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A lessons log for a particular project or programme will have two distinct sections. The first is created in the review previous lessons activity during the identification process where lessons learned from previous work that are applicable to the current work are logged. The second section records lessons that have arisen in the conduct of the current work and may be applicable in the future.
The capture and use of lessons learned is a dynamic process and any project or programme may generate experience that is applicable to other projects and programmes at any time. How these experiences are transferred is the subject of knowledge management and a key component in gaining level 4 maturity.
Typical headings in the log include:
- Lesson type
The way lessons may be categorised would be defined in the organisation’s knowledge management strategy. Categories need to help users of the knowledge management system identify the lessons that would be of use to them. It may be that lessons could be classified by function or process; by type of project or programme or by business areas affected.
Knowledge management supports the development of professionalism so classification may reflect communities of practice that are responsible for particular areas of professional development.
- Lesson detail
The detail should follow a simple format of cause and effect, i.e. what was the event and how was it first identified; what impact did it have and on what areas of work.
The entry should include the actions that the team took as a result of the event and include any recommendations on how the lesson should be incorporated into the governance of projects, programmes and/or portfolios in the future.
- Date logged
The date the lesson was recorded.
- Logged by
- The name of the person or team that identified the lesson.