2nd Edition

The Basics of Project Evaluation and Lessons Learned

By Willis H. Thomas Copyright 2015
    214 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    214 Pages
    by Productivity Press

    For some organizations, Lessons Learned (LL) is an informal process of discussing and recording project experiences during the closure phase. For others, LL is a formal process that occurs at the end of each phase of a project. Regardless of when they are performed, if you are a project team member, chances are you will soon be required to present an evaluation of your project using Lessons Learned.

    Presenting new information that updates the award-winning first edition, The Basics of Project Evaluation and Lessons Learned, Second Edition supplies practical guidance on conducting project Lessons Learned. The first edition won the Project Management Institute's (PMI®) David I. Cleland Project Management Literature Award. Following in the footsteps of its popular predecessor, this second edition provides an easy-to-follow, systematic approach to conducting Lessons Learned on a project.

    • Updated to align with the PMBOK® Guide, Fifth Edition
    • Includes three new chapters—PRINCE2®, Agile Retrospectives, and Knowledge Transfer— in response to information requests from readers of the first edition from around the world
    • Enhanced with valuable new resources in the Project Evaluation Resource Kit (PERK) found on the downloadable resources, including a fully functional MS Access Lessons Learned Database

    The research in this book is based on four years of doctoral dissertation research and is supported by renowned experts in the field of evaluation. The concepts covered are applicable to all types of organizations that implement projects and need to conduct Lessons Learned.

    Providing tools and techniques for active engagement, the text is founded on the principles of conducting project evaluations as recommended by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession, and PRINCE2® (Project in Controlled Environments version 2), a major governing body of project management.

    Simplifying and formalizing the methodology of conducting LL in projects, the contents of this book will help organizations, large and small, more effectively implement processes and systems to support effective LL. The text is supported by a Project Evaluation Resource Kit (PERK), which is found in the downloadable resources.

    An Overview of Project Management
    What Is a Project?
    Why Project Management?
    Project Management Process Groups
    Project Management Knowledge Areas
    Boundaries of Project Management
    Who Is a Project Manager?
    Programs versus Portfolios
    What Is Lessons Learned?
    Who Is a Lessons Learned Project Team Member?
         What Project Knowledge Is Required?
         What Competencies Are Essential?
         Team Development Process
    Organizational Structures
    Organizational Cultures
    Who Are Project Stakeholders?
    Working with Project Stakeholders
    Use the STYLE Framework to Discover Stakeholder Style
    Use the TYPE Grid to Classify Stakeholders
    Resolving Stakeholder Neutral Opinions
    Project Management Office
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter
    Suggested Reading

    Foundations of Evaluation
    Origins of Evaluation
    Lessons Learned in Project Management
    Classifications of Evaluation
         Is Project Evaluation Complex?
         What Is Component Evaluation?
         What Is Outcome Evaluation?
    Lessons Learned Is Project Learning
         How Can Lessons Learned Be Used?
    Is Intraproject Learning Feasible?
    What Investment Is Required to Conduct Lessons Learned?
         What Is Appreciative Inquiry?
         Descriptive versus Evaluative Knowledge
         Tacit, Explicit, and Embedded Knowledge
         Determining Competence and Defining Competencies
         What Is the DIKUD Continuum?
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter
    Suggested Reading

    The Lessons Learned Process
    The Need to Evaluate Projects
    Lessons and the Adult Learning Theory
         Individual, Group, and Organizational Learning
         Journaling to Capture Learning
    Determining Needs and Wants
    Lessons Learned Process
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter
    Suggested Reading

    Lessons Learned Support Systems and Repositories
    What Is a Lessons Learned Support System?
    Why Use a Lessons Learned Support System?
    What Is a Lessons Learned Repository?
    Computer-Based Repositories versus Paper-Based Systems
    Digital versus Electronic
         Features of a Computer-Based Repository
         Functions of an Electronic Repository
         Benefits of an Electronic Repository
    Records Management
    Knowledge Management
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter
    Suggested Reading

    Best Practices and Benchmarking
    Communities of Interest
    Communities of Development
    Communities of Practice
    What Are Best Practices?
    What Is Benchmarking?
    Comparative versus Competitive Analysis
    Choosing a Measurement Approach
    Good Business Practices and Bulletins
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter
    Suggested Reading

    Case Studies
    Case Studies
         Center for Army Lessons Learned
         Eli Lilly
         Hurricane Katrina
         Kentucky Transportation System
         Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems
         University of Massachusetts
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter
    Suggested Reading

    Lessons Learned Scenarios in Real Life
    Scenario Analysis
         Customer Relationship Management
    Facilities Management
    Professional Association Management
    Developing Role Plays Based on Scenarios
         Advanced Role Playing
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter
    Suggested Reading

    Capacity Building through Evaluation
    What Is Capacity Building?
    High-Quality Lessons Learned
    Approaches to Conducting Evaluations
    Popularized Evaluation Models
    Research Methods
    Measurement Practices
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter
    Suggested Reading

    Project Evaluation Management
    Project Evaluation Management
         Project Evaluation Plan
         Evaluation Reporting
         Good Documentation Practices versus Documentation Quality Standards
         Visualization and Presentation
         Project Management Network Diagrams
         Gantt Charts
    PEM as a New Knowledge Area?
         Collaborative Evaluation
         Microevaluation versus Macroevaluation
         Key Evaluation Checklist
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter
    Suggested Reading

    Agile Retrospectives
    What Are Agile Retrospectives?
    A Brief History of Agile Project Management
    Important Agile Project Management Retrospective Concepts to Understand
    Newly Identified Resources for Agile Project Management and Retrospectives
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter

    PRINCE2: Lessons Log and Lessons Report
    What Is PRINCE2?
    Using the Lessons Log in PRINCE2
    Using the Lessons Report in PRINCE2
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter

    Knowledge Transfer
    What Is Knowledge Transfer?
    How Is Knowledge Management Related to Knowledge Transfer?
    Who Is Responsible for Knowledge Transfer?
    Where Should Knowledge Be Transferred?
    When Should Knowledge Transfer Occur?
    Why Is Protecting Knowledge Transfer Important?
    Which Barriers to Knowledge Transfer Should Be Addressed?
    Plus/Minus/Delta (+/–/Δ)
         What are Pluses?
         What are Minuses?
         What are Deltas?
    Lessons That Apply to This Chapter
    Suggested Reading

         Terms and Definitions
         Knowledge Management
         Lessons Learned
         Project Management
         Records Management
         Research Methods
         Measurement Practices
         Supply Chain Management
         Visualization and Presentation
         Concluding Thoughts



    Willis H. Thomas, Raymond W. Lam, David J. Nutt, Michael E. Thase