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Lessons Learned Handbook:
DOE-HDBK-7502-95
Section 1.1
Planning a Lessons Learned Program
Ten Basics Steps
This section provides ten steps that can be helpful in getting started with development
of a lessons learned program. The order in which they are presented provides a
logical sequence. However, it is not critical that the steps always be conducted in this
order or that they be conducted consecutively (most steps can be conducted in
parallel).
1.
Incorporate Lessons Learned into Corporate Policies and Strategies
Ensure that the lessons learned program is endorsed by senior management and
written into corporate policies. This may require nothing more than a one sentence
endorsement in organizational policy documentation simply to communicate
commitment to the program.
2.
Write a Program Description
A Program Description provides a clear understanding of what the Lessons Learned
program is designed to accomplish and how the program's objectives will be achieved.
The Program Description should include a statement of the program's purpose and
objectives and describe how the objectives will be achieved. This explanation may
include a discussion of the intended approach for achieving the objectives of the
program and a description of the specific activities that will be conducted. (See
Volume II, Appendix I for an example of a Program Description.) It may also discuss
how the lessons learned program objectives will support corporate policies and
strategies. The Program Description does not provide specific details. Rather, it
provides an overview of how the program will function. It may also be helpful to
develop a graphical display of the program. One option is to develop a flow chart
that identifies program inputs, activities and outputs (See Volume II, Appendix II for an
example).
3.
Write a Management Plan
The Management Plan provides a strategy for implementing the lessons learned
program. It may need to be updated yearly based on self-assessment activities and
other program input. The Management Plan describes the tasks that will be
completed, the responsible party, and the timing of these tasks. The Management
Plan may include a table of principal project milestones that includes the milestone
title, date and participants; relationship of the program to other projects or initiatives;
and an explanation of how the project team responsible for program development will
interact with other DOE or external organizations. The Management Plan may also
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