Building the path towards effective lessons learned: Tip #1

Applying lesson learned is an ongoing challenge in many organizations. Getting past the “documentation” stage apparently is a huge burden, but let me tell you that it´s not complicated at all. After receiving various questions regarding the development of lessons learned, I decided to start sharing with you some best practices that have worked at my end.  I shall be publishing various tips during the week so stay tuned!. Here´s the first one:

TIP #1

Institutionalize the process.

If it´s not part of your modus operandi… you really expect it to happen?

Once  the process has been documented, the parameters are set and it becomes auditable.  Be sure to talk with managers and seniors leaders in order to garner support and understand how “things happen” within their respective areas. I have taken a lot of time in order to understand the business insight/jargon and only afterwards I start engineering the strategy.

I can tell you that in an IT firm, each business unit differs quite a lot, in fact just by looking at the organizational structure you can tell that there´s  something different at each end. For example, the modus operandi of a software factory is very different when you compare it to other business areas such as Help Desk development. Therefore the way I see it, one vital step before you polish the process is to understand how things are going to work in each area. When I spoke about the process with the managers I made it clear that we were going to build it together.  Collectively we made the process for each area taking into consideration some best practices and the business objectives.

Some examples of actions that were included in the process:

Monthly meetings in order to discuss and share lessons learned. Head of project designates someone in charge of the meeting and that persons prepares the lesson according to a established template.

Lessons Learned Committees: each business unit designates people who are responsible for analyzing and evaluating the lessons learned that are registered. Root cause analysis takes place and a suitable action path is designed in order to start the implementation phase.

Stay tuned for the following tips.Feel free to share yours 

Here are a couple of  photos of the lessons learned meetings. One of them shows the business unit manager attending as a form of recognition to the team. 

© Jose Carlos Tenorio Favero

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