Lessons Learned Logs

Sana Khalid


Sana Khalid

Lessons Learned Logs

Table of Contents

What Are Lessons Learned Logs?

Something learned from a project is called a “lesson learned.” It is possible to detect it at any stage of the process, whether positive or negative.  

A lesson learned log is a repository for previously lessons learned plans that may be queried and re-examined later. They are vital to the process of constant refinement.


Lessons learned template is a best practice for project management that frequently gets lost in the hustle and bustle of actual work. In addition, the timely and precise documentation of all information is a benefit of this approach to recording lessons learned. 

It’s common for essential takeaways to be lost during lessons-learned plans that occur after a project has been completed if they weren’t recorded at the time they were gained. A column summarizes the problem or what went wrong during the project, and another is provided for recommendations to prevent future recurrence.

In order to facilitate the post-project process of assessing strengths and weaknesses, a lessons-learned template can be used as a helpful guide. In addition, evaluating project outcomes is crucial for finding and fixing flaws in the project. 

Apply what you’ve learned to future project preparation and execution. Using lessons acquired in this way can ensure that future projects have greater success. Every project you’re in charge of should have its own documented lessons learned templates. 

Below is an example of a log that can be used to keep track of such “lessons learned.”Once recorded, they can be reviewed after the project’s conclusion or in preparation for a new one. There are strategies to avoid making the same mistakes twice, and we can learn from our past mistakes. They encourage us to build on our previous triumphs.

Who Creates It?

Project managers are responsible for maintaining the lessons learned log or templates. They own the document even though anyone on the project team could identify a lesson learned.

What Are the Inputs?

Lessons learned log can be started at any point during or after a project; however, most inputs are found to be most helpful during the phases of execution and monitoring and control. A proper estimation method or an ineffective quality control procedure are possible examples of inputs.

How Is the Lessons Learned Log Used?

Lessons learned are documented in the lessons learned log. The project manager and team can look back on it at any time. The lessons learned log is archived once the project is completed so that its contents can be referred to during the preparation phase of subsequent projects. 

Organizations are in the best position to execute a system of continuous process improvement when they regularly record and analyze lessons learned. In addition, a lessons-learned plan is essential for guiding teams and stakeholders through the project review process, and companies should have one. 

All necessary documentation, such as the project manager’s and the sponsor’s formal signatures, should be included in the report. Check out this sample report on the project lessons learned plan you can use as a template. 

There are detailed sections for assessing the project’s success and editable examples of the project’s triumphs and tribulations. Meaningful project-specific learning can be included in the areas labeled:

  • Post-Project Activities
  • Future Concerns
  • Execution
  • Human Factors
  • Overall Notes

Following are the steps to Use It:

In the box labeled “Project Name,” list each lesson as follows:

  • To begin, each entry in the lesson learned log must have a distinctive ID number in the first column.
  • The date when the lesson was recognized should go in the second column.
  • Thirdly, in the column, the name of the person who realized the lesson should go into the “entered by” field.
  • The fourth set of columns A catchy title that sums up the lesson’s topic should go in the subject field.
  • Column 5 The circumstance should be filled out with a complete description of the experience.
  • Recommendations and extra remarks should be added to the sixth column, labeled “Comments & Recommendations.

Evaluate Your Project with a Lessons-Learned Template

Use project management lesson-learned templates to assess whether or not your team achieved the set objectives and determine if the project was completed as planned. Use a lessons-learned template form to document what you discovered when you assessed the project.

Use the Overview of a Project

For a high-level assessment of your project’s success, use the overview of a project management lessons learned form.

  • What did you hope to accomplish with this undertaking initially?
  • How did you outset plan on measuring the project’s success?
  • Did the results of your project implementation match the baseline?

Use the Highlights 

When assessing the overall success of a project at a high level, use the highlights section of a lessons learned form.

  • What did you do well on this project?
  • What strategies proved effective?
  • What did you find to be the most helpful?

Project Challenges 

The area labeled “Project Challenges” on the form gives you a chance to detail what posed difficulties during the project. o What parts of the project went wrong?

  • What are the specific processes that should be enhanced?
  • What steps can we take to strengthen our future project management procedures?
  • Where did the most severe issues arise?
  • Were there any technical problems with the project?

Post-Project Action and Future Planning

Use the template’s “Post-project Tasks and Future Considerations” section to handle any outstanding duties or future project considerations.

  • Have you set any long-term goals for creating and upkeep your projects?
  • If you’re working on a project, what steps have you still taken?
  • Who is accountable for carrying out these responsibilities?

Preliminary Planning Efforts 

You can evaluate how well your preliminary planning efforts paid off by using the checklist provided in the form, which is split into distinct “planning phases.

  • Were the project’s schedule and plan documented?
  • Does the project plan have enough organization and detail?
  • Is everything that needs to be in the project plan there?
  • Were all responsibilities outlined in detail?
  • Were all relevant parties consulted extensively during the planning stage?
  • Were all criteria identified and documented to your satisfaction?
  • Where are the requirements for each phase of the project articulated?


The execution part of a lessons-learned template is crucial when evaluating a project.

