Point 5 – Continuous improvement This is Dr. Deming’s favorite point. There are so many mistakes made and so many lessons learned. Do other project managers get exposed to lessons learned from similar projects? My experience is that it is not often. Although individual project managers and sponsors can learn from their projects, organizational learning and continuous improvements require a formal process to document, analyze, and incorporate lessons learned into a common method. I believe that the only way to truly commit to continuous improvement is to have a shared project management method. I’m not suggesting that project managers should be robots who have to follow a set of instructions about how to eat, sleep, and breathe. The common methodology should provide a structure that can be used by project managers. Some components may be mandatory while others may be optional. A process should be established to allow project managers to make suggestions based on their own experience. Any proposed change should be clearly related to the problem. However, continuous improvement should not be left to volunteers. It should be part of the business’s process and how it runs a project. Here is a basic outline of the process:

Establish a formal process for documenting lessons learned during the execution of projects. These documents should be visible to all […]