When managing projects, many AV companies view them as successful when project teams deliver a quality solution to a customer based around the project triangle:
Cost/Budget: Project cost was at or below the budget.
Scope: Project tasks or requirements are completed to the expectation of the customer.
Time: Project completed within the timeframe required by the customer.
For live event companies, once the truck returns from a show, the gear is QC’d, put back on the shelf and it’s on to the next one.
But there’s a common practice of quickly moving from one project to the next without documenting critical knowledge and sharing information, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why “successful” projects fail.
To complete a project at the closing phase, your project team must meet for learning and reflection on the events that happened.
Over time, the data captured from these meetings will have an impact throughout the organization and most likely impact your overall strategy.
During your post-project review meeting, there are three critical pieces of information you’ll want to uncover:
1. What Did Your Company Learn?
When looking back at what was intended to happen vs. what did happen, you’ll learn one of two things:
1. Your company is really good at planning, and everything went according to the plan just as you expected,
2. Though “successful”, your project had some challenges. By talking through what success should have looked like, you determine which tactics are required to position your company to achieve real success when a similar situation comes along.
Internally, lessons learned are valuable details to capture, but it becomes even more useful when you take action from what you have learned.
2. What Did The Customer Learn?
Don’t be fooled. Your customers want you to think they know everything, but the truth is, they’re just like us — they learn a bit more each time they experience something.
Conducting a post-project review meeting with your customer gives you a formalized forum to discuss their experience. During this meeting, you should ask them where you met or exceeded expectations, where you underperformed, and what they learned while working with you.
When your customers can learn from you and your experience, your value to them becomes more than just a price tag.
3. What Highlights Can We Share?
Every project has a story, and when that story is shared, it can help you attract new prospects and connect deeper with existing customers.
If your company is skilled at marketing, then they’ll know how to turn the details learned from a project into a marketing/business development opportunity.
Standardizing your post-project review process and consistently scheduling them will help you uncover valuable information from every project. Your team will learn how to ask better questions and be more prepared. Most importantly, the lessons learned will help develop less experienced team members from the experience of others.