Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned Report Template (docx)

Purpose of Lessons Learned

The purpose of collecting lessons learned is to document and share what went well and what did not go well on a project/program.  It is important to discuss these items, document them, and share them so that others can use these as tips toward their own projects, and so that the current Project/Program Manager and team members can apply them to future projects and programs. 

To be effective, collecting and discussing lessons learned must be done in a non-biased, collaborative manner that isolates particular situations and root causes.  Lessons learned should never be used to point the blame at specific people.

The final lessons learned report is part of the Project Management Office's project closure process. It is required for projects that are medium or large in size, with moderate or substantial complexity, according to the project complexity chart, but may benefit initiatives or small projects as well.  It is required for all programs.

It is recommended that lessons learned be collected and recorded throughout the project/program.

Lessons Learned Participants and Approvers

Input into the lessons learned may come from many different sources including, but not limited to, project/program manager, project/program team, subject matter experts within business unit(s), and other key stakeholders (such as staff, students, faculty).

It is recommended that lessons learned be facilitated by a third party who was not involved with the project/program, who would be the author of this report.  PMO resources are available to facilitate lessons learned. Please submit a ticket to the PMO to request facilitation services.


  1. Review project/program documentation for lessons learned information. Potential sources include: lessons learned log, meeting minutes, change requests, et cetera.
  2. Conduct lessons learned meeting(s).  This meeting is best facilitated by a third-party as appropriate.  PMO Resources are available to facilitate lessons learned. Please submit a ticket to the PMO to request facilitation services.
  3. A survey can be conducted to better facilitate collection of lessons learned and gather satisfaction feedback.  The Project Management Office provides a standardized survey, delivered via web-form. Please submit a ticket to the PMO to request satisfaction survey services.
  4. Document the key successes and issues for the report.  Ensure to categorize issues to aid readers of the report in applying the lesson to their process, document, or lifecycle phase.
  5. A lessons learned repository is being built in jira. In the short term, please share the document with the PMO and they will ensure it is included in the library when it is ready.  

Next Steps

Once the Lessons Learned have been completed, a summary of key learnings will be included in the Project/Program Closure Report.  It is also recommended that lessons learned be presented to other projects/programs where there may be potential application to the project/program in planning or execution. 

Please contact the PMO to ensure your lessons learned are available in the Lessons Learned repository so that they are available for review during project/program initiation for other similar projects/programs.