Lessons Learned

Lesson learned is a notion that one gets whenever they finish a session or gain insight on a particular event or experience. It is also used in project management as a means to determine the impact of a project on the whole team. lessons-learned

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Lessons Learned Definition and Meaning

Lessons learned is the acquired knowledge one can get from a meaningful experience, a process, or training.

This gives learners positive or negative insights which in some cases can change one’s perspective and views.

What Are Lessons Learned?

Whenever you attend a training, or simply find yourself attentively listening to someone else speak can sometimes alter your perspective. Lessons learned however you have acquired them, are experiences and an understanding that can play a significant impact not just on an individual level but on organizations or communities as well. In business and project management, it is a document that contains details of positive and negative experiences involving a team or a said project.

10 Types of Lessons Learned

Training Lessons Learned

Training is conducted to educate or help people regarding their personal issues, for development, or to teach them a new skill and invoke knowledge. After each training, it is important to prepare detailed training lessons learned report to measure how well the training went and take into account their experiences. With these recommendations and suggestions could be made to fill in any gaps and address any issues.


Retrospective Lessons Learned

Retrospective lessons learned are one way of analyzing a certain event or a duration of time and examining the data from the perspective of the plan to measure its success. Retrospectives focus on establishing answers to three questions: what is working well, what went wrong, and what should be changed. This gives everyone involved an overview of the event or project.


Safety Lessons Learned

Safety is a number one priority in communities and organizations and this rings especially true when dealing with dangerous materials or precarious projects like those in construction. Training is usually conducted to raise awareness and train staff on how to avoid incidents or handle critical situations. Afterwhich it is also essential to prepare a safety lessons learned document to serve as a record and for documentation purposes.


Workshop Lessons Learned

A workshop is a meeting or an engagement of a group of people that focuses especially on techniques and skills in a particular field. Since the main purpose of a workshop is to teach and educate, then it is essential to create a workshop lessons learned document. This would help organizers and participants determine what they learned, and determine any positive or negative outcomes in order to develop recommendations.


Quality Lessons Learned

Quality management is designed to assist an organization in creating and developing a product/service which is desired by the customers. This also rings true for customer service and how companies are able to assist customer queries and issues. A detailed quality lesson learned report helps ensure that issues are narrowed down, each task is carefully addressed, and recommendations are delivered.


Manufacturing Lessons Learned

Engaging in a manufacturing project can be a complex process since this involves several steps and procedures. Training, meetings, and workshops are usually conducted to ensure that everyone is on the same page with the manufacturing flow. A manufacturing lessons learned document is then drafted to summarize the lessons and insights gained from these affairs.


IT Lessons Learned

An IT project can sometimes take a while before it gets completed. It is a series of trial and error which is why it is essential to prepare an IT lessons learned report. This will enable team members to navigate and reflect on their engagement as they work through the project.


HR Lessons Learned

The HR department strives to continuously update its process and the way they handle and manage employees. This is why several trainings and projects are introduced for improvement and development. An HR lessons learned document is a great tool that could assist the HR department with their individual projects which will help the team create effective plans that will upgrade their services and management.


Agile Lessons Learned

Agile is the process of managing a project by breaking it up into several phases and components. Since it is an effective tool used in project management it is important to narrow down its best practices and well as its negative ones by creating an agile lessons learned document. This will help the project team determine and map out a plan on what they can do to further improve the process and the project.


Event Lessons Learned

Events are the kind of activities that usually encounter problems during the planning stages and even on the day of the actual event. This is why it is important for organizers to go over and prepare an event lessons learned document as a way to evaluate how the event was planned. This gives organizers a visual and detailed presentation of each phase, its outcome, assessment, and its proposed recommendations.


Lessons Learned Uses, Purposes, and Importance

Lessons learned are literally how you perceive an experience, and how this manages to change your perspective and outlook in life as well in other aspects. This concept is also well used in project management and in businesses as a way to seek improvement. It helps narrow down each phase and identify problems that will pave way for recommendations.


Some projects may be plagued with issues and problems that can delay their completion. Yet, a well-written lesson learned document would provide an effective opportunity to address issues that needs improvement. The goal is to create a team that learns from its mistakes and repeats and then improves its successes.


The idea of a lessons learned document is to repeat the positive aspects and not repeat the mistakes. Alternatives and solutions must be carefully thought about. That being said, the management will be able to create better decisions that will bring about positive changes to the project.

