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The phrase “lessons learned” is such a common one, yet people struggle with developing effective lessons learned approaches. The Lessons Learned Handbook is written for the project manager, quality manager or senior manager trying to put in place a system for learning from experience, or looking to improve the system they have. Based on experience of successful and unsuccessful systems, the author recognises the need to convert learning into action. For this to happen, there needs to be a series of key steps, which the book guides the reader through. The book provides practical guidance to learning from experience, illustrated with case histories from the author, and from contributors from industry and the public sector.
- The book is a practitioner-level guide to the design and the mechanics of lessons learned processes
- Takes a holistic approach, tracking lessons from identification to reapplication
- Makes the case for the assignment of actions for learning
Professionals in knowledge management, organizational learning, quality management, and performance improvement
List of figures and tables
Chapter 1: Introduction – learning lessons
Learning as a basic instinct
Learning in organisations
Lessons learned systems in organisations
How well do they work?
The value of learning lessons
Chapter 2: Elements of a lesson learning system
Lesson learning approaches in the 15th century
What is a ‘lesson learned’?
The steps in learning a lesson
Closing the learning loop
Trial and error, or trial and success?
Chapter 3: Lessons learned approaches
Formal collect systems
Informal collect systems
Formal connect systems
Informal connect systems
A blended approach
Chapter 4: Principles of lesson identification
When to identify lessons?
The principles of lesson identification
Aiming for the ‘quality lesson’
Examples of poor lessons
Stories and lessons
Self-identification of lessons versus lesson identification processes
The questioning process – the metaphor of the tree
Roles and accountabilities in lesson identification
Chapter 5: Processes of lessons identified
Post-project reviews or retrospects
After action reviews
Individual learning interviews
Evaluations and assessments
Chapter 6: Writing down the lessons
Each lesson stands alone
The lesson needs to be easy to follow and well structured
How much context?
Who is the audience?
Quality assurance and validation
Lessons must lead to action
Chapter 7: Taking action
Will there always be an action?
What sort of actions are needed?
How do you decide the action?
Who assigns the action?
Escalating the action
Chapter 8: Process ownership and process update
Who owns the processes?
Local vs company process owners
The role of the process owner
Engagement with the learning cycle
Validation and escalation
Chapter 9: Ensuring lessons and updated processes are re-applied
Broadcasting new lessons and process improvements
Process improvements and training
Process review as part of operations
Chapter 10: Technology to support lesson learning
Publish and search technology
Chapter 11: Sharing and seeking the unwritten lessons
Communities of practice
Chapter 12: The governance of lesson learning
A governance framework
Make corporate expectations clear
Lesson learning systems
Monitoring and measurement
The supporting organisation
Chapter 13: The principles and processes of safety investigations
What happened and why?
The investigation process
The final report
Chapter 14: Learning lessons in networks at Mars, Inc
Learn from where we are
Learn from what we know
Learn from the past six months
Formalising the learning
Chapter 15: Wikis as part of a learning system; a conversation with Peter Kemper
Chapter 16: How not to learn lessons
Chapter 17: Conclusions
- No. of pages:
- © Chandos Publishing 2010
- 30th June 2010
- Chandos Publishing
- Paperback ISBN:
- eBook ISBN:
Dr Nick Milton is a director and co-founder of Knoco Ltd - a Knowledge Management consultancy comprised of seasoned knowledge management practitioners, mentors, and coaches. Knoco Ltd has been delivering successful and sustained Knowledge Management implementation to clients since 1999.
Knoco Ltd, UK
The book is very practical and contains lots of advice, justified, how to perform each of the steps suggested in the process of lessons learned, Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning
Valuable case histories of real-life events pepper the chapters, which systematically outline and summarise all the key steps and alternatives in the process in a clear, easy-to-read manner, Australian Academic and Research Libraries