Chapter 22

Don't Forget Lessons Learned

Learning a lesson, particularly in a group critique setting, might sound like a bitter pill to swallow for project managers and team members alike. If I'm an expert, the thinking goes: “Why should I have lessons to learn? And even if I do have more to learn, do I want others to know that? After all, I have my reputation to consider.”

The truth is that the wisest and most skilled project managers recognize that there's always more to discover about project management. Also, whether a project has to do with developing software, rolling out a training program, or constructing a building, there's always more to know about that type of project and its subject matter.

Every project is intended to add to the overall value of your organization or provide benefits in some way. The project might exist for the purpose of increasing profits, reducing costs, improving customer service, ensuring regulatory compliance, or what have you.

In addition, consider the increased skill and knowledge you and your team members gain with each project, even (perhaps especially) if a project fails or is canceled. Regardless of the project outcome, you all will have learned to work as a team, developed processes and efficiencies, tracked progress, and solved problems.

Whether the results are positive or negative, capturing this knowledge is essential to the growth and development of your organization and its ability to successfully execute projects. This knowledge base ...

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