Article initially published at Velocity Quarterly
The project is finally done, months late, millions over budget. Your beleaguered team staggers into a lessons learned session, brave-faced and primed for battle. Some question the point of the exercise. Everybody’s memory is fuzzy. Fingers start pointing. Even the most principled professionals will be sorely tempted to broadcast their great successes while leaving out their failures; and no one wants their bad decisions laid out for all to see. The meeting is short and there’s little time to provide context. The consultant dutifully writes everything down, and is out the door. Reports are handed out, filed and read by some but as for lessons learned, not many come out of this process.
The linked article reframes the practice as one that requires sophisticated, applied knowledge management. Really it is about building a knowledge base around lessons learned.
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