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Lessons Learned Report
By The Office of Government Commerce – OGC, UK


The purpose of the Lessons Learned Report is to bring together any lessons learned during the project that can be usefully applied to other projects. At the close of the project it is completed and prepared for dissemination. As a minimum, lessons learned should be captured at the end of each stage of the project; ideally a note should be made of any good or bad point that arises in the use of the management and specialist products and tools at the time.

Fitness for purpose checklist:

  • Has every management control has been examined?
  • Have all the reasons for all the tolerance deviations and corrective actions been recorded?
  • Is input to the lessons learned log being done (as a minimum) at the end of each stage?
  • Is there an analysis of the success of quality reviews and other types of test used?

Suggested contents

The Lessons Learned Report should contain:

  • Which management and quality processes:
    • went well
    • went badly
    • were lacking.
  • A description of any abnormal events causing deviations from plans.
  • An assessment of technical methods and tools used.
  • Recommendations for future enhancement or modification of the project management method.
  • Useful measurements on how much effort was required to create the various products.
  • Notes on effective and ineffective quality reviews and other tests, including reasons why they worked well or badly.

Source information:

  • Observation and experience of the processes
  • Completed work packages
  • Comparisons of stage plans with what actually happened


The Lessons Learned Report should be viewed as information that can be shared (although sometimes areas may have to be kept confidential) as well as what would be valuable for future projects to the form of recommendations on any enhancements or modifications. At the start of a new project, previous Lessons Learned Reports should be reviewed to consider how lessons learnt from previous projects could be applied to the project.

The data in the report should be used by a corporate group, such as quality assurance, who are responsible for the quality management system, in order to refine, change and improve the standards. Measures of how much effort was needed for products can help improve future estimating.

Successful delivery toolkit, the Office of Government Commerce – © Crown Copyright 2009

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