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Development of a methodology for lessons learned practice: From post-project learning to continuous process-based learning
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Product development involves a set of complex problem-solving activities. Their effectiveness depends on how well companies share learnings from one problem-solving experience to another. “Lessons learned (LL) practices” are common knowledge management efforts through which companies attempt to foster experience-based learning environments within them. However, many companies fall short in utilizing LL at an action level—which is, capturing and sharing lessons learned and applying them in new situations is still difficult. This thesis is largely based upon qualitative data collected in three case studies that had two main objectives. Firstly, to investigate the current state of LL practice in order to identify potential barriers in the light of emerging product development trends. Secondly, to identify ways to improve current practices from both capture and reuse perspectives.The case studies showed that effective LL practice requires a continuous approach with a standard format that should be applicable not only to capture lessons from design projects, but also from manufacturing, use, and maintenance phases, where much of the learning is still tacit in nature and difficult to articulate. From a reuse perspective, current project-specific lessons lack contextual knowledge related to learning—that is, the lessons’ background, root-causes, and applicability—thereby demanding a method to capture LL at a process-based level with a richer context. In total, the research work identifies 11 functional requirements for improving LL processes based on the outlined potential barriers in as-is practice.Based on the functional requirements analysis, a methodology has been developed for representing LL in a standardized format together with guidelines, using videos and storytelling as enabling media. This methodology includes a seven-step representation of LL, consisting of: (1) lessons learned statement, (2) working context, (3) task description, (4) “what went wrong” or “what went well”, (5) lessons learned, (6) lessons learned measures, and (7) applicability and delimitations. Preliminary validation activities revealed that the methodology facilitates the preparation and formulation of concise LL with richer context than traditional text-based formats. The methodology has proved to be beneficial in capturing lessons from skill-oriented activities in a narrative form, by visually displaying defects, problems or improvements in complex products and associated actions in production or maintenance phases, for instance. Thus, a video-based LL captures a single learning point with more specific details and actionable recommendations than traditional post-project text-based approaches, thereby enabling process-based learning. Moreover, the reuse of video-based LL was found to facilitate the execution of new design tasks by increasing users’ contextual awareness, thus enabling them to select possible solutions and apply them in new design situations relatively quickly. The methodology has potential advantages in leveraging experience-based knowledge and learning in early product development phases to avoid reinventing the wheel, and repeating potentially costly mistakes in all relevant company environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2013. , 185 p.
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Research subject
Product Innovation
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-26188Local ID: d14a9011-62c0-4e98-9fc4-2e378eab1107ISBN: 978-91-7439-781-9ISBN: 978-91-7439-782-6 (PDF)OAI: diva2:999347
Godkänd; 2013; 20131108 (kotchi); Tillkännagivande disputation 2013-11-18 Nedanstående person kommer att disputera för avläggande av teknologie doktorsexamen. Namn: Koteshwar Chirumalla Ämne: Produktinnovation/Product Innovation Avhandling: Development of a Methodology for Lessons Learned Practice: From post-project learning to continuous process-based learning Opponent: Docent Anja Maier, Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Danmark Ordförande: Docent Åsa Ericson, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Luleå tekniska universitet Tid: Tisdag den 10 december 2013, kl 09.00 Plats: A109, Luleå tekniska universitetAvailable from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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