Are lessons ever really learned? I was recently asked to participate in a project lessons learned session. Those of you who follow my musings may already know my opinion on this.
I am an enthusiastic participant. I believe that they are valuable, and when done properly are invaluable. I frequently question whether the lesson ‘learned’ has the right outcome, the right root cause.
On a recent call (we’re all working from home so Microsoft Teams is the venue of choice) I asked the instigator why all of the lessons learned were ultimately directed to the client or other external actors.
The response I got (and always get) is that this is not about pointing fingers….All the negative lessons where directed to the client and the positive where always from the Vendor.
At the end of a 1 hour call, all but the vendor and I had left. They all had more important things to do and I can understand why. It was really paying lip service to the process and there was no introspection.
So what’s the point? I am coming to the conclusion that the only way to have valuable lessons learned is if they are run independently. That a suppler or customer feels that they can be frank and the there won’t be repercussions. I think they need to be moderated by a specialist, that they need to be understood as an investment.
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