Lessons Learnt Analysis and Management (Bite Size)

Lessons learned are gathered from your team and your customer after an award decision has been made. They are a way to improve your team’s strategies and processes in response to wins and losses alike. By conducting an external and internal debriefing you can learn valuable lessons which will ultimately benefit the company.

From the internal lessons-learned debriefing, you can learn how efficiently you operated and the strengths and weaknesses of your proposal process. From the customer debriefing, you can learn how a specific customer evaluated the proposals, what really mattered to the customer and how you can improve early customer interaction. You can understand your performance level and identify the steps you need to improve.

Benefits Of An Effective Lessons Learned Analysis And Management

Conduct an internal lessons-learned review to determine how to improve opportunity planning and proposal development processes. Internal review should be scheduled immediately after close of the proposal effort to provide feedback. It is used for improving the opportunity planning and proposal development processes and facilitating the sessions in a constructive and positive manner. It also helps in capturing feedback in a structured form and also in focusing on the projects at hand.

Conduct a customer-focused lessons-learned review to determine how well you understood the customer’s perspective. The purpose of the customer-focused lessons-learned review is to determine whether your organization effectively captured the customer’s perspective in the opportunity planning phase and converted that assessment into the final proposal for the customer. This review should be held soon after the customer reaches a decision.

Use a structured approach to conduct and follow up on lessons-learned sessions. A defined structure helps make lessons-learned sessions more productive. The invitation for the session should include a document for participants to think about and complete in advance. This document should help the participants think about all aspects of the bid, including strengths, weaknesses, what went right, and where your team might need to improve.

Lessons-learned reviews are not for identifying individuals who did not perform well. They help identify processes’ decision points, information flow, commitment to the opportunity, and resources available that lead to winning or losing bid. Lessons learned should begin when the opportunity is first identified and a pursuit decision is made, and they should continue throughout the entire BD lifecycle. Revisiting and improving your strategy after every win or loss allows you to differentiate yourself from the rest of the industry.

Updated July 2022

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