Lessons Learned Sessions

I have recent finished a couple of great and fun projects.  That does not mean that we did not run into problems and learn along the way.  As part of the Rapid Results methodology (also Agile) there are time throughout the project where we are to grasp, share and reflect on learnings along the way.  The challenge though is that we do not want the lessons only for the current team, we want it for a broader audience.

One rule though is that this is not a "bitch session".  Come with constructive observation and thought.

So what we have done is that in our regular sharing sessions I often took copious notes on the items covered.  Then in the key stages I also took notes.  I organized them in one folder funnily called "lessons learned".

This made for a great opportunity for us to then reflect upon all of the lessons at the end. 

Sidebar – I think social computing and leveraging blogs with your project team also allows for this information to be captured electronically and then can be captured and leveraged later.  But more on that at a different time.

So now we organize to meet as a larger group to discuss things.  There are obvious things we want to discuss:

  • Introduction
    • Scope
    • Constraints
    • Objectives
    • Approach
    • Anything that really gives a broad view and in some cases more detail.
  • Who was involved and their role
  • Project Challenges
  • Lessons Learned
    • About ourselves
    • Limits / Barriers
    • Technical insights constraints
    • Approach
    • System – good / bad / ugly / future needs or opportunities
    • Business – Needs / Approach / Interaction modes
  • What’s Left Over
    • Scope
    • Challenges
    • Has the information been captured in a repository?

So this is what I have been thinking.  What about you.  Any others.

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