This article contains detailed explanations of the Lessons entity available in PPO:
- What is a lesson;
- Accessing the lessons entity;
- Standard Configuration;
- Customising the lessons entity;
- Lessons reporting;
- Additional considerations.
Lessons are experiences and insights gained during a project that play a key role in project success and can be reused by project managers during the implementation of future projects. These experiences and insights can be small and seemingly insignificant, but can make a huge impact on the success of a project.
Why would you want to do a lessons log?
The main reason you would like to keep a lessons log, is to ensure that future projects are executed better and that you keep a log of all the best practices that have led to project success in the past. The lessons log is then visible and available to all project managers within the organisation, so it will benefit all the parties.
When is a lessons log updated?
Lessons must be captured during the life span of a project and need to be reviewed and managed continuously. This process should ensure that lessons are understood, improved and cleaned up for future use. Each lesson should ideally be associated with an action that will render the lesson reusable and each lesson should be assigned to a lesson owner to perform this action.
After a lesson has been reviewed and actioned it should be made available to other members of the organisation. Lessons are primarily used during planning and initiation to chart a course for the project and to address problems during execution. During the closure phase, all lessons should be reviewed to ensure that they are clear and that any required follow up action has been completed. You should also consider moving the lessons to a dedicated "Lessons Learnt" project so that they are still available after the project has been completed.
How does PPO support lessons learnt?
A Lessons entity is configured by default in PPO and can be used to capture and track lessons. There are also some standard reports that are available to support the process of keeping track of all the lessons learnt.
The Lessons entity can be accessed from the Project Menu or from the Project View page. If you do not see the Lessons entity, make sure that the entity has been enabled on your instance and that your user group has been granted access to the entity.
For more information about setting up user group access rights, read the following knowledge base article.
The screenshot below shows the standard configuration of the Lessons entity.
Should you wish to configure the lessons entity to align to your own methodology, access the following knowledge base article which will guide you through the process of adding or updating existing data fields. If you also need assistance in the process, feel free to log a support call and the PPO Support team will gladly assist you.
The lessons reports available in PPO will assist the executives and project managers to track and monitor the lessons that have been captured on the project. They are:
- Lessons Detail Report - the report shows a data dump of all the data fields available on the lessons entity. It is only available in a datasheet view.
- Lessons Report – the report shows a summary of the status of all the lessons on the project.
For more information on the report explanations access the following knowledge base article.
We recommend that you add a separate, dedicated project for lessons. Most clients filter out projects that are marked as inactive which mean that all of your project information (including the lessons learnt) will be filtered out as well, once the project is concluded. As part of project closure you should therefore move the lessons to this dedicated project. In this way the lessons will remain intact, reusable and searchable for future use.