One of the most useful tools in the Lessons Learned process is the Lessons Learned Survey. The main purpose of any lessons learned surveys is to gather participants’ experience about the project in order to improve the upcoming projects. In the article that follows, we describe the main sections of any lessons learned surveys, plus we provide a free template to give a head start when creating your own.
The Importance of Lessons Learned Survey
The lessons learned survey is a survey that can be sent to team members during or after a project, to solicit their feedback on how the project was conducted. It applies to any project; and questions can easily be added to focus on additional areas for your project.
A survey like this can be very useful for capturing lessons learned from the project while they're fresh in people's mind. The results can be summarized and recommendations passed on to future teams.
The lessons learned survey is organized by sections. The use of sections will categorize the questions which will help the project manager to see the issues better. The sections are created accordingly to the project needs.
The outline of the sections mostly used in the lessons learned survey includes:
- Project Scope
- Section 1: General Project Issues and Communication
- Section 2: Schedule Estimation Issues
- Section 3: Design, Implementation, Test Processes
- Section 4: Perceived Project Life Cycle, Development, or Process Issues
- Section 5: Closing
Depending from the project, the content sections as well as the questions of the lessons learned survey varies. Our template is just a general example that can be used for most of the projects. It is always better to create your own version.
Things to Consider
It’s usually best to send this survey by email to members of the project team. Let them know that results can be kept anonymous (to encourage people to be frank in their assessments). Send out this survey before any group “lessons learned” meetings. The feedback you receive from the survey can help point to particular areas that should get special exploration in the group lessons learned meeting.
Use the lessons learned survey only if it’s meaningful to your projects. Personally, we have found it to be helpful in gathering post-project information from team members on several key projects.
Lessons learned survey is just another template or project tool that we have found it useful to share with PMTips readers. The download of this template is completely free of charge.
If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments section at the end. We are eager to answer to all legitimate inquiries as soon as possible.