Goal: Review final project information

History gives us the best indicator of future trends. The end of a project is an opportunity to create a history of your project's successes and failures and to share this information with your stakeholders (stakeholders: Individuals and organizations that are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be affected by the project.). A lessons learned (lessons learned: A review of best practices, project insights, and client information. As the project team disbands and new projects begin, reviewing the lessons learned lets you record information gathered and generated through the project.) exercise helps you collect best practices and project data that you can share through reports (report: A format in which you can print schedule information that is appropriate for the intended recipients. You can use the predefined reports provided by Project or create custom reports.) and views (view: The combination of one or more views [Gantt Chart, Resource Sheet, and so on] and if applicable, a table and a filter. Use views to work with information in a variety of formats. There are three types of views: Charts or graphs, Sheets, and Forms.). You can also reuse your data for future projects by saving your file as a template (template: A Project file format [*.mpt] that lets you reuse existing schedules as the starting point for creating new schedules. Task and resource information, formatting, macros, and project-specific settings can all become part of a template.). These steps can affect the success of future projects.

 Tip   This article is part of a series of articles within the Project Map that describe a broad set of project management activities. We call these activities "goals" because they are organized around the project management life cycle: Build a plan, track and manage a project, and close a project.

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Person reviewing final project information

number 1 Review lessons learned    Who wants to relive the mistakes of the past? Lessons learned and best practices describe what kind of project data that you should gather and how you should gather it so that you can learn from past projects.

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A lessons-learned exercise documents how the project progressed and best practices by using information gathered from reports, discussions, or meetings. It includes information about a project's successes and failures, and can be used for a final team meeting, training on future projects, or recurring projects.

Examining lessons learned provides an opportunity to answer questions such as:

A lessons-learned exercise also provides information for administrative closure (administrative closure: The process of documenting and archiving a project in a timely manner, as well as formally accepting the project's product and lessons learned.) and contract closeout (contract closeout: The completion of the contract [such as fixed price or lump sum, cost reimbursable, unit price contracts]. Closeout includes resolving all outstanding issues and items, such as inspections or invoices.).

Administrative closure includes verifying scope; archiving or maintaining project information; and producing summary information such as cost, work, and tasks. Contract closeout makes sure that the contractors' final work is completed and delivered and that billings or invoices are completed. At contract closeout, it's important to review schedules, changes, and contractor performance.


  • To make sure that the lessons-learned document is always associated with a specific project file, you can link the two.
  • You can also upload the lessons-learned document to a project workspace site in Microsoft Office Project Web Access.

Number 2 Publish end-of-project information    Closing a project involves summarizing and communicating project information, analyzing project effectiveness, and archiving project data.

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Applies to:
Project 2007