  • Have the planned outcomes been realized?
  • Did the project undergo any sudden shifts?
  • To what extent did you handle these shifts successfully?
  • Are the project’s parameters (duration, budget, scope, etc.) managed effectively?
  • Have you managed the project’s foundational management procedures (such as risk assessment, problem-solving, etc.) efficiently and effectively?
  • How well did you keep tabs on the project, and how did you report its status?

Team and Individual Performance and Efforts

Human factors evaluation in the template allows you to assess team and individual performance:

  • What people did the project manager update?
  • How successful was project management overall?
  • How well-prepared and staffed did the project team prove to be?
  • Ask yourself: o Has the project manager and team received all mandatory training?
  • Is there clear and effective communication among team members?
  • Have there been productive interactions between all departments?
  • Were there problems or tensions across departments due to competing priorities?

Summarize the Project’s Results 

The overall part of a lessons-learned template is used to summarize the project’s results.

  • Were the project’s initial assumptions and objectives fair and correct?
  • Were the customers’ or end-users expectations met?
  • Are the goals of the project complete?
  • Is the project successful in achieving the company’s goals?

Tolerance for Project Completion and Closure

It is possible to formally close the post-project assessment with the help of the lessons learned project close/acceptance section: 

  • Enter the project manager’s name, date, and signature.
  • Sign, date, and provide the sponsor’s name.

A lessons-learned project management template can be useful in conducting a post-project evaluation in any industry. In addition, you can use what you’ve learned in future initiatives to better their planning, execution, and overall performance. 

If you’re interested in learning more about project management, check out our comprehensive guide.

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Your team will be more efficient and productive using the Smart sheet platform to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from any location. 

With aggregation reports, dashboards, and automated processes designed to keep your team connected and informed, you can write on critical metrics and see work as it happens in real-time.

Examples of Lesson Learned Plans

  • The actual cost of the project was more than the estimated cost – Use a project management technique that evaluates the team’s workload to see if it is balanced and the deadline can be fulfilled. Both time and money spent will be minimized.
  • Subpar product quality delivered — Conduct internal reviews of all software (SW) codes before releasing them to customers.
  • Management needs to know where you are in the project; therefore, hold frequent short meetings to report progress and ask for assistance from upper management.
  • Users’ feedback on the initial training effort was poor, necessitating a re-training phase.
  • The new system has a poor response time, one of its significant drawbacks.
  • Uneven revenue — Most of the project’s money wasn’t received until the end of the lifecycle, which isn’t ideal.
  • Too much time was spent on sourcing, despite the client’s established demands.

Project-Specific, Customizable Sample

In its generic form, this project-oriented template can be used to assess the success of any project. Sections are dedicated to providing an overview of the project, highlighting its salient features, analyzing its execution, highlighting its obstacles, and discussing its lessons learned and recommendations for the future. 

In order to provide a thorough and accurate project evaluation, it is recommended to assign a coordinator to evaluate lessons gained once the project has concluded. 

Include the names, dates, and signatures of the project management team and the project sponsor in the section for signing off upon acceptance of the project. This project lessons learned meeting agenda template would help you keep the ball rolling on your post-project analysis. 

Sections are provided for your meeting’s objectives, team discussion notes, action items for future projects, and wrap-up information, as well as the meeting’s specific method for lessons learned, including the project name, facilitator, and attendance. 

This project lessons learned an agenda template is an excellent tool for conducting effective, comprehensive meetings to evaluate finished projects, regardless of your industry. Use this one-of-a-kind diary of lessons learned to monitor your project’s development and verify it aligns with corporate goals. 

Fill out or revise the information for your project’s summary, significant possible risks, and action plan to make course corrections if necessary. This easy-to-use, one-page survey is perfect for collecting valuable insights after completing a project. 

Use the condensed form to record any lessons learned to save time and effort on future endeavors. In addition, team members can rate many aspects of the project, including its definition, communication, initial goals, and timetable, on a scale from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree.” 

There is a section for respondents to fill in their thoughts on the project’s successes and failures and topics for the lessons learned meeting. In addition, a checklist template for lessons learned on a project is available to ensure a fruitful post-project evaluation. 

Schedule a post-project meeting within a week of the project’s conclusion, designate a moderator and note taker, distribute a survey to get input from team members, draft an agenda, and distribute it to attendees using the task-specific check boxes. 

An additional checklist is provided at the meeting to review the project’s initial goals, compare the expected results with the actual outcome, guide a discussion with input from the project team, and assign actionable items for future improvement.

This project retrospective plan to evaluate success and provide direction for future projects is presented in the lessons learned presentation form designed expressly for introducing an after-project study. This presentation outline is fully editable. 

You can use it to keep track of the project’s successes and failures, your goals, timeline, and finances, and your observations, insights, and suggestions for the next time you undertake a similar endeavor. 

Use this template to save time and avoid common pitfalls while presenting what you’ve learned. For example, the project lessons learned template would help you organize a retrospective for your project. 

Enter the project overview and success criteria in the summary area. There is much room for describing the project’s successes, failures, and overall assessment. Check out the “lessons learned” parts for helpful advice on improving your software development processes.


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