Lessons Learned System LogoIn order to assure success it is important that the working culture of the organization, the needs, psychology, habits, and dynamics, are all taken into account, in addition to its technical and organizational infrastructure and hierarchy. It is very natural that there are barriers to exposing one’s failures and sharing one’s secrets of success with potential competitors or adversaries. Thus the necessity for a training program and awareness campaign to sensitise the personnel to overcome these barriers and understand the advantages and need for investing effort towards sharing their lessons learned.

In general, and also with Lessons Learned, training can take various forms, such as special events, classes, courses, tutorials, etc. With our Lessons Learned approach, the training we carry out can be of different types, involving, on the one hand, awareness, inspiration, and persuasion, and, on the other hand, training towards carrying out mundane tasks such as populating the Lessons Learned repository, formulating an entry, reviewing, categorizing, and tagging it with appropriate metadata, as well as learning to use the tools supplied to carry out these tasks.

Workshop process

An example (of the first type) of training was carried out at a recent training week at the European Commission, at which Dr Kass conducted two training sessions:

  • The first session comprised a presentation about the importance of sharing and investigating mistakes made – and successes achieved, and what recommendations and learnings can be drawn from them. Anecdotes from Kass’s long experience in the domain of human spaceflight, together with examples from history, helped illustrate these learnings.
  • The second session consisted of an interactive workshop at which a set of challenging questions was addressed to the participants, who then broke up into thematic groups to discuss, deliberate and find solutions and answers to these questions. The questions covered subjects like: culture change, awareness, process, sources of LLs, transparency, privacy, confidentiality.