We often do a fine job writing plans.  We describe what we’re going to do, why we’re going to do it, and what we hope to accomplish.

Then we do it.  And we learn a ton by what works, what doesn’t, and what that means for what to do next.

So, wouldn’t a written post-mortem be far more valuable then the up-front plan?  Wouldn’t something specifically documenting what you learned be incredibly valuable as a record of your organization’s collective knowledge?  Otherwise, how are future groups, other similar groups elsewhere in your organization, and teammates not yet hired going to build off of your success?  How are they going to keep from making the honest mistakes you’ve already made?

Yes, it takes time to document this.  And yes, for larger projects, it often requires a team get-together to extract collective post-mortem thoughts, best practices, things to never do again, etc.  But that time taken is a small fraction of the time that can be saved and the acceleration of innovation and success possible by never having to learn those lessons again.

Are you documenting what’s working (and what’s not)?  Is anybody else on your team and/or at your organization doing this?  Probably more importantly, is there a central place where all is of this is being stored and published internally?

Seems important.