We’ve all had experience with projects that didn’t work out as planned. At the time we remember the pain and note the things we’d do differently the next time. But unless you capture this valuable insight right away you likely won’t implement any change when you undertake your next project.

So if you begin with the end in mind and capture those learning at the end of a current project, you’ll be know how to avoid those problems the next time.  As soon as you start your next project you should incorporate previous project learnings right into the project management plan.

There are many ways to gather, document and rank project learnings. Some of the most common are brainstorming, affinity diagramming, nominal group technique and interviewing. Use whatever techniques fit your project needs. Engage your team, client and vendors to capture what went well and what could be improved before closing out a project.

Learnings should be captured for all areas of a project: scope, cost & budget, schedule, resources, communication, risk management, technical issues and processes.  This valuable information must be documented as part of your close out process for all projects and be used to implement improvements in your next project.

For more on what to look for in each project phase, download your copy of our FREE Project Learnings Template.