The Project-End Canvas
What is the Project-End Canvas and how to use it?
Project management best practices and PM² recommend that projects go through a Closing Phase to capture lessons learned and lost project recommendations. This is where a full Project-End Report or a simpler one pager Project-End Canvas comes in handy as a structured way to capture this information.
To accurately exploit the lessons learned from a project, it is important firstly to captured them, and then learn from them, but and share those findings with other project teams and managers within the organization.
Lessons learned is an important Closing Phase activity of the project management process, and it can be captured and used throughout the project, or at least during the Closing Phase, through a five-step process: Identify, Document, Analyse, Store, and Retrieve.
To identify lessons learned, PM² recommends a Project-End Review Meeting with dedicated lessons learned workshops. Capturing of lessons learned can also be complemented by sending a well thought out survey to key project stakeholders and team members as well as looking for a lessons learned reports from a past project. Aggregation and analysis of the views captured will help to get a general picture of what everyone learned from the project.
The Project-End Canvas is an easy-to-use tool that can help individuals or teams visualize the key findings of a project’s Closing Phase and capture them in one single page. The Project-End Canvas is based on the original Open PM² Canvas, but has been tailored to be used in the Closing Phase of the Project and in three different ways:
- As a way to summarise and present the findings of the Project-End Review Report.
- As a way to capture the results of the Closing Phase and the Project-End Review Meeting (when no formal report it required).
- As an excellent communication asset that can be used in PowerPoint presentations.
The Project-End Canvas addresses the needs of those who is looking for an effective and efficient way to capture lessons learned sessions and document their results for further communication and dissemination.
And although the Project-End Canvas can be easily filled-in even by a single person, it is more effective to involve several team members or stakeholder from the beginning in order to capture more perspectives and ensure their commitment and buy in.
Why is it useful?
The Project-End Canvas is particularly simple and easy to use, and understood by all project stakeholders. As a communication tool It can be used both in face-to-face and online communications.
It is also worth mentioning that a lessons log can be used throughout the project for the identification of lessons learned during the project execution.
Note, however, that for larger projects, the Project-End Canvas is rarely adequate to completely replace a full Project-End Review report as it does not allow enough detail to be captured. Therefore, use the Project-End Canvas as a complementary tool to other PM² recommended artefacts for the Closing Phase.
How to use it?
The Project-End Canvas consists of several elements. Below you will find brief definitions of each of these element that will help you use the canvas effectively:
- Project Summary: This section includes the scope, deliverables, and roadmap of the project. To define the project scope, a work breakdown structure can be used to visualize all project tasks, deliverables, and milestones
- Critical Success Factors: Identifying critical success factors is part of effective project management. Organizing projects to support identified critical success factors make for positive outcomes based on thoughtful consideration
- Results Achieved: This section includes the results that were achieved during the project lifecycle.
- Results Partially Achieved: This section includes the results that were partially achieved during the project lifecycle.
- Lessons Learned (from build activities): This section includes the lessons learned from the execution of the plan and development of the deliverables.
- Lessons Learned (from the management experience): This section includes the lessons learned from the project management experience.
- Improvement Actions (based on the lessons learned): This section includes the improvement actions that can be taken based on the lessons learned.
- Post-Project Recommendations: This section includes the post-project recommendations for follow-up activities or projects, including business implementation activities
Interested in learning more?
Download the Project-End Canvas in printable and editable PPTX format.
For additional material that are useful for your project and organisation got to the PM² Alliance Publications page.