Even the owner of many fruitful projects will have lessons which he can learn for his future projects. Be it constructing the wonder of the world or enhancing a project, there are lot of lessons to be learned. Learning lessons from the experience is required even in performing domestic chores. Agile projects are no exception to it. Learning from your mistakes is vital; learning will enable to correct the mistakes. At the end of every iteration or project, you should recognize everything that went wrong or could have gone better. Document every single detail. When you start a new iteration or project, review the document and see what has been implemented rather than seeing what was learned.

Success Stories of Agile Lessons Learned Template

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Agile Lessons Learned Template has proved to be useful in various ways as cited by the agile giant companies.

  • Vice President of Infrastructure Management – BMC Software learned the importance of Emphasis on Value

“The benefits of agile lessons learned template are multidimensional. Among all the most important change is that it focuses the entire organization on meaningful delivery to the customer.

  • Vice President of Development – McKesson learned that Agile lessons learned template leads to Reward Collaboration.

“At the very basic level, going to agile is very rewarding to a team because the teamwork and the work they do together eventually creates a product higher in quality with the precise functionality.”

  • Agile Coach – Avaya learned the need for Agile Coaching

“To create and work on an agile project right education is required. When people get a chance attend training it is easy for them to get adopted into the agile environment and this they’re ready to hit the floor running when they start.”

  • Project Manager – United States Census talks about Product Ready for delivery which is nothing but a readily available project in hand.

“With a defined Agile lesson learned template, it is always possible to correct and complete projects on or before the stipulated time and hence had a working product successively, and that saved our time. When there is a time crunch, we could just add onto that to deliver other features as they were needed.”

  • Chief Agile Methodologist – GXS states that one of the key lesson learned in an agile project is to share knowledge.

“A culture shift was compulsory to our survival. But, it consumes time. If you invest a couple of sprints into a team educating the need for the lessons learned document and get them up to speed on a product area, they can forever be competent to share that knowledge and work on that product.”

  • Director, Special Plans, and Projects – com presses on picking the right projects.

“Every project brings a certain level of risk, at the same time also inspires contributions from the right people to represent how agile is required across the organization. It is very critical to choose projects that people would care about. Lessons learned document discloses the problems that exist in the organization, so must keep all our eyes on the improvement area.”

  • DevOps Scrum Master – GE Healthcare insist on becoming a Trusted Partner

“Agile lessons learned document makes us a better partner with our customers and helps them to be more visible by using our solutions.

  • Project Manager – Market Force has mentioned that using these documents they are being recognized in the industry.

“It is critical to prepare our lessons learned document visible with respect to the release forecast to the product owner, so when we add a component to a release, it is clear about what we have to do to add this, or what we’ll have to give up to include that component. Those decisions are critical to our business.

  • Director of Project Management – Leica said that agile lessons learned document educate us to be flexible

“Be flexible to learn from the expert team of professionals as they conduct their planning session. Use lessons learned document to plan on being energized and occupied with concepts and passion for taking back to your organization.”

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Significance of Agile Lesson Learned Template in Various Stages

  • Apprehending lessons learned is important in every aspect as it provides lot of support during the journey of the entire project lifecycle.
  • Though the entire procedure of freezing the official lessons learned documentationgets over along with the project, keep including the additions through the length of the project so that all data is recorded in a orderly and professional way.
  • All these documents are used as a treasured tool by other stakeholders in other projects for like projects or for same project manager for correcting the mistakes within the organization.
  • This document describes the right things that happened during the project and helps like projects to progress well.
  • This document describes about the mistakes happened in the projects and provides valuable recommendations to overcome such happenings in the future.
  • It is required to link this document to the PMO and project promoter for including to the administrative possessions and for records.
  • Method to make the Lessons Learned Template
  • How the document is made, what all details will be present, and finally method to classify the lessons.
  • Lessons learned method must be defined in the beginning of project forecasting, otherwise we tend to lose focus and eventually forget about it till the end of the completion of the project, which leads to omission of many detailed information’s to be recorded.
  • The subject required for the document must be ascertained in advance so that they can be used for future reference. The subject should map the other documents and must be aligning with the companies values and principles.
  • Lessons Learned during the progression of the current project
  • The lessons learned must be linked in a reliable manner.
  • Apart from categorizing and describing the lesson, it is also required to state what was the impact and suggest a recommendation for project managers to consider in future projects.
  • Lessons Learned from the previous projects
  • The lessons learned document states lessons learned from the previous project relevant to this project.
  • This information shows the worth of the documentation of such lessons and shows which lessons are constantly functional for similar projects.
  • These information’s must be transferred to the database to offer a central source for ease of reference.
  • This database should include information on problems and potential threats to be avoided in the coming projects and mention the best techniques to be applied to future projects.
  • Process Improvement Recommendations
  • Once lessons learned are composed and documented, the organization approves and implements any process improvements identified.
  • Lessons learned process is an integral part of organizations striving for continuous improvement.

