Project Lessons Learned

Purpose of Lessons Learned

The purpose of collecting lessons learned is to help the project team share knowledge gained from experience so that the entire organization may benefit. It is important to discuss, document and share these findings so that others can use them as tips during future projects. A successful Lessons Learned process will help project teams repeat desirable outcomes and implement improvements to avoid undesirable outcomes. 

To be effective, the collection and discussion of lessons learned must be non-biased and collaborative while isolating particular situations and root causes. Lessons learned should never point blame at individuals or specific groups.

The final Lessons Learned Log is part of the Project Management Office's (PMO's) Project Closure process, as well as something that should be discussed and logged throughout a project. It is not required for all projects but can be beneficial in many projects, large or small. 

Lessons Learned Repository

Lessons learned should be stored in a central repository that is accessible by those managing future projects. The PMO also uses the lessons learned as inputs for continuous improvement efforts. By observing trends, common success and roadblocks, we can develop and apply new procedures, or improve upon existing procedures. Here are some common lessons learned that are applicable to many general projects:

Lessons Learned Repository
Project Area Lesson Recommendation

Issue Tracking By implementing a standard process for tracking and managing issues, items are addressed efficiently while also documenting decisions and solutions for future reference.
Central Documentation Provide a central location for all project team members to access documentation related to a project.

Human Resources
Strong Project Management PMO office to utilize industry best practices for meeting planning & facilitation.
Project Team Flexibility Projects don’t always go as planned. As changes occur, empower team members to adapt and support decisions & recommendations
Resource Changes Plan for any known project resource changes by identifying replacements and involving them early in the project. Determine the risk of different resource area changes and plan for managing the risk.

Virtual Meetings Establish ground rules for attendance, such as videos on, mute to limit distractions, communicating availability properly. Limit attendees to those that will either gain something or be able to contribute feedback/decisions in the meeting.
Provide Agenda Prior to the Meeting Providing the agenda early on will give team members time to prepare details needed during the meeting and ask follow-up questions.
Change Control Establish the Project Change Management Process Determine how changes will be communicated, tracked, and approved throughout the project lifecycle. This may include change tracking, scheduled meetings or emails with updates, governance approval, or cut-off dates for no additional changes.

New Technologies Plan time for training and implementing new technologies, taking into consideration extra time needed to gain experience.
In-person Training For larger groups, or customized training, having in-person training allows for exploring operations scenarios and establishing processes.

Updated: 06/15/2023 04:02PM