Lessons Learned - often talked about, a discussion that is usually planned, but often forgotten. You are at the end of the project and the plan is to bring both teams together to go over lessons learned in detail and for the benefit of all - but it does not happen that often. 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 lucky enough to keep yours on the project schedule, then this template available with a single click on the download button may help you.
The Importance of Project Lessons Learned
The purpose of the Project Lessons Learned 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
Each project delivers numerous valuable lessons about teams and processes. Those detailed insights can lead to creating new processes that can provide more effective projects. So, keeping track of Lessons Learned, as well as leading discussion with your team will bring positive changes to all upcoming projects.
Our Project Lessons Learned package of templates includes four documents; one of them is a main document, while the other three are offered as supported documents.
The main document is the actual lessons learned document, while the other two are extra activities for the entire team. The last document is a signatures document.
The basic outline of the Project Lessons Learned document incudes:
- Project Scope
- The Lessons Learned Plan
- Comments section
The Lessons Learned Plan is the most important section where you provide the lessons learned in details during the project. It should cover all aspects regarding issues, problems, success, impacts, and recommendation. This part will give you the answers for future improvement, and development.
Two supported documents are designed to lead discussions with the whole team on strategies that contributed to success, while the last one is a signatures document where by signing it, every project member agrees that they understand the Lessons Learned.
The two documents can be used as a group exercise to provide you a feedback from the team members. Their purpose is to summarize and improve the project experience.
PM Tips Project Lessons Learned package includes templates on:
- Project Lessons Learned Document
- Project Journal
- Project Close-Out Discussion
- Project Lessons-Learned Document/ Signatures
All of these templates will give you just an idea on how to create your lessons learned documents. Keep in mind that you can make any changes you want.
Things to Consider
Problems teach you a lesson, but also success teach you a lesson. Every negative experience brings positive lessons. So, be sure to track every progress for future improvement.
During your discussions, keep this advice in mind:
- 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
Despite the fact that project lessons learned are beneficial for future improvement, they can be easily forgotten as soon as the project comes to an end. Don’t let this happen!
Download our FREE package templates, so you can always have the Project Lessons Learned at hand.
Do you still have any questions? Post them in the comments section below. Also, we like to hear your ideas on how to create better lessons learned templates.