The need to learn from one project to the next is clearly of vital importance, but is often neglected. Furthermore, there are fundamental issues within projects that inhibit such learning, such as the temporary nature of project organizations and the fundamental complexity of projects. This paper surveys the diverse literature that can help explain these factors and help projects to learn, and describes a large survey of project managers to look at what actual practice is and how successful it is perceived, as well as some empirical work. From this, a number of general conclusions are drawn as to how to create project organizations that are learning organizations. © 2008 IEEE.