Lesson Learned Template
- The lesson learned documentation is recorded knowledge gained throughout the project and recorded with the help of the lessons learned template. It shows how events were addressed and makes recommendations. Lessons learned documentation is part of the organizational process assets for both the project and the performing organization.
The purpose of lessons learned documentation is improved performance. My project lesson learned template is a project lesson report form. With that project lesson report form anybody from the project management team can record the details of a learnt lesson. Such learnt lessons then will be reviewed and added to the lessons learned database.
Recording learnt lessons is an ongoing process throughout the entire project life cycle and should not be a one-time approach at the end of a project.
- Prepared by:
- Marc Arnecke, PMP
- Last Modified:
- File Type:
- MS Word
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Project Management Templates in Different Knowledge Areas
Why And How To Document Lessons Learned?
Over time, projects teach numerous valuable lessons. Such insights are then used to create process changes, execute projects more efficient, and to improve project team work. Documented learned lessons, whether positive or negative, tell a lot about processes and if errors are analyzed provide valuable information where a project went wrong.
A frequently asked question is, "How to document lessons learned?"
It can be difficult to record and communicate the lessons learned without a formalized system. The best part of learning lessons from a project is the potential to improve future project and avoid repetition of mistakes. On the other hand, positive experiences can and should be repeated and further improved. Reviewing the lessons together with the project team is like running a retrospective in an agile team. Capturing lessons learned is especially valuable because the lessons learned are documented across all projects and can then be added to a shared lesson database in your team. After launching a new project, it's a good idea to check the lessons learned database to find similarities. With that knowledge achievements and improvements can be used throughout corresponding processes. By understanding the values from these lessons learned reviews and applying them you can pave the way for more project success.
How does the Lessons Learned Template help?
The Lessons Learned template is used to collect personal and team knowledge throughout and after a project. Such knowledge must be recorded with all its details and the source of such knowledge must be traceable to allow further evaluation and verification. I suggest holding regular discussions with the respective team members. Thereby it is ensured that no valuable knowledge gets lost. For the most accurate capture of information use Lesson Learned Report template as a checklist and try to capture as much as possible and as complete as possible data.
What can be Lessons Learned?
In general, most people in connection with this question are primarily reminded of something that went wrong or got out of hand and what impact that had on certain results. Of course, this is by no means wrong, but it's just one part of what makes lessons learned. The real benefit of using my lessons learned template is to also record the steps that have been taken to correct the situation and to make the gained knowledge available for other projects.
The lessons learned are not always about negative experiences where something went wrong and needed a correction. To the contrary, care should be taken to also document such lessons learned where something went well, so this gives an opportunity for future repetition. Often a project team faces the problem of having to solve a certain situation and has found an unconventional solution. This should be documented for further use.
Recording the reasons for needed improvements or issues is important to document the lessons learned and to avoid future repetition. The identification of an issue is not sufficient. It is equally important to record where the problem originated from, what the impact was, how it triggered and finally to give recommendations for improvements and avoidance of repetition.