Why lessons learnt reviews are important for the IT sector

IT projects whether software, hardware or infrastructure implementations are complex and multi-dimensional. The nature of these projects leaves them very open to failure, dissatisfied end users and projects that end up not being the glowing case study that everyone had hoped for.

There are many reasons for failure and they are usually wrapped up in the processes and methods used throughout the entire sales, planning, implementation and deployment life cycle.

Technology is not always reliable when implementing into other technology, infrastructure or aging client systems – have you managed that well enough for the client in terms of expectations?
Are you confident that your teams are effective enough at communication to manage the relationship between client, end user and supplier?
Requirements capture is not always covered sufficiently or thoroughly – does the sales process hinder this by providing unrealistic expectations from the client?
The project needs to be managed carefully to prevent scope creep, which could mean the difference with a profit or loss – do project teams understand the true cost of sale?

Most IT companies start on the next project having not really understood or captured the failures of previous projects and not having recorded the successes that should be used again. It is more than common for individuals in an IT project team to have beneficial knowledge of methods, tricks, shortcuts or scripts to make refinements or save time, that are never shared amongst other team members.

Even if you have a solution that is simple to implement or does not involve bespoke work, a lessons learnt review will:
Uncover areas to focus on as a business that you may not have been aware of before
If you know your weaker areas you can improve on them and develop best practice
Ensure your staff work more efficiently and are not wasting profits from the project
Improved processes mean a better reputation in your industry
You will take more sales away from your competitors
Your business will benefit from more press coverage and case studies – free marketing