PRINCE2 Lessons Log
Welcome to the fourteenth instalment in my series of blog articles about the PRINCE2 management products, twenty-six kinds of document that help PRINCE2 projects run smoothly. Learning about the use of management products is important during a PRINCE2 training course – I draw on my experience as a PRINCE2 trainer in my blog articles.
This article is about the management product known as the Lessons Log, which is designed for recording and managing the lessons relevant to the project. Some lessons in the log are likely to have come from previous projects, whereas others will arise during the current project. By taking into account how lessons were identified and dealt with on previous projects, as well as actively seeking lessons that can be learned from the current project, the project team may be able to avoid common pitfalls, prepare for possible challenges, and so on. Lessons learned during the current project can ultimately be passed on to future projects.
PRINCE2 recognises that lessons are important when starting a project, as the project progresses, and also when the project is brought to a close. Lessons can be learned from any aspect of the project and originate from various sources. For example, Checkpoint reports often help the project team identify lessons; the Daily Log or Risk, Quality and Issue Registers may also provide them. The Lessons Log is created during the Starting Up a Project process (i.e. before the project has been initiated), used throughout the project, and made available to later projects.
The format of the Lessons Log can be a spreadsheet, database, entry in a project management tool, or something similar. Access to the log should be controlled, and it should be kept in a safe place. Each lesson in the log is given a unique identifier and should be described clearly and accurately. The lesson’s causes and effect on the project must be recorded in the Lessons Log; other information to be captured includes recommendations about how to deal with the lesson, whether or not it was previously identified as a risk, as well as its current status (i.e. whether or not action has been taken as a result of it).
The use of the Lessons Log supports the PRINCE2 principle ‘Learn from experience’. The principle emphasises that the project team must not lose sight of lessons to be learned throughout the project lifecycle. This is because dealing with lessons can benefit current and future projects, encouraging continuous improvement in project management work.
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I hope that this article has given you a helpful insight into PRINCE2’s Lessons Log.
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Please look out for my next blog article about PRINCE2 management products!