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Why Capture Lessons Learned?

Continuous Improvement Doesn't Just Happen

Your partnership should by now have established a set of short-, medium- and long-term goals as part of your metrics and evaluation strategy, but keeping track of lessons learned along the way will make sure you actually get to those goals. Good sector partnerships build in necessary time and tools to reflect and re-assess so their sector-based solutions are improved regularly. In essence, if mid-term corrections are needed, a partnership must be deliberate about recognizing changing conditions or the lack of success of a certain tactic, and then change course as needed. To do this effectively:

  • Establish a simple, practical system for keeping track of progress.
  • Ask for feedback from public and private sector members.
  • Incorporate feedback by revising how the partnership operates and/or what tactics are deployed.
  • Capture what is working and how you know its working -- these anecdotes can turn into powerful stories that will help strengthen your initiative.

Lessons Learned Help You Tell Your Story

Capturing lessons learned over the short and long-term help any organization or initiative to tell their story. Why is telling your story important? Because telling the story of why your initiative exists, where it's been, and where it's going is key to its growth and success. It is the groundwork for effective marketing, and remember that you and your partners want to be messaging to multiple audiences on a continual basis, including funders, new members, so-far disengaged systems or employers, and the community. To tell the story of your initiative:

  • Understand how your actions are firmly grounded in your strategic priorities.
  • Test storylines with your members -- is this our unified story about why we exist, what we do and where we're going?
  • Consider that the combined exercise of tracking lessons learned and formulating your story will empower the partnership to pro-actively move toward your tangible goals.