Mudassir Iqbal

Lessons learned register includes more explicit knowledge because it’s easily codified, but often lacks the deeper understanding that tacit knowledge provides

Lessons learned and knowledge gained throughout the project are transferred to the lessons learned repository for use by future projects.

With every assignment comes new knowledge. The term “lessons learned” refers to whatever one picks up while working on a project. Both our own and other people’s project experiences serve as learning opportunities for us. In order to avoid making the same mistakes twice, and to take advantage of the organization’s best practises, project teams should regularly share their lessons learned with one another. New ideas and effective methods of doing work can be spread to benefit others.

Lessons Learned

is knowledge gained from a specific experience or project that can be used to improve future processes. It is essentially a way of capturing knowledge and turning it into useful information for organizations. The goal is to use the lessons learned to improve future performance by avoiding past mistakes and repeating successful practices.

Lessons Learned Process

Lessons Learned Register

is a document that systematically captures and documents the lessons learned from projects or experiences. The register serves as a reference for future projects and allows organizations to build on past experiences. By recording lessons learned, organizations can improve their processes and increase efficiency, saving time and resources in the long run. The register belongs to the project. 

Lessons Learned Repository

is a centralized database or collection of lessons learned registers. This provides a centralized location for storing, accessing and analyzing lessons learned. The repository allows organizations to share knowledge and ensure that the lessons learned are used to improve processes across the organization. The repository can be used to track trends and identify common issues that need to be addressed. The repository belongs to the organization and part of an organizational process asset.

Content of Lessons Learned Register and Lessons Learned Repository

Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management (KM) involves recording, disseminating, and utilising knowledge to improve decision-making and performance. KM promotes knowledge production, exchange, and utilisation at the individual, project, and organisational levels to achieve goals.

Information management is often driven by a tool such as software, but knowledge management shouldn’t be just data-driven

Individual Level: KM entails documenting personal experiences, abilities, and expertise to construct a knowledge base for personal and professional development. It may involve storing personal knowledge on personal wikis.

Project Level: KM helps future projects by recording and sharing project knowledge and experiences. A lesson-learned register can help improve future projects by documenting past project lessons.

Organization Level: KM entails building a culture of knowledge sharing and mechanisms to capture, store, and share knowledge across the business. Knowledge management software and collaboration platforms may be used to store and communicate organisational knowledge.

KM is essential to personal, project, and organisational performance and can help businesses create, share, and use knowledge to achieve goals. KM at all levels fosters a culture of continuous learning and growth and creates a knowledge-driven organisation.

Explicit and Tacit Knowledge

Tacit knowledge is informal, unwritten, and often hard-to-articulate knowledge that is based on personal experience and expertise. It encompasses skills, know-how, and practical wisdom that individuals have acquired through experience and is difficult to transfer to others through formal training or documentation. Tacit knowledge is often deeply embedded in individuals and is not easily transferable through written or verbal communication. Examples of tacit knowledge include a chef’s knowledge of how to cook a dish just right, or a mechanic’s expertise in fixing a car engine.

 Tacit knowledge is personal whereas Explicit knowledge can be expressed using words or pictures.

Explicit knowledge is formal, codified, and written information that can be easily transferred and shared among individuals. Unlike tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge can be communicated through written documents, training programs, and manuals, making it easier to transfer from one person to another. Examples of explicit knowledge include manuals, procedures, policies, training materials, and written reports.

Explicit knowledge can also be easily stored, retrieved and updated, making it easier to manage and share information. In today’s fast-paced business environment, having access to accurate and up-to-date explicit knowledge is critical for organizations to remain competitive and achieve their goals.

How to Gather Explicit Knowledge

There are various ways to capture tacit knowledge.

  • Employee Interviews: Interviewing employees one-on-one can reveal their experiences, talents, and knowledge. Ask open-ended inquiries to get them talking.
  • Peer-to-Peer Knowledge Sharing: Encourage employees to share their information and expertise with peers to capture tacit knowledge. Team meetings, cross-functional workshops, and knowledge-sharing can accomplish this.
  • Shadowing: Watching employees work can reveal their methods and decision-making. This is particularly effective for gathering knowledge from retiring or departing personnel.
  • Succession Planning: Succession planning helps identify key knowledge and skills to collect and convey to subsequent personnel. Map out essential employees’ knowledge and experience and create measures to preserve it when they go.
  • Knowledge Management Systems: Knowledge management systems let organisations capture, store, and disseminate tacit knowledge. These systems can hold records, best practices, and staff communication and cooperation.


Lessons Learned Template from


Rowe, S. F. & Sikes, S. (2006). Lessons learned: taking it to the next level. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2006—North America, Seattle, WA. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

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