Lalita D'Cruze06/02/23

4 min read

Building a Lessons Log for your charity website development project

This article is the last in a three-part series that looks at key project management planning tools and how they can help you best manage your website development project. Our final topic is centred around the importance of learning from the events and challenges that arise across any charity web development project.

It is true to say that no matter how much planning and forethought you put in to it, every project will have its challenges to overcome. The important thing is to learn from them and improve as your project evolves. By holding regular project debriefs with the team after each stage of the project, you can capture and share lessons learned. Before each debrief, consider what you would do differently next time and what worked well.

Using a Lessons Log

people looking at a laptop screen

A Lessons Log is a document used to capture and document lessons learned during a project. It is used to capture and analyse the successes and failures of a project and to share these lessons with the team and stakeholders to help improve future projects. The lessons log should include information such as:

  • Project name and date
  • Description of the issue or situation
  • What was learned or realised
  • What was done to address the issue
  • Recommendations for future projects

The purpose of a lessons log is to promote continuous improvement by allowing the project team to reflect on their experiences, identify areas for improvement, and apply what they've learned to future projects. It also helps to ensure that knowledge and experiences are not lost over time and can be used to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of future projects.

Advantages of a Project Lesson Log

A lessons log in project management provides several advantages, including:

Continuous Improvement: By documenting lessons learned, the project team can continuously improve their processes and methods for future projects.

Sharing of Knowledge: The lessons log helps to share knowledge and experience between team members and stakeholders, which can lead to more efficient and effective project management.

Avoiding Repetition of Mistakes: The lessons log allows the team to identify and avoid repeating mistakes made in previous projects.

Improved Decision Making: The lessons log provides a historical record of past decisions, their outcomes, and the reasoning behind them, which can help inform future decision making.

Increased Transparency: The lessons log provides a transparent record of the project, which can help stakeholders understand the challenges faced and how they were addressed.

Better Risk Management: By documenting lessons learned, the project team can identify and mitigate potential risks in future projects.Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Now and in the future

hand holding a magnifying glass over the words past, present, future

Don’t forget to also keep coming back to your RACI chart and RAID log as part of this review process. In addition to tracking your project’s progress, you can use these records during project debriefs to establish out how to prevent the same issues and challenges repeating in future projects.

Just to recap on these two practical project management tools (covered in earlier articles in this series), the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) and RAID (Risks, Actions, Issues, Dependencies) models can support a project lessons log by providing a structured approach to documenting and managing the lessons learned during a project by:

RACI Model: The RACI model can be used to identify and document the key stakeholders involved in a particular lesson and their respective roles and responsibilities. This can help ensure that the right people are involved in the lessons log process and that the information captured is comprehensive and accurate.

RAID Model: The RAID model can be used to categorise and manage the different types of lessons learned during a project. For example, risks can be documented and analysed to help identify ways to mitigate them in future projects. Issues can be documented and tracked to ensure that they are resolved, and lessons learned are captured. Actions can be documented to ensure that follow-up activities are completed, and dependencies can be tracked to ensure that inter-related lessons are captured and managed appropriately.

In summary, by using the RACI and RAID models, the project team can create a structured and organised approach to capturing, documenting, and managing the lessons learned during a project. This can help ensure that the lessons log is comprehensive, accurate, and usable for future projects, which can ultimately lead to improved project management and better project outcomes.

Speak to our charity website development team

Nothing beats having a team of professionals on your side to see your project through to a successful completion. Our project team are Prince2 Agile qualified and we work to the highest standards in project management. Speak to us today to find out how we ensure our charity website development projects are delivered on time and to budget.

About the author

Lalita D'Cruze

Operations Director at Giant Digital

Lalita is Operations Director at Giant Digital and works across every part of the business to ensure each of our projects runs smoothly. As a PRINCE2 Agile specialist, she makes sure that our clients receive the best possible service, to agreed time and budget requirements. Lalita is also a champion for learning and development and EDI within the organisation, ensuring our team members have every opportunity to develop and progress.

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