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Every project is a challenge and throws up its own unique challenges and problems that have to be overcome. That’s why every project you complete gives you a chance to learn lessons that you can carry forward and use to your advantage on future projects. It’s something that’s so often missed by teams in all kinds of industries, but that can be changed.  
 
Here’s what you need to know about learning lessons from historical projects. 
 
 
More Than a Basic Evaluation 
 
You’ll need to go beyond the surface level and find ways to really assess what happened on the project. A basic evaluation is as far as most teams go when it comes to evaluating a project post-completion. However, that kind of basic analysis doesn’t get you very far when it comes to really gaining insights into what you should learn in time for your next project. 
 
An Educational Tool 
 
Your past projects become tools for education and learning once they’re completed. They shouldn’t be shelved and forgotten about because there’s always plenty you can learn from them, even if you want to focus on the next project. Learn and find out things that you might have skipped over or ignored in the heat of the moment when working on the project. 
 
What Went Well? What Didn’t? 
 
It’s important to focus on the things that went well and things that didn’t. That’s how you’ll keep improving and ensuring you do better next time than you did this time. Look at what you think could be done better and carry forward the things you think your team performed well at. 
 
Assess Third Party Input 
 
You’ll want to consider how the companies you worked with performed during the project. How did your suppliers perform and any of the other companies you outsourced tasks to? These things will teach you about how to collaborate better going forward and maybe who you should and shouldn’t collaborate with. 
 
Carry Out a Thorough Cost Analysis 
 
Cost analysis matters because you need to look at the project from a financial point of view. Compare the original budget you set out for the project with the amount of money you ended up spending. If there’s a big gap between these two figures, ask yourself why that is and how it might change your financial approach to future projects. 
 
A Chance to Grow, Not a Chance to Blame 
 
When you’re carrying out evaluations and learning lessons from previous projects, you should remember that this is not a chance to point the finger of blame at one another. Instead, it’s a chance to learn and grow and improve how your business does things going forward. 
 
Once a project is complete, shelving it and moving on might be the common response. But if you want to get as much as you can out of the project and the experience of delivering it, you and your team need to take the time to learn lessons from it and implement changes in future projects based on those lessons. 
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