Those of you who have followed my PMO Blog for some time know that I am very interested in Project Lessons Learned and their impact on future project team behavior and success.  

Among the themes that I have developed are:

1.  Why it is desirable to conduct Project Lessons Learned reviews at specific intervals in the project such as Phase Gates rather than waiting until the Project Close Process?

2.  What is the actual cost to the PMO for not developing and sharing Project Lessons Learned?

3.  How PMOs can make Project Lessons Learned a Best Practice in their organizational and business context.

In 2011, I predict that we will see PMOs focusing on Project Lessons Learned as a primary focus, rather than a secondary focus (as has been the case in the recent past).  More organizations are seeking to close out projects in a more formal and documented manner, and Project Lessons Learned is an excellent framework to follow. 

Here are some other items I see that contribute to this trend:

1.  The need to include Risk Management in every aspect of Project Planning and Execution.  Risk can be included as a variable in the Project Lessons Learned framework, especially if applied in a Project Lessons Learned schedule that calls for a review at the Phase Gates at the end of each project process.

2.  Project Lessons Learned will eventually be captured and stored in new systems such as the Microsoft Project 2010 client and server, so that the information can be treated as just another piece of performance reporting information for a project.

I recently collaborated with Wayne Thompson, host of the very popular blog “Project Management War Stories,” to develop a two-part podcast on Project Lessons Learned.  I will post the first part of the podcast in late February, and the second part in early March.

I would be interested in some comments from those of you actively working with Project Lessons Learned in PMOs.  Please contribute, and I will continue to monitor and assess the increase in usage of Project Lessons Learned.

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