đŸ§Ș How to learn from experience?
1 min read

đŸ§Ș How to learn from experience?

đŸ§Ș How to learn from experience?
Photo by Joshua Earle / Unsplash

This post is a sneak peek at an idea from the upcoming book "Grow Together: Gain Clarity and Momentum in Your Tech Leadership Career"

At various points in the lifecycle of our projects we like to ask about the lessons we have learned from that project.

But not all LLs are created equal.

For example raw observations or opinions like "I should have paid more attention to X" are a fine starting point but they are unlikely to make a tangible difference on their own.

So what makes a good lesson and how do me make ours better?

The must-ask question then becomes: Good for what purpose?

My answer:

The purpose of a successful lesson learned is to do something differently such that we get better (expected) results.

Which means to me that:

  • If there's no change in action then the lesson has not been learned.
  • If the new action does not lead to better (expected) results then it was the wrong lesson.

So at minimum a good lesson learned should describe in concrete terms:

  1. a change in behavior (who should do what, when and how)
  2. the desired result (preferably something we can see or hear)

More information that can be useful:

  1. In what context or under what assumptions does this lesson apply?
  2. What is the key moment when we should perform this action? How do we know it is that moment?
  3. Compared to what? What mistake is likely to lead to what undesired result?
  4. What was the actual story that led to this lesson? What happened? What did we do and how did we do it? What happened then?

What are you going to learn from your recent experience?

If you like this approach to lessons learned subscribe using the button in the bottom right of the window for more ideas from the book.