27 – Lessons Learned

We are familiar with rules in our lives. They are in our legal system, our games, our family, and of course business. ​According to BABOK, Business rules is a specific, practicable, testable directive that is under the control of the business. It serves as a criterion guiding behavior, shaping judgments, or making decisions

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Definition

The purpose of the lessons learned consists of compiling and documenting successes, opportunities for improvement, failures, and recommendations for improving the performance of future projects, projects phases and any future performance.

A session devoted to learned lessons (also known as retrospectives) takes the shape of conversations. During such a session, successes, potential improvements, but also failures, are identified. Participants share and apply their knowledge and experience gained through positive and negative events. Participants learn how to cause the formers and avoid the latters.

There is no standard process directing the unfolding of these sessions. Stakeholders’ preferences often dictate how they are carried out.

"I never lose.
Either I win or learn."

Nelson Mandela

In the event of a remarkable success achieved, it is possible to include a celebration to the session dedicated to the learned lessons. This allows to provide a relaxed atmosphere and to appreciate the efforts made.

Why to conduct learned lessons sessions?

  • Identifies opportunities and areas for improvement.

  • Enhances the value of positive experiences and of successes.

  • Prevents or reduces risks at the time of future actions.

  • Allows to better quantify the result of efforts.

  • Discovers benefits and lacks in the structure of projects, in the methodology or in the tools used.

  • If led regularly, lessons learned sessions keep your initiatives on track.

  • The present BAs refine their skills, share their knowledge and inform themselves about the industry best practice.

The sessions are not meant to find the people responsible for a problem.

How to conduct learned lessons sessions?​

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