We are nearing the end of the year, so you know what that means: it’s time for 2022’s Lessons Learned. Lessons Learned is an opportunity for an MSP (or any business!) to discuss the actions they can take to either mitigate a problem or increase success. It’s best conducted at the end of the year so that you can thoroughly analyze everything that happened during the previous 12 months.
You’re probably assuming that Lessons Learned focuses on mistakes made during the year, and what you learned from them – hence, “lessons learned.” While pitfalls are definitely a central topic of discussion, the successes of the year are equally as important to talk about. When things are going well, do you understand why? You need to pinpoint the key to the success you have reached so that you can continue it into the new year.
- What went well?
- What could be improved?
- What actions can I take going forward?
These questions can be asked in any situation, no matter how big or small. They will help you take a step back and get a clearer picture of the situation and look at what actually happened. If you want to continuously improve your organization, you need to take these moments to stop, think about what has been done, and consider what needs to be changed.
Invite your whole team to partake in Lessons Learned. The year’s events will look different to everyone; what may have been a major success for you could have been a contrasting experience for someone in another department. It also allows team members to share new thoughts, ideas, and strategies.
When you hold Lessons Learned with your team, follow these steps:
- What went well? Have everyone write down one thing that they felt went well in the past year.
- What are you going to change? Have everyone write down one thing that they are going to work on changing.
- Celebrate! Lessons Learned can be a draining experience – remember, you’re analyzing an entire year’s worth of events, successes, mistakes, and more in one morning (yes, it will take all morning). Give your team a chance to be merry and relax during the afternoon by hosting a holiday party or other celebration. Congratulate them for their hard work while thanking them for their commitment to bettering the company in the new year.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my time in the IT industry is that if you can be successful in conveying your goals and vision for the year to your team, they will have a better chance of being able to align with you. Continue to encourage them, and soon you will have all your horses pulling in the same direction. This is when everyone will see the greatest success.