Business life is a very fast-paced, fast-paced life. A project starts, ends and then a new project begins. In this ongoing cycle, each project or experience holds potential lessons to be learned. These lessons are full of information that we will need to reflect on, grow, develop and succeed. Therefore, recording and regularly updating the gains from projects or activities is a precautionary measure to achieve success and avoid making the same mistakes. In the business world, the gains from projects are referred to as “lessons learned”. In our blog post, we will discuss the importance of lessons learned in detail. What is Lessons Learned? A Lessons Learned is any positive or negative achievements that teams make while carrying out activities during a project. These gains can be from a successful project or from a project that failed due to mistakes. The important thing is to repeat actions that have a positive impact and not to repeat actions that cause mistakes. That is, to learn a lesson from each activity. The lessons learned process consists of four steps: identifying, documenting, analyzing and storing. Let’s take a look at these steps together: Identification: The first step is to identify what are the important and useful outcomes from a project. The information identified during the execution of the project is a valuable source of information that can inform future projects. Documenting: The second stage is to record the lessons learned from running the project in a way that everyone involved can respond to and contribute to. That is, the report-keeping phase. The report needs to be shared with the whole project team and kept for future reference. This ensures that future teams can access the information they need within a project through these reports and benefit from the lessons learned. Analyze: The third stage is a comprehensive analysis of the lessons learned to ensure that they can be shared and used across teams. They can then be integrated into training sessions to promote continuous learning and improvement in project management. Retention: The fourth stage is the storage of lessons learned on a shared drive or cloud-based solution to ensure that teams can access the recorded reports. Retaining lessons learned allows teams to capitalize on the gains made and prevents making the same mistakes for new projects. Why is Lessons Learned Important? Lessons learned include information that shows the challenges teams faced when implementing a strategy, unexpected situations that arose at any stage of the project, and how they dealt with these challenges. This information prevents teams from making similar mistakes in future projects and provides them with an opportunity to further improve their business processes. However, to increase the value of lessons learned, these experiences need to be shared and disseminated throughout the company. When a company has strong communication and prioritizes sharing knowledge, it makes it possible to share experiences with other projects. This culture of sharing ensures that team members have access not only to lessons learned from their own projects, but also to lessons learned from all projects across the company. To summarize, lessons learned facilitate process improvements, reduce error rate, strengthen corporate culture and increase collaboration among teams. How to Document Lessons Learned? The first step in documenting lessons learned is to develop an ongoing documentation process from the kick-off meeting. Focusing on the documentation process from the beginning of the project ensures that lessons learned are not forgotten by recording the achievements throughout the entire life cycle of a project. The lessons learned throughout the process should be clearly summarized in a few sentences. The summary should explain what the lesson learned is, how it is relevant and how it should be applied in future projects. Then, keywords for the lessons should be added in a common driver or cloud-based solution. These keywords allow project teams to access the lessons learned faster by searching for related terms. Lessons Learnd Software Lesson Learned Software is a platform that enables teams to digitally record and archive their experiences while carrying out a project and easily access them when needed. Features of Lessons Learned Software Provides a digital platform for sharing lessons learned from improvement efforts. Stores information from past projects and enables informed decision-making for new projects. Strengthens digital memory within the organization. Increases collaboration between teams.