Lessons Learned Best Practices (VAL-120)


This introductory course offers participants the opportunity to learn what a Lessons Learned program is and the process that is followed. CII’s Lessons Learned best practices to facilitate the continuous improvement of processes and procedures is introduced, along with CII resources to support implementation of a Lessons Learned Program.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the purpose of a Lessons Learned Program
  • Be able to describe the Lessons Learned process
  • Understand real life examples of lessons learned that have been captured from historical projects, analyze and implemented to improve performance
  • Understand key considerations and challenges facing Lessons Learned programs
  • Know the CII Resources available to support implementation of the Lessons Learned best practice

Who should attend this course?

Recommended attendees include Program Managers, Project Managers, Project Engineers, Project Controls Managers, Design Managers, Designers, Quality Managers, Project Management Office leaders, Construction Managers, Technical Managers, Project Estimators, Contract Administrators, Quantity Surveyors, and others.

Course Outline

1.0 Introduction

  • State objective of the course and who it is targeting
  • Purpose of a LL program
  • Define a “lesson”
  • Provide examples – get them thinking of “lessons” in their work context
  • How can LL benefit a project/organization
  • Talk about the “value” of a LL program (effort vs cost savings/efficiencies that can be gained)
  • Provide a bit of background (CII studies and provide some context)

2.0 Lessons Learned Program

  • Present the whole LL program (CII model)
  • Identify where in the LL program they contribute (targeting Jr/Int and therefore primarily defining, documenting and submitting the LL (reviewing, validating, communicating, change work process – these are all done by others)
  • Explain their role and responsibility in this process
  • Present the range of maturity in a LL program, get them thinking about the maturity level of their organization
  • LL in the project life cycle – when does one typically capture and document LL, and when do you review existing LL to enhance a new project.

3.0 Creating Lessons

  • How LL are captured (individually, in a facilitated workshop, formal meetings, interviews, etc)
  • Show what type of information is collected in a LL database
  • Types of Lessons that can be captured, present a variety of examples
  • Work through examples and how to write the Lesson so that it will be useful to others – this is the meat of this module *** focus on this section to give people various ways to think about “writing” the lesson
  • Barriers to creating Lessons (based on CII research)

4.0 Considerations

  • Legal considerations
    • What can be done to mitigate legal concerns
    • Present examples of Lessons and rewrite them to remove legal concern
  • Steps to take at your organization to start contributing to Lesson learned (i.e. start by reviewing existing lessons that have already been collected)

5.0 Summary

  • Review what they have learned
  • What they are now able to accomplish
  • Remind them of the “value” of the LL program
  • Review/provide links to resources that were referenced during the course


A certificate of completion will be issued to those who attend and complete the course. The course is conducted by Valency, a Registered Education Provider for the Construction Industry Institute (CII) and the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA).

CII Registered Education Provider


This course is part of Valency’s Project Assurance On-Demand Training Program