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31 Types of Lessons Learned

 , updated on March 30, 2021
Lessons learned is the practice of recording the knowledge gained by a project at project close. It's often focused on failures, inefficiencies and project issues that can feed into improving future projects. Lessons learned is also is a final chance to leave behind knowledge about the project that may be useful for future purposes such as audits or service support before the project team breaks up.
The following are common types of information that are included in lessons learned.

Architecture And Design

A record of how well an architecture and design supported project requirements.

Assumptions

Missing or incorrect assumptions that caused project issues such as a gap in expectations.

Change Control

How well the change control process achieved its purpose such as preventing scope creep.

Change Management

Change management factors such as resistance to change.

Corrective Action

The effectiveness of issue handling.

Decision Making

Comments around decision making processes and their impact on the project.

Decomposition

Was the project too complex? Could it have been decomposed into smaller, more manageable projects?

Estimates

The accuracy of estimates and estimation techniques.

Integration Management

A look at integration management factors such as coordination of project elements and tradeoffs that were made.

Knowledge Management

How well knowledge management processes and tools supported the project.

Performance Management

Any performance issues and how they were managed.

Program Management

The impact of related projects and program management processes.

Project Constraints

Tradeoffs that were incurred due to constraints such as budget or hard deadlines.

Project Engagement

The engagement of stakeholders and general enthusiasm of the project team.

Project Expectations

Did stakeholders develop expectations that were out of line with project realities? How was this managed?

Project Governance

How well project governance processes worked to identify and clear road blocks.

Project Leadership

Comments on the role of project leaders.

Project Management Tools

The impact of tools or a lack of tools.

Project Methodology

Ideas to improve the organization's project methodology or practices.

Project Planning

The planning techniques that were used and how well they worked out.

Project Schedule

Comments around the baseline schedule and the scheduling of change requests.

Project Sponsor

In many cases, lessons learned conversations are focused on the role of the sponsor.

Quality

The quality assurance process and related factors such as requirements and the quality of deliverables.

Requirements

It is common for project issues or failure to begin with requirements that are incomplete or open to interpretation leading to expectation gaps.

Risk Management

The risk management process and the impact of risk treatments.

Roles & Responsibilities

The clarity and efficiency of project roles and responsibilities.

Schedule Compression

Attempts at schedule compression such as fast tracking and how it worked out.

Skills

Skill gaps and how they were addressed.

Vendor Performance

The performance of vendors and how any issues were managed.

Vendor Relationship Management

The general relationship with vendors and its impact.

Workaround

Tactical responses to project issues and their effect.
Summary: Lessons Learned
Type
Definition
The practice of capturing project knowledge before a project closes.
Value
Learning from successes and failures.
Recording anything the future may need to know about your project such as the rationale for decisions or how problems were solved.
Related Concepts

Lessons Learned

This is the complete list of articles we have written about lessons learned.
Decision Making
Estimates
Fail Often
Fail Well
Lessons Learned
Project Sponsor
Risk Treatment
Tactics
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Project Risk

A list of common project risks.

Project Management Basics

A list of basic project management techniques.

Workaround

A definition of workaround with examples.

Project Branding

A list of project branding techniques.

Stakeholder Management

An overview of project stakeholder management with examples.

Action Plan

A definition of action plan with examples.

Cost Overrun

The primary types of cost overrun.

Document Control

The definition of document control with examples.

Project Oversight

A guide to project oversight.

Design-Driven Development

A definition of design driven development with examples.

Project Risk

A list of common project risks.

Project Stakeholder

A list of common project stakeholders.

Business Risks

A list of common business risks.

Risk vs Issue

The difference between a risk and an issue.

Risk Treatment

The five things that can be done about risk.

Secondary Risk

The definition of secondary risk with examples.

Risk Register

A guide to creating a risk register with an example.

Risk Perception

A definition of risk perception with examples.

Implementation

The common types of implementation.

Project Risk Management

A reasonably complete guide to project risk management.
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