Free Project Management Lessons Learned Templates

Smartsheet Contributor Kate Eby

April 26, 2021

We compile free project management lessons learned templates for project managers, product managers, project coordinators, moderators, project sponsors, and more. Also find tips on how to evaluate your project’s effectiveness. 

Included on this page, you'll find a simple project management lessons learned template, a lessons learned log template, a project lessons learned presentation template, and a project lessons learned report example. You’ll also find a list of best practices for using a lessons learned template.

Project Management Lessons Learned Template

Project Management Lessons Learned Template

Download Project Management Lessons Learned Template

Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Smartsheet

This customizable, project-specific template serves as an all-purpose project evaluation form. You’ll find sections for project overview details, highlights, challenges, post-project tasks for future consideration, execution analysis, and overall lessons learned. Assign a coordinator to assess your post-project lessons learned, so that your project assessment is comprehensive and accurate. Use the section for signing off upon project-close acceptance, including designated space for project management and project sponsor names, dates, and signatures, to complete the document.

Project Lessons Learned Meeting Agenda Template

Project Lessons Learned Meeting Agenda Template

Download Project Lessons Learned Meeting Agenda Template 

Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Smartsheet

Keep your post-project analysis moving with this project lessons learned meeting agenda template. You’ll find ample room to outline the meeting-specific process for lessons learned, including project name, facilitator, and attendees, as well as sections for your meeting objectives, team discussion notes, action items for future projects, and wrap-up details. Regardless of your sector, this project lessons learned agenda template is an excellent tool for running efficient, all-inclusive meetings to analyze completed projects. 

To learn more, read our guide on how to conduct a lessons learned meeting.

Lessons Learned Log Template

Lessons Learned Log Template

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Microsoft Excel | Google Sheets | Smartsheet

Use this distinctive lessons learned log template to keep tabs on your project’s progress and ensure that it aligns with company objectives. Enter or update info related to your project’s overview details, key potential risks, and action plan to ensure you can course-correct if your project seems at risk of failure.

Project Lessons Learned Survey Template

Projects Lessons Learned Survey Template

Download Project Lessons Learned Survey Template

Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Smartsheet

This one-page project lessons learned survey template is ideal for gathering crucial post-project feedback. Use the streamlined form to collect data on lessons learned that you can apply to future projects. Using a rating system with options ranging from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree, team members can say whether they thought the project was well-defined and well-communicated, initial project goals were clear, timeline was realistic, and more. This template also includes space for respondents to write in what went well, frustrating moments, and issues to discuss in the post-project lessons learned meeting.

Project Lessons Learned Checklist Template

Project Lessons Learned Checklist Template

Download Project Lessons Learned Checklist Template

Microsoft Excel | Adobe PDF | Smartsheet

This comprehensive project lessons learned checklist template provides everything you need for successful post-project analysis. Use the task-specific check boxes to schedule a post-project meeting within one week after the project ends, assign a meeting moderator and separate note taker, send out a survey to collect feedback from project team members, create a meeting agenda, then share it with the attendees. An additional during-the-meeting section provides a checklist for recapping the initial project objectives, comparing expected results with actual outcome, using project team feedback to lead a discussion, and identifying and assigning actionable items to improve future projects.

Project Lessons Learned Presentation Template

Project Lessons Learned Presentation Template PowerPoint

Download Project Lessons Learned Presentation Template

Microsoft PowerPoint | Google Sheets

Designed specifically for introducing a post-project analysis, this project lessons learned presentation template provides an all-inclusive project retrospective plan to assess success and provide guidance for future projects. The presentation template is completely customizable. Use it to evaluate project performance, add goals, set the timeline, compare the budget, and note what went well, key takeaways, action items, and recommendations for future projects. Take the guesswork out of creating a lessons learned presentation from scratch, and leverage the advantages that this template provides.

Software Project Lessons Learned Template

Software Project Lessons Template

‌Download Software Project Lessons Learned Template

Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF

Manage your software project’s retrospective with this comprehensive software project lessons learned template. In the project summary section, enter project overview details and criteria for evaluating success. You’ll find ample space for project highlights, challenges, and evaluation. Use the lessons learned sections to gain insight into your software development’s practice and how to improve it.

