Lessons Learned Handbook:
Reviewing and Validating a Lessons Learned Document
Subject Matter Experts
For lessons learned requiring validation, the SME should complete an evaluation.
To ensure timely evaluation, an evaluation priority should be attached to each
lesson learned sent to the SME. For example, lessons may be designated as
either urgent (to be completed within 10 working days) or routine (to be
completed within 30 working days). A transmittal memo accompanying the
lesson should identify the priority and the date by which the evaluation is to be
The SME should determine the applicability and significance of the potential
lessons learned by evaluating the adequacy of current procedures, design
practices, status of regulatory compliance, etc. This evaluation process can be
aided by establishing classifications, or designators, for the SMEs to use when
evaluating potential lessons learned. One method is to classify potential lessons
learned as Not-Applicable, Applicable- No Action Required, or Applicable-Action
Required. Definitions and recommended actions for these classifications are:
Not-Applicable: This response may be used for a potential lesson learned
that does not meet the site-specific lessons learned program criteria.
Examples include employee concerns or complaints.
Applicable-No Action Required: This response may be used for a lesson
learned that meets the site-specific lessons learned program criteria but
does not require any change in site activities or programs. This
determination may be due to the fact that current procedures, training,
etc., already address the lesson learned being submitted. Examples may
include identifying good work practices, having a lesson learned identified
more than once, or a change in site practices due to an audit finding.
Applicable-Action Required: This response may be used for a lesson
learned that meets the site-specific lessons learned program criteria and
requires a change in site activities or programs. The SME should provide
recommendations for possible corrective actions to assist in effective
implementation of the lesson learned. Examples could include improved
methods to sample ground water or new methods to perform
preventative maintenance to reduce labor costs.
Regardless of the classification and action method(s) used by the site lessons learned
program, consideration should be given to keeping the originator of the potential
lessons learned informed of the final decision concerning his/her submittal. An
effective site-specific lessons learned program is dependent upon use by site
personnel and should be an ongoing process throughout the life of the site, or
project. To meet this goal, the site-specific lessons learned program should include a