The Project Manager’s Guide to a Lessons Learned Meeting

Adriana Girdler

Everything you need to know about capturing lessons learned on a project! Have you heard about the importance of the Lessons Learned Meeting in project …

Everything you need to know about capturing lessons learned on a project!

Have you heard about the importance of the Lessons Learned Meeting in project management but have no idea where to start with running one?

Before you even start planning your Lessons Learned Meeting, it might be helpful to know that there are a few different names for this type of meeting, and you may have heard different names for it – so let’s clear up the confusion.

You might call it an AAR (After Action Review), a post-mortem, insight meeting, or key takeaway meeting. In this article, we’ll stick with the term Lessons Learned Meeting, but just remember that they’re all the same.

When to Run a Lessons Learned Meeting

There are a few times when you might want to run a Lessons Learned Meeting.

One time is at the beginning of your project. You can have a session to talk about lessons learned from past projects and brainstorm how to actively improve upon those items in the new project.

You can also have lessons learned meetings throughout your project life cycle. Whenever you complete a new phase of the project or achieve a milestone, this is another opportunity to have a Lessons Learned Meeting so that you can continuously improve throughout the life cycle of your project.

And finally, you should always have a Lessons Learned Meeting at the end of your project. This meeting will be the place to discuss additional items you want to improve upon next time, and review what worked well.

Key Elements of a Lessons Learned Meeting

When it comes to what exactly to do in a Lessons Learned Meeting, there are a few key elements you’ll need to consider.

I want to make sure you gain a full understanding of all the elements you need to include in your Lessons Learned Meeting. So, I’ve created a video on exactly that.

Follow me over to YouTube so we can finish this conversation!

Meanwhile, if you really are committed to mastering your next project, do consider taking my SLAY Project Management online course where I show you step-by-step how to successfully manage a project, plus you get access to every template you will need, along with detailed video instructions on how to fill them out.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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