Lessons Report Template

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The Lessons Report is used to pass on any lessons that can be usefully applied to other projects. The purpose of the report is to provoke action so that the positive lessons become embedded in the organization’s way of working, and that the organization is able to avoid any negative lessons on future projects. A Lessons Report can be created at any time in a project and should not necessarily wait to the end. Typically it should be included as part of the End Stage Report and End Project Report. It may be appropriate (and necessary) for there to be several Lessons Reports specific to the particular organization (e.g. user, supplier, corporate or programme). The data in the report should be used by the corporate group that is responsible for the quality management system, in order to refine, change and improve the standards. Statistics on how much effort was needed for products can help improve future estimating.

Advice The Lessons Report is derived from the following documents: Project Initiation Documentation (for the baseline position); Lessons Log (for identification of lessons); Quality Register, Issue Register and Risk Register (for statistical analysis); Quality records (for statistical analysis) and Communication Management Strategy (for the distribution list).

The Lessons Report can take a number of formats, including: Oral report to the Project Board (could be in person or over the phone); Presentation at a progress meeting (physical meeting or conference call); Document or email to the Project Board; Entry in a project management tool.

The following quality criteria should be observed:

  • Every management control has been examined
  • Statistics of estimates versus actuals are provided
  • Statistics of the success of quality controls used are included
  • Any appointed Project Assurance roles agree with the report
  • Unexpected risks are reviewed to determine whether they could have been anticipated
  • Recommended actions are provided for each lesson (note that lessons are not ‘learned’ until action is taken).

Lessons Report Template

Executive Summary

(Specify the scope of the report e.g. Stage or Project)

Overall Review

(A review of what went well, what went badly and any recommendations for corporate or programme management consideration. In particular: Project management method (including the tailoring of PRINCE2); Any specialist methods used; Project strategies (risk management, quality management, communications management and configuration management); Project controls (and the effectiveness of any tailoring) and Abnormal events causing deviations)

Review of Useful Measures

(Such as: How much effort was required to create the products; How effective was the Quality Management Strategy in designing, developing and delivering fit-for-purpose products (for example, how many errors were found after products had passed quality inspections?) and Statistics on issues and risks)

Significant Lessons

Event Effect[1] Causes/Trigger Early Warnings?[2] Identified as a Risk?[3] Recommendations



Online Training

  1. For example caused a positive/negative financial impact
  2. Where there any early-warning indicators?
  3. Was the triggered event previously identified as a risk (threat or opportunity)