What is a Lessons Learned Log and why is it important?
A lessons learned log records all feedback regarding the execution, successes, and failings of a specific project.
Lessons learned feedback is typically captured during a review session with all the individuals who were involved in the project.
Lessons learned is crucial to effective communication within your organisation giving everyone involved in the project a platform to voice their opinions and experiences whether they be positive or negative.
Giving employees a chance to provide feedback makes them feel like their opinions are valued and encourages engagement and increased productivity.
An effective lessons learned log will help you understand your areas of best practice, which can then be shared with other project leaders within your organisation so that they may improve their processes.
A lessons learned log also helps your organisation identify areas of weakness within your processes and enables you to identify and implement actions that will prevent these failings from reoccurring in the future.
Completing your lessons learned log at the end of every project will help your organisation to continuously improve your processes which is crucial to achieving ISO compliance (see ISO 9001:2015 Clause 10.3 Continual Improvement)
How to create your own Lessons Learned Log
Your lessons learned log should be designed with optimising the collection and evaluation of feedback concerning a specific completed project.
This log should be filled in during your lessons learned session bringing together all individuals who were involved in the project so that everyone has a chance to contribute feedback.
The first section of your lessons learned log should include fields where you can collect important details about the specific project such as, the project name, the date of completion, who participated in the project and a summary of what the project entailed.
The second section of your log should include questions that will allow you collect information about both the successes and failures of the project.
In our free lessons learned log template which can be downloaded below, we have included three example questions that are good starting points for broad discussion.
However, your organisation may wish to include additional and more specific questions that will allow you to gather the most thorough and effective feedback for evaluation.
You can include as many questions as you would like but remember more is not always better, you want to make sure you are asking specific questions that will help you gather the most useful details about the execution of the project.
Our lessons learned log template is only a brief example, you will definitely want to include multiple sections for each question as you will be collecting feedback from multiple individuals who may also have multiple points of feedback for each individual question.
For each piece of individual feedback to a question you should include a section with the following fields:
- Category: this allows you to record which specific area of the project the feedback pertains to. For example, an individual may wish to comment specifically on communication or perhaps give feedback on the processes used.
- Comment: this field allows you to record the feedback given in detail.
- Action/review comments: this field allows you to record any actions that have been decided upon during evaluation of the feedback to ensure the issue does not occur again helping to improve future project management.
- Suggested action timeframe: this field allows you to record a timeframe in which the actions decided upon must be completed within, this makes reviewing the progress of improvement easier.
- Responsible person/team: this field allows to you to record which individuals or team will be responsible for the actions decided establishing accountability.
At the end of your lessons learned log you should also include a section where additional comments may be recorded that were not relevant to any of the questions you asked.
Automating your Lessons Learned Log with Jomo247
You can make it easier to use your lessons learned log by implementing it inside Jomo247, where you can manage, streamline, and automate all of your forms, processes, systems, and documents.
Save time and money by getting implemented today, and book a software demonstration.
Alternatively, you can download our free PDF lessons learned log below.