You failed to learn. You’ll fail your projects.
[This, as a repost from 2018. Since nothing seems to have changed; exceptions excepted [true congrats]. Though with ‘Agile’ [the schmagile; more on that in later posts] things have improved just a little, here and there, as sprints might be considered micro-projects..?]
[Note, too, that wherever ‘project’ is mentioned, ‘program’ certainly applies as well.]
To all project management related types: Did you do your Lessons learned session at the end of your last project? In earnest? Extensively and deep enough to be potentially useful in future projects? Seriously? In all your previous projects?
Experience and statistics don’t agree with any Yes.
And, where did the lessons learned show up in the projects you did later?
Nowhere, I guess. Only where project set-up standards require the most excruciating detail in planning and activities – the kind that no-one will follow in practice (this is strongly recommended to be studies to pieces, as illumination). There, we sometimes (not even always) encounter some vague reference to do include past projects’ learnings (bit like this).
But that’s the exception. In the full-detail standards. Qua guideline at the outset.
Common practice (be honest) … not so much. Pino or NePino. Well, …
Lessons will be repeated until they are learned.
Yes, even if (sic) auditors check on your project management at the start, to see that the project is well set up to achieve the objectives – and auditors stick along with project execution to track proper risk control in the project re project governance, progress, and the other half of audit work the deliverables – hardly ever does that cover checking that all the right and applicable (…) lessons learned from past projects (both the preventable errors/slip-ups and the successful risk mitigation actions) are in fact included in this new project under study. If you auditor did do this, than congrats and hats off to you!
Simple conclusion: To greatly enhance your future projects’ chance of success, include past learnings in earnests.
And require auditors to do the same when they audit projects, e.g., by putting the blame on auditors when projects fail at known, mitigatable risks, for their lack of due and timely advice.
[Edited to add: Which may tie in easily with the ‘required’ (by me) project pre-mortem analysis as per this.
Now, to cheer up:
[Use your Vision; Porto]