of assuming you “hit the mark”.  

Some typical questions to consider in a Lessons Learned format should include but not be limited to the following:

•  What did we do well?
•  What could we have changed?
•  Did the project deliver/meet the specified requirements and goals of the project?
•  Did the project stay within scope?
•  Was the timeline met?
•  Were risks identified and mitigated?
•  Were problems or issues resolved timely and adequately?
•  What could be done to improve the process?

We, at SafeSourcing, are always looking for ways to improve on what we do and believe that following the Lessons Learned format will build a stronger team, foster long lasting relationships and achieve maximum benefit for you, our customer.  For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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