Lessons Learnt Log

Published by Dan on

Free Lessons Learnt Dashboard Template

Introduction

A quality lessons learnt log is the most important element of any decent PMO. Without it, you’ll struggle to identify continual stress points within your projects. And are thus more likely to make the same mistakes and tackle the same issues in the future. This is costly for an organisation and frustrating for the project teams.

Even if everyone is in unanimous agreement that a given issue keeps arising and must be resolved immediately, without a way to track progress, and hold people to account, you often see these resolution steps failing.

This free lessons learnt log has been designed for you to record all the lessons from your project/programme and track any follow-up actions related to it.

It should be deployed throughout the lifecycle. And act as a live document where all project managers can raise lessons when needed. Other project managers can also use it as a reference document when entering a new project stage.

We recommend that it’s frequently reviewed and updates given. This can be part of a project meeting, or monitored outside by a designated employee.

Things to include in your lessons learnt log:
1 ) Things that went well – it’s easy to focus on what went wrong in a project. But you must also capture what went well. Otherwise these lessons may be lost once the project team move on.
2) Lessons that do not need a follow-up – some lessons will be to unrealistic to resolve – because of the cost of timing. Nonetheless, these should still be captured as it allows future project managers to be aware of these pitfalls. You may not be able to fix the pothole, but you can help future project managers to avoid them.

Points of Interest

These relate to the blue boxes in the template – please delete them

1) Dashboard – The dashboard contained in this document will auto-populate as you fill in the ‘Lessons log’ tab. But, some formatting is inevitable.

2) Formatting – Be sure to format the document to your brand colours and replace the freepmotemplates.com logo with your own.

3) ‘Project’ Column – If you’re working on one specific project then remove this column. Or you can change it to read ‘area’ or ‘project stage’ etc.

4) ‘Follow up required? Column – Be sure to always fill this column in as it feeds into the dashboard

5) Updates – The blue section of the lessons learnt log is for updates, and should only be completed if you answered ‘Yes’ in the ‘Follow up required’ column.

Creating a New Lesson

1) Open all filters on the ‘Lessons Log’ tab

2) Scroll down to the next free row

3) Input the details of your lesson

Updating an Old Lesson

1) Filter column H by ‘Yes’ answers

2) Either find your lessons by reference number, by searching with ctrl+f, or by reading each line until you find the right lesson

3) Write you update in column K. We recommend updating it in the following format: {Date}{Your Initials}: {Content of update} E.G 19/09/19 DG: This is an update.

Process Recommendations

Best practice dictates that you should hold regular workshops with your project team specifically on drawing out lessons learnt. You should encourage a relaxed atmosphere to ensure people are open and honest during this session.

Best practice dictates that you should hold regular workshops with your project team specifically on drawing out lessons learnt. You should encourage a relaxed atmosphere to ensure people are open and honest during this session.

I have left column ‘I’ (Priority to complete action) with little direction. If your organisation uses a scoring matrix it might be worth incorporating that into the way your rank the priority of tasks.


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