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.
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 Approach (for the distribution list).
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).