Lessons Learned Handbook:
Utilizing and Incorporating
Utilizing and incorporating lessons learned is commonly referred to as "closing the
learning loop." There is no reason to document lessons learned and make this
information available to others if it is not going to be used (i.e., fed back into
processes and activities). This element of the lessons learned process is critical yet
frequently does not receive adequate attention. In order to benefit from information
that is made available, it is important to assess its applicability, disseminate it to
personnel, and make sure that appropriate actions are identified and carried out.
Efforts to identify relevant lessons learned should be made on a continuous basis.
Identifying Applicable Lessons Learned
When planning new activities, the DOE LLIS should be reviewed to determine whether
lessons learned are available that can improve planning decisions. Relevant lessons
should be incorporated into the instructions (work plan, work packages, engineering
work instruction, etc.) for that activity. In the life of every project there are many
decision points that provide opportunities for incorporating the experience of others.
It is useful to identify these decision points and include lessons learned searches in
schedules of planned management activities. It is also worthwhile to ensure that
there are staff designated to periodically scan site-specific and DOE-wide lessons
learned information systems and other lessons learned sources (See Volume II,
Appendix XI for an index of professional and industry information sources). The DOE
LLIS provides several options: key word searches and functional category searches of
the DOE-wide server, bulletin boards, electronic mail, and newsgroups (See
"Dissemination of Lessons Learned" section of this Handbook).
Functional category searches provide the capability to locate lessons from
predefined categories (See DOE Lessons Learned Technical Standard,
Lessons Learned Bulletin Boards (Gopher) allows the user to access and
retrieve information posted by other sites.
Electronic Mail provides an electronic means for users to send and receive
messages and documents.
Newsgroups provide users with the ability to exchange information, ideas, and
views in a forum environment without being in the same location.
List Servers can be used to communicate urgent messages to Lessons Learned
Coordinators and other key individuals.