Project Management Case Studies And Lessons Lea...
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During the Planning phase of the training project, a case-study approach is worth considering if the method of knowledge transfer and understanding is learning rather than training. A case study can be ideal method when a holistic, in-depth investigation is required (Feagin, Orum, & Sjoberg, 1991).
In part 2 of this post, I will discuss specific rationales, delivery methods for getting the most out of case studies, and tips on how to reference them. For more information on Lessons Learned, see There are also additional references in the text : Thomas, W. (2011). The Basics of Project Evaluation and Lessons Learned. New York, NY: Productivity Press.
The term lessons learned refers to the experience you gain by participating in and completing a project. A team should apply past lessons learned at the beginning of a new venture and compile new findings during and after its completion.
To find out about free project management lessons learned templates for project managers, product managers, project coordinators, moderators, project sponsors, and more, refer to our Free Project Management Lessons Learned Templates article.
The purpose of documenting and applying the lessons learned is to encourage improvement in best practices for future projects. The goal is to create a team that learns from its missteps and repeats and improves its successes.
Seek input on lessons learned from everyone involved in a project. Team members at all levels within the hierarchy have essential contributions to the discussion, and it is wise to gather as much information from as many people as possible. This process can even be a team-building experience in itself, as everyone makes themselves heard.
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A lessons learned document is the collected results of surveys and team member input throughout the lifecycle of a project. Create a process for gathering input at key points throughout the project, then record and use it to create detailed reports.
A great way to capture lessons learned is by surveying the people working on and observing the project. You might find that you can extract more diverse responses by administering a survey during a project instead of only after it ends.
Your lessons learned meetings should all follow a similar format and usually begin with a stated agenda. Let your team know what you will cover and what you expect them to contribute. Next, encourage a robust group discussion of the lessons learned during the project, and make sure that you have assigned someone to take the minutes. This discussion should include a critical evaluation of the lessons learned and a plan for how to utilize them in future projects.
You can use the above sample lessons learned report to display the conclusions from your surveys and meetings, as well as your own observations as a project manager. Download the completed version and use it for reference. You can also edit and customize it based on information that is important to your audience.
Every completed project provides experience to the people working on it, whether or not it was a success. These lessons can be universal or specific to the task. Below are examples of lessons learned for different levels in an organization.
Organizations that capture and utilize lessons learned from past projects can more easily avoid mistakes, repeat their successes, and minimize risks on future work. Project managers play an integral role in this process and enable their teams to thrive.
The most crucial step in applying lessons learned to future projects is identifying those lessons in the first place. Create a system of surveying and collaborating on input with your team, and make sure that you record these responses so that you can access them later. Organize it by team, by task, or by the system most pertinent to you.
Establish timely check-ins with your team members. Hold informal gatherings in between formal meetings, and create a system of collecting weekly or monthly feedback, depending on the scope of your project. You can use these evaluations to check against past lessons learned and to identify new ones as they arise.
The 10 gender mainstreaming principles are also illustrated in action through 10 case studies from different countries with distinct geographical and social contexts. The case studies cover a wide set of themes in coastal and marine ecosystem management and highlight the work of diverse stakeholders, including conservation organizations, researchers, government ministries, civil society, the private sector and community-based groups. Each of the 10 case studies aims to explain the rationale behind the use of a particular gender mainstreaming principle (why), illustrate the practical aspects of implementing it in a specific context of coastal and marine ecosystem management (how), and offer lessons learned and recommendations. The cases are vivid examples of the potential broader social and environmental impacts of integrating gender principles into marine and coastal management projects.
The report also offers insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting coastal people, livelihoods and ecosystems, based on information gathered from individual case studies, in terms of disaster preparedness, COVID-19 impacts, mitigation measures and lessons learned. Importantly, many coastal communities are confronting COVID-19 while also facing other overlapping climate-induced, health and environmental crises, such as dengue and cholera, flooding, monsoons, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes and wildfires. The pandemic also led to drastic increases in gender-based discrimination and violence across communities and livelihood sectors in coastal and marine contexts. Coping with multifaceted crises in coastal regions often involves a heavy reliance on women and their paid and unpaid care work within households and communities.
High Bridge is a planning and project management company that serves utility owners, EPC firms, and original equipment manufacturers. It has extensive experience supporting new nuclear power (NNP) and other large first of a kind (FOAK) projects. It has studied project management lessons learned and best practices for over 25 years and has compiled over 100 industry public domain publications regarding lessons learned, best practices, and keys to success.
Our High Bridge website provides links to each of the NEI Report 32 public domain reference documents and to a single document that compiles the 10 case studies for successful large FOAK projects. Each document title begins with the reference report sequence number and year issued, followed by the document subject matter description.
Coastal communities around the world are facing increased coastal flooding and shoreline erosion from factors such as sea-level rise and unsustainable development practices. Coastal engineers and managers often rely on gray infrastructure such as seawalls, levees and breakwaters, but are increasingly seeking to incorporate more sustainable natural and nature-based features (NNBF). While coastal restoration projects have been happening for decades, NNBF projects go above and beyond coastal restoration. They seek to provide communities with coastal protection from storms, erosion, and/or flooding while also providing some of the other natural benefits that restored habitats provide. Yet there remain many unknowns about how to design and implement these projects. This study examines three innovative coastal resilience projects that use NNBF approaches to improve coastal community resilience to flooding while providing a host of other benefits: 1) Living Breakwaters in New York Harbor; 2) the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study; and 3) the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project in San Francisco Bay. We synthesize findings from these case studies to report areas of progress and illustrate remaining challenges. All three case studies began with innovative project funding and framing that enabled expansion beyond a sole focus on flood risk reduction to include multiple functions and benefits. Each project involved stakeholder engagement and incorporated feedback into the design process. In the Texas case study this dramatically shifted one part of the project design from a more traditional, gray approach to a more natural hybrid solution. We also identified common challenges related to permitting and funding, which often arise as a consequence of uncertainties in performance and long-term sustainability for diverse NNBF approaches. The Living Breakwaters project is helping to address these uncertainties by using detailed computational and physical modeling and a variety of experimental morphologies to help facilitate learning while monitoring future performance. This paper informs and improves future sustainable coastal resilience projects by learning from these past innovations, highlighting the need for integrated and robust monitoring plans for projects after implementation, and emphasizing the critical role of stakeholder engagement.
Obviously, Lessons Learned in project management can do more than that. However, it needs more room in the project. Otherwise, there will be no time to consciously apply Lessons Learned and thereby generate added value.
What is more, you have learned that Lessons Learned in project management always has to be individually adapted to the project at hand. Hence, there is no sure formula. Thus, it is important to see all examples used in the article as suggestions rather than as guidelines.
These three case studies were chosen to supplement the growing body of research exploring the relationship between program objectives, system design, concept of operations, toll collection strategies and operational requirements. Each case studies att