Document Detail

Title: RS123-1 - Modeling the Lessons Learned Process
Publication Date: 5/1/1997
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Archived Supporting Product
Pages: 30
This publication has been archived, but is available for download for informational purposes only.

Provides information on how organizations can gain substantial return on investment by transferring individual knowledge to an organization knowledge base using the 'Lessons Learned Process.'

NOTE: Actual tool included with IR123-2.
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Learning is a natural, and an inevitable, part of the human experience. Lessons are learned daily through personal experiences, and collectively these lessons build an individual’s knowledge base. Organizational learning, however, is more complex. In the business environment it becomes important for individuals to be able to share their experiences with others effectively, and to develop work processes that capture these experiences for the benefit of future endeavors.

CII Research Team 123, Modeling Lessons Learned, was chartered to develop a comprehensive lessons learned process for managing organizational learning. The term “lessons learned” is defined as “knowledge gained from experience, successful or otherwise, for the purpose of improving future performance.” The research team hypothesized that lessons learned represent knowledge, and that knowledge is an asset to an organization and has value.

The research has confirmed that there is indeed value in managing organizational knowledge using a Lessons Learned Process (LLP), but that significant cultural, work process, and technology issues must be addressed to be successful.

“What’s the Payback?”

Implementation of an LLP requires an up-front allocation of scarce resources. Research Team 123, however, has confirmed that implementing an LLP can result in a substantial return on investment. By leveraging knowledge, employees can be trained more quickly, provide better support, and avoid costly errors. Over the past decade, CII has identified best practices such as constructability, partnering, schedule compression, and team building, all of which add value and reduce a project’s total installed cost. The LLP will help to maximize the benefits of these best practices by providing a structured approach to “learning from experience.” Implementation of an LLP is a key component in achieving continuous improvement, and can have a significant impact on achieving overall project success.

Work Culture – The Vital Ingredient

Implementing a successful LLP is not simply a matter of “installing” a new work process. An organization’s work culture is a vitally important factor in achieving success. This report identifies the attributes of successful organizations, describes the suggested LLP work process, and lists the keys steps for successful implementation. The LLP work process description is further enhanced by the new LLP Wizard software application, which is also described.

Moving Toward a “Learning Organization”

The successful implementation of an LLP requires a commitment from all levels of the organization. When properly implemented and maintained, however, an LLP can allow an organization to achieve superior performance through higher productivity, shorter cycle times, enhanced quality, and improved safety. The LLP can become a building block in an organization’s quest to become a “Learning Organization.” It seems clear that in today’s Information Age, it is knowledge that will provide the competitive advantage, and that the successful companies will be those that can effectively manage the knowledge process.