Project Lessons Learned Report Example

Lessons Learned Report Example

Download Project Lessons Learned Report Example 

Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF

Companies crucially need to have a lessons learned plan to guide teams and stakeholders through the entire project evaluation process. The report should include project overview details and project-close acceptance, including official project manager and sponsor sign-off. Use this pre-filled project lessons learned report example as a guide. You’ll find step-by-step project evaluation sections, editable examples of project highlights, and challenges. The sections for post-project tasks, future considerations, planning-phase lessons learned, execution, human factors, and overall notes help you capture critical project-specific lessons learned. 

Find more useful lessons learned solutions and tools for project management by reading “Free Post-Mortem Templates Roundup.”

What Is a Lessons Learned Template?

A lessons learned template provides an easy-to-follow design to guide you through the post-project stages of evaluating strengths and weaknesses. 

It’s essential to assess your project’s results so that you can identify and correct any project deficiencies. You’ll want to use that knowledge when planning and implementing future projects. When applying lessons learned in this way, you can help ensure that future projects have a greater degree of success. 

Use a project management lessons learned template to evaluate how well your team met original goals and criteria for project success, as well as determine whether you completed the project according to the original expectations. Evaluate your project with a lessons learned template to capture the following details: 

  • Project Overview 
    A project management lessons learned template overview section provides broad strokes for assessing your project’s success: 
    • What were your original goals and objectives for the project? 
    • What were your original criteria for determining the project’s success? 
    • Did you execute the project according to the original expected outcomes? 
  • Project Highlights 
    Use a lessons learned template’s project highlights section for a high-level evaluation of project outcomes: 
    • What were your major accomplishments with the project? 
    • What methods worked well? 
    • What did you find to be particularly useful? 
  • Project Challenges 
    The project challenges section of the template enables you to specify what was demanding about the project: 
    • What elements of the project went wrong? 
    • What specific processes need improvement? 
    • How can we improve these project processes in the future? 
    • What were key problem areas? 
    • Did the project have any technical issues?  
  • Post-Project Tasks/Future Considerations 
    Use the template’s post-project tasks and future considerations section to address any remaining tasks and considerations for future projects: 
    • Do you have any continuing/outstanding project development and maintenance objectives?
    • What project actions do you still need to complete?
    • Who is responsible for completing these tasks? 
  • Planning Phase 
    The template’s planning phases section helps you assess the effectiveness of the project’s initial planning efforts:   
    • Did you document the project plans and scheduling well? 
    • Did the project plans include adequate structure and detail? 
    • Did you include all elements in the project schedule? 
    • Did you clearly define all tasks? 
    • Did all stakeholders have adequate input in the planning process? 
    • Did you successfully gather and clearly document all requirements? 
    • Did you make criteria clear for all phases of the project? 
  • Execution 
    A lessons learned template’s execution section is the heart of project assessment: 
    • Did the project achieve its original goals? 
    • Did any unexpected changes occur during the project? 
    • Were you able to manage these changes? 
    • Did you thoughtfully manage the project’s baselines (e.g., time, scope, cost, etc.)? 
    • Did you effectively and efficiently manage the project’s fundamental management processes (e.g., risk mitigation, issue management, etc.)? 
    • Did you track and report project progress in an accurate and organized manner? 
  • Human Factors 
    The template’s human factors section enables you to evaluate how well the team worked together and individually: 
    • Did the project manager report to the appropriate parties? 
    • Was project management effective overall? 
    • Was the project team organized and adequately staffed? 
    • Did the project manager and team receive any or all necessary training? 
    • Was there efficient communication between team members? 
    • Did all the functional areas collaborate effectively? 
    • Did any conflicting goals cause interdepartmental issues/problems? 
  • Overall 
    A lessons learned template’s overall section is for summarizing post-project findings: 
    • Were the project’s original projections/goals reasonable and accurate? 
    • Did you meet the clients’ or end-users’ needs? 
    • Did you fulfill the project’s objectives? 
    • Did the project meet the company’s objectives? 
  • Project Close Acceptance 
    A lessons learned project close/acceptance section enables you to officially bring the post-project evaluation to a conclusion: 
    • Enter project manager name, date, and signature. 
    • Enter sponsor name, date, and signature.

Regardless of your line of business, a project management lessons learned template can help guide you through the steps of a post-project assessment. You can use those lessons to improve the planning, execution, and all-around success rate of your future projects. Read our guide to project management lessons learned for more tips and details.

For more information on lessons learned reports, read our “Guide to Lessons Learned in Project Management.”

For more useful information about post-project lessons learned assessment for project management, read “The Top 17 Free Project Report Templates For Effective Project Management.” 

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