Project Learnings for Team Members

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience

This quote by the great  George Bernard Shaw is so true in software development!!! The experiences gained (good or bad) in one project must be cherished by all team members. There will be learnings for all members of the team, irrespective of their hierarchy in the team.

A developer should be able to look at his performance in the project and see where he went wrong. Other questions he has to look at include:

  • How many review comments and testing defects were raised against his code?
  • How can he improve his code so that in the next project, he has lesser issues raised against him?
  • What are the areas where he sees he needs to improve?
  • Does he require training on those areas?

A QA resource should check his performance areas that include:

  • How many defects were raised by the Customer? How come it was not found by him/her?
  • How can I ensure that I have covered all possible areas in the application?
  • How can I improve the robustness of the application?

A Project Manager can definitely find lots of areas that can be improved. Some of them are:

  • How did the team perform? How can they do better?
  • Why did the issues that occurred in the project, occur? How can you ensure that they don’t occur again?
  • What were the people issues that were encountered? How can we prevent them?
  • and many more…

If the team members do not use these learnings in the new project, there is NO WAY they will learn and grow in their careers. Learning from your experiences is the best way of learning, more than any class-room learning that you might have done in your life.

Once, you can argue that things went wrong in the project you executed/managed. But, the next time you work on a similar role in a similar project, the same mistakes should not happen again. If it happens, it means that there is no learning. Only when you learn from the successes and more from the failures, you will be able to say you are experienced. Otherwise, you have just worked on development projects.

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4 Responses to “Project Learnings for Team Members”

  1. Mood Says:

    The minimum number of staff required to keep a business running until its demise…… Mood

  2. sanysue Says:

    When project team members are exactly same and the projects are exactly same, then the expectation to be perfect can reasonable. In project management activities, however, there are many times when it is not a repeat project exactly. Also, the team members can be different, and the objective can be a little bit different, and the entire undertaking could wound out simply different in many ways. The most fair expectation therefore is to have reduced number of mistakes, and to be able to arrest those mistakes or bugs before it reaches the client.

  3. Robyn Young Says:

    Agreed. Are there any successful processes, tools, etc. that allow lessons learned from IT projects to be tracked and analyzed over time? — Thank you!

    • Madhusudan Rao Says:

      The Knowledgebase that is part of the organization which executes the project should be updated once the project is completed. In fact, the process should be conducted periodically.

      Wikis are being used of late to capture information quickly and in a collaborative mode.

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