What Is a Lessons Learned Log?
A lesson learned is something that’s learned from a project. It can be identified during any process and can be negative or positive. Lessons learned are typically captured in a lessons learned database so they can be searched and reviewed later. They play an important role in continuous process improvement.
Consider documenting the lessons learned for every project you manage. A lessons learned log, like the one below, is a good place to capture them.
Once captured, they can be reviewed at the end of a project and prior to starting a new project. Lessons learned offer us ways of not repeating the same mistake twice. They also prompt us to repeat past successes.
Who Creates It?
The lessons learned log is created by the project manager. He or she owns the document even though anyone else on the project team could identify a lesson learned.
What Are the Inputs?
Lessons learned can be captured anytime during or after the project; however, most inputs to a lessons learned log are identified during the executing, and monitoring and controlling processes. Examples of inputs might include a successful estimating technique or a failed process in quality control.
How Is the Lessons Learned Log Used?
The lessons learned log is used to capture lessons from a project. Throughout the project life cyle, it can be reviewed by the project manager and the project team. After the project closes, the lessons learned log is stored so that the lessons can be accessed when planning future projects. By capturing and reviewing lessons learned, an organization is best situated to implement a system of continuous process improvement.
Make Work Easier
Looking for a better solution? Consider getting The Practitioner’s Book of Project Management Templates. It contains a set of 86 editable project management templates. We think you’ll find it helps eliminate gaps in project planning. By the way, it includes an updated version of this Lessons Learned Log template.