Lessons Learned - often talked about, a discussion that is usually planned...but often forgotten.  You're at the end of the project and the plan is to pull both teams together to go over lessons learned in great detail and for the benefit of all - but it often doesn't happen.  Team members move on to other projects or post-deployment issues are taking up everyone's time.

Lessons Learned sessions can be very helpful - and if you're luck enough to keep yours on the project schedule, then this template may help you.  It looks a little rough pasted into this post and one of the tables turned into a bullet list, but I think you'll get the idea.

As always, if you want the Word doc template, let me know...and please feel free to share your version as well.

 

PROJECT LESSONS-LEARNED DOCUMENT

 

 

Project Name:

 

 

Prepared by:

 

 

Date (MM/DD/YYYY):

 

 

 

The purpose of this template is to help the project team share knowledge gained from experience so that the entire organization may benefit. A successful Lessons-Learned program will help project teams:

 

  • Repeat desirable outcomes
  • Avoid undesirable outcomes.

  • A. Your project team should begin to use this document at its first project meeting. Continually recording Lessons-Learned throughout the project is the best way to ensure that they are accurately recorded. Topics to consider include all of the following (feel free to change the list). The Lessons Learned Checklist is also available as a guide to discussion.

  • Project Management

  • Technical Management

  • Human Factors
 
  • Overall

  • Project Planning

  • Requirements

  • Communication

  • Customer Satisfaction

  • Resource Management

  • Specification




  •  
  •  
  •  

  • Team Experience




  •  
  •  
  •  

  • Technical Success

  • Risk Management

  • Test Plan

  • Interaction with Sponsor

  • Quality product

  • Change Control

  • Construction

  • Interaction with Customer

  • Product Accepted

  • Procurement

  • Testing

  • Interaction with Management
 

  • On Time

  • Budget Management

  • Rollout

  • Management support

  • Within Budget

  • Quality Control

  • Training

  • Quality of meetings

  • Met Project Objectives

  • Status Reports

  • Documentation

  • Vendor interaction

  • Met Business Objectives

  • Vendor Selection

  • Vendor Management
   

 

B. At the end of your project, use this document to summarize your experience.

 

During your discussions:

  • Be positive
  • Do not place blame!
  • Focus on successes as well as failures
  • Indicate which strategies contributed to success
  • Indicate which improvement strategies would have the greatest impact

 

 

1. Project Journal

During each project team meeting discuss what strategies contributed to success as well as areas of potential improvement. Enter your conclusions in the table below (insert rows as needed):

Strategies and Processes that led to Success

Date


 

Description


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 

Areas of Potential Improvement

Date


 

Description


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 

 

 

 

2. Project Close-Out Discussion

At the end of your project, gather all stakeholders for a Lessons-Learned meeting:

Step 1: As a group exercise, fill out the Lessons Learned Checklist (create hyperlink if needed)

Step 2: Use the questions below to summarize your Lessons-Learned discussion. Enter comments in the areas provided. Focus on Lessons Learned that will help in future projects. (Insert rows as needed)

A. List this project’s three biggest successes.


 

Description


 

Factors that Promoted this Success


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 

B. List other successes that the team would like highlighted:

Description


 

Factors that Promoted this Success


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 

C. List areas of potential improvement along with high-impact improvement strategies:

Description


 

Factors that Promoted this Success


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 
 

 


 

D. Enter other comments:

 

 


 

 

 

 

3. Project Lessons-Learned Document / Signatures

Project Manager:


 
 

 


 

I have reviewed the information contained in this Project Lessons-Learned Document and agree:

Name


 

Title


 

Signature


 

Date

 

(MM/DD/YYYY)


 
     

 


 
 
     

 


 
 
     

 


 
 
     

 


 
 
     

 


 
 
     

 


 
 


The signatures above indicate an understanding of the purpose and content of this document by those signing it. By signing this document, they agree to this as the formal Project Lessons-Learned Document.

Download a lessons learned template mind map for better visualization.