Minimize Problems

The purpose of lessons learned is that this helps eliminate the occurrence of the same problems in future projects. A lessons learned document could be used as a reference and for comparison to lessen the occurrence of the same problems. That being said, action plans are created then after to mitigate that risk.

Create Reports

Lessons learned document in project management is a series of collected results of surveys that team members input throughout the lifecycle of a project. With that data are collected and carefully evaluated in the process. Afterwhich, data made available from these could be used to further create reports.


Every researcher or organizer’s goal is to complete a project on time. To make sure this happens, lessons learned are one of the best tools that can pave the way to a project’s success. With that, recommendations, action plans, and proposals are then formulated based on analyzed experience and data collected in a lessons learned document.

What’s in a Lessons Learned? Parts?


The title of the document must be written on the top portion of the form as this will give readers an idea of what the subject is all about.

Project Details

If reviewing a project, then the project details such as its name, project manager/coordinator, and the starting and completion dates should be included in the document.

Main Content

The main content of the document is categorized by the project phase, lesson type, description, assessment, and recommendations. This could be written in a checklist format, or by using an Excel spreadsheet to help you organize each category.


How to Design a Lessons Learned?

1. Choose a lessons learned size.

2. Decide on the purpose of the lessons learned document.

3. Select a lesson learned template.

4. Customize the template and add the content.

5. Include graphics, mindmaps, or charts that are applicable to the document.

6. Finalize and download.


Lessons Learned vs Retrospective

Lessons learned are documented data that reflect the positive and negative outcomes of a said project which can help organizations in the future.

A retrospective is a meeting designed to give the project team time to highlight both the successes and failures of a project and identify areas that need improvement.

What’s the Difference Between Lessons Learned, Project Management, and Project Charter

Lessons learned are outlines of experiences that can help improve business practices, projects, and for personal development.

Project management is the process of using knowledge, skills, and techniques to achieve a project’s objectives and goals within the given constraints.

A project charter is a short and formal document that includes the project scope, objectives, and an introduction of the project team members providing project managers with written authority to begin work.

Lessons Learned Sizes

A lessons learned document with a handful of content and would take up a page or two. This is why it is important to use the following lessons learned sizes to ensure that all information is covered.

  • Letter paper size: 8.5 × 11 inches
  • A4 paper size: 8.3 × 11.7 incheslessons-learned-sizes-788x499

Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples

Lessons learned are used in various aspects and not just for projects. To understand this better we’ve got a list of lessons learned ideas and examples that can help you prepare this document.

  • Business Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples
  • Construction Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples
  • Bid Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples
  • Incident Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples
  • Business Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples
  • Audit Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples
  • Quality Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples
  • Proposal Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples
  • Event Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples
  • Engineering Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples
  • Army Lessons Learned Ideas and Examples


What is the best way to capture lessons learned?

The best way to capture lessons learned is to identify the lessons learned, document all these data, analyze, then store the lessons learned in a central repository for easy access and then retrieve them for comparison.

How do you promote lessons learned?

The best way to promote lessons learned is by giving everyone access to the document, making it a topic in meetings, conducting one-on-one or group sessions, and posting post-projects reviews.

Why do you need to record your project management lessons learned?

The main purpose of documenting and recording lessons learned is for improvement, increasing positivity, and helping leaders create action plans in order to enhance performance.

What are project lessons learned?

Lessons learned from projects is a process of gathering data and then discussing all this information and sharing opinions during the project’s closure phase.

When to conduct project lessons learned review?

A review is usually conducted during the closure phase of the project.

How to improve problem-solving with lesson learned?

To build improvement first you need to review the lessons learned data, then examine information, contacts, facts, and data sources, after which consider possible solutions, lastly develop an execution plan, and acting effectively and decisively is the final touch in the problem-solving process.

What is a lesson learned analysis?

Lessons learned analysis is a thorough discussion and honest communication between a manager and the team which is usually practiced during an ongoing project or as a means to improve change initiatives and for new assignments given to team members.

Why project managers should record lessons learned?

Project managers should record and list down all the lessons learned so they can discuss this with their team which is not only beneficial for an ongoing project but for upcoming projects as well.

How to capture lessons learned by your sales team?

For those in sales, capturing lessons learned involves gathering data, reviews, and feedback from the team and even from customers and using all this information to track and improve sales practices.

When should lessons be learned?

It should be at the stage where the session is moving towards the end, or for projects during the monitoring and controlling, and closing stages.