Academic and Student Affairs

Closure – Lessons Learned Summary



What is a lessons learned summary?

Capturing lessons learned is an integral part of every project and serves several purposes. While the finalization of a formal lessons learned document is completed during the project closeout process, capturing lessons learned should occur throughout the project lifecycle to ensure all information is documented in a timely and accurate manner. The lessons learned document serves as a valuable tool for use by other project managers within an organization who are assigned similar projects. This document should not only describe what went wrong during a project and suggestions to avoid similar occurrences in the future, but it should also describe what went well and how similar projects may benefit from this information. This document should be communicated to the project sponsor, team members and Project Management Office (PMO) for inclusion in the organizational assets and archives as part of the lessons learned database. If the organization does not have a PMO then other, formal means of communicating the lessons learned should be utilized to ensure all project managers are included.

Who develops a lessons learned summary?

The project manager is responsible for creating and developing a lessons learned summary

What kinds of projects need to do a lessons learned summary?

Every project experience has “lessons” to offer. These lessons are discovered through the project closure process, providing the means by which the project experience can be examined and evaluated to find underlying lessons. And the overall goal of this process is “continuous improvement” – to utilize the experience gained from one project to benefit future projects and improve project management capabilities. And, this is all realized through the “lesson learned.”