Friday, 14 March 2014

The life of a lesson

Most organisations don't identify lessons, let alone learn from them.
A few organisations identify them and presume that they have learned from them.
Fewer still identify lessons and use them as agents of change, to drive improvements in performance.
Even fewer identify lessons, learn from them, retain them for the future and use them to manage risks.
Nevertheless, these are the ones that ‘get it’ and show the rest of us the potential value that lessons can provide.
So, for the next few posts, let’s look at how such organisations manage lessons and see how their example can help those of us that seek to use knowledge to improve performance.  I suggest the following ten steps in the life of a lesson:
  1. Event takes place – an experience, idea, incident or accident
  2. Analysis and capture – through interview, AAR, workshop, report-writing etc.
  3. Packaging – write-up of lesson
  4. Review for accuracy – editing and improvement by person who identified the lesson
  5. Validation – quality check, ownership assigned and upload into a management system
  6. Review for accountability – periodic checks on progress
  7. Implement recommendations – to avoid/ensure recurrence of bad/good alike
  8. Review for effectiveness – observe changes to ensure they have had desired effect
  9. Closure – lesson status updated but retained in system for reference and to aid analysis
  10. Assurance – as part of risk management, periodic review to ensure closed status remains justified.
We’ll look at each of these over the coming weeks. 
For help on making your organisation one of the very few that learns and for more information on the part played by lessons in knowledge management, please visit the Knoco website.

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