Harvesting project knowledge: a review of project learning methods and success factors


This article presents an overview of proven methods to record experiences from projects and discusses their use in project management. We distinguish between process-based and documentation-based debriefing methods. Process-based methods focus on a procedural approach to capture key learnings from a project. Documentation-based methods serve as appropriate representation formats or structures for project insights. The article bridges the current gap between theoretical insights into this topic and the managerial reality today. It discusses central project debriefing problems such as the lacking willingness to learn from mistakes or the lacking discipline in the use of project management manuals. We conclude the article with recommendations on how debriefing processes can be integrated successfully into project procedures.