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Tips for apprehending lessons and enlightening your skills

  1. Classify the lesson

This may seem very silly, but there are different kinds of lessons. As a Project Manager, there may be 10 to 1,000 lessons learned during your project, not all lessons can be generalized to all projects. Hence it is critical for effective PMs to appropriately classify lessons.

Lesson Categories

Applicable to only this specific project or to this type of project Applicable to a project manager Applicable to project management office (PMO)

  1. When to apprehend lessons?

It is necessary to apprehend lessons during each phase of the project, waiting until the end will only remind blunders and achievements in the project. A project is the consequence of thousands of conclusions. It is not humanly possible to remember each decision of the cause-and-effect relationships between decisions and outcomes till projects gets completed fully.the end of the project. A best practice is to track and make a note of lessons throughout the project.

  1. Lessons to be apprehended during the project

What was the situation? What worked right or didn’t work well? What should we initiate doing, retain doing or break doing?

  1. Start applying these tips right now

As you have learned much about agile lessons learned template, start doing it from the current phase of your project. Not required wait to implement your education from the beginning of your next project. If the project is in process, make an immediate change.

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 Steps involved in writing Agile Lesson Learned Template

Lessons Learned for [Project] Lessons learned that should be elevated as process improvement recommendations within the organization is identified. Lessons learned in terms of an issue is identified. The issue is defined and supporting documents from the other projects is appended for providing additional details. Recommended improvements to correct a similar problem in the future is identified, including elevation plans for communication and follow-up about the improvement.

Issue Statement Issue Explanation References Recommendations Elevated To

  Duties and Accountabilities Review the Duties and Accountabilities for the entire team and end users recognized in the procedure mentioned above.

Duties Accountability

Accountability Grid Complete the Accountability Grid for every single technical duty assigned. As a diagrammatical illustration of an elaborate view of accountabilities, the grid should echo the functional role and the allocated accountability for main indicators and actions.

Major Indicators Duty 1 Duty 2     Duty N
Key
I = Implementation
A = Approval
C = Checked
L = Learnt

Process Services and People

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Describe the process requirements for services and people, including the working environment, office equipment, computer equipment, special facilities, and other kits. Classify tasks for accompanying the detailed matters required to aid the coding work.

People Requirement Responsibility

Contact Points Classify and offer communication details about two contact points for the process.

Duty Name/Designation/Company Contact Number Email ID

Glossary

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Give details about all the terminology used and abbreviations required to understand the Lessons Learned properly. Amendment History Track the revisions.

Revision Number Date of revision Name Details

Index Make an Index for easy identification. Action Plan Redefine and plan, based on the lessons learned and suggestions received.

Conclusion

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Despite given so much insight on lessons learned, still if you think something goes wrong in your agile project, don’t worry you are just on the last lap and correct one or more of the following minor but valuable corrections.

  • Check if you are focusing only on what went wrong.
  • Do not attempt to take an hour or two to run a session on the 12-month
  • Insist on the discipline of people.
  • If the goal is just to blame people.
  • When there is no recognition and celebration.
  • When people are just being treated as resources and not people.

References

  1. Sample Lesson Learned template
  2. Project Lessons Learned Template
  3. Agile lessons learned strategy and template
  4. Kautilya Society Template

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