In the world of high-performing laboratory organizations, the pursuit of excellence is a constant factor. driving force. However, One powerful tool at their disposal is the “lessons learned” approach; a structured conversation designed to evaluate successes, failures, and opportunities for future growth.

At its core, the concept of lessons learned is a reflective process aimed at discerning what worked and what didn’t in a project. This exercise hinges on answering five questions:

1.What did we expect to happen?
2.What actually happened?
3. What worked well?
4. What was unexpected?
5. How could we do things differently?

While seemingly simple, these questions provoke nuanced and sometimes controversial answers.

Here are some key concepts to ensure the maximum value is extracted from this approach:

1.Establish Clear Purpose:
2.Avoid the Blame Game: Emphasize that the meeting is not a witch hunt. The aim is improvement, not assigning blame.
3.Consider Individual Perspectives:
4.Articulate Value (clearly communicate the benefits for the team)

Anyway, keep in mind that challenges may arise during lessons learned sessions.

So keep in mind these pivotal concepts:

1.Remind participants of the intended goals of the meeting, emphasizing constructive outcomes.
2. Pay attention to body language, it is often more useful than words
3.Use Inclusive Language
4.Avoid Accusatory Language
5.Clarify Misinterpretations
6. Focus on objective observations and facts.
7.Allow team members to share their perspectives openly
8. Call a Timeout (especially if tensions rise)

Remember, Trust is the bedrock of successful collaboration and innovation within any team.
a follow-up (better if detailed) is necessary for this type of activity

lesson-learned is a necessary tool for every leader, but it must be used with caution because it risks discussions that can turn into acrimony towards the leader or between group members, but if managed well it certainly leads to a high level of performance and mutual help in the working environment.

If you are interested in this method we suggest this LabManager post.