Lessons Learned Log

Lessons Learned Logs are used to capture and share knowledge about what has worked well and what could have been done differently during the planning, management and delivery of an improvement project. They help others learn from the project team’s experience.

What is it?

Lessons Learned logs are written documents that can come in many forms. They can be adapted according to the context of your improvement project. As a minimum they should include the following information:

  • The Project name and key contact details
  • Brief description of the project
  • The subject or topic the lesson relates to. This should be in headline form e.g. building will, setting up the team, gathering data, maintaining momentum
  • A clear outline of the lesson
  • Background summary of how the lesson was learned
  • The benefits of using the lesson and suggestions on how it can be used.
What does this tool look like?
Image of a Lessons Learned Log
Why use this tool?

Lessons Learned Logs are used to capture and share knowledge about what has worked well and what could have been done differently during the planning, management and delivery of an improvement project. They help others learn from the project team’s experience.

Lesson Learned Logs:

  • Help support a learning culture
  • Help teams to avoid general pitfalls that others have experienced
  • Increase understanding of problems that may be encountered and how these might be addressed
  • Provide ideas on how the approach might be improved next time
  • Help identify good practice so this can be repeated
  • Help teams avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’
Where does it fit in the improvement journey?

 

This tool is relevant at this stage of the Quality Improvement Journey.

How to use it

All members of the project team, should contribute to the Lessons Learned Log and the Log should be held by the improvement project manager or other named contact. The Log should be accessible to others in the organisation so that it can be used as a planning tool for future projects and so that the same mistakes can be avoided:

  • Document the opportunities issues, problems, and solutions encountered during the project. These are often raised at team meetings
  • Use the log to document events as they occur. The log should be updated frequently to make sure issues or problems are captured accurately and the project team can make changes as soon as possible after the learning.
  • Populate the log with the information gathered from any review meeting that take places when the project is closed
  • The learning captured in your lessons learned log can be useful to build in to a case study
  • Share your log with others involved in similar work