Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose an approach for the management of “Space project management lessons learned” (SProMaLLs) as a powerful way to ensure better success both at project and at corporate levels. Design/methodology/approach – The success of a given space project, and ultimately of the organization supporting this project, is often jeopardized by problems that had happened before. This paper looks at the following questions: Where are the relevant lessons learned that we could have used? What lessons can we draw for future projects? How should we manage this important knowledge? It also examines developments which are under way at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) regarding the management of SProMaLLs. These developments are based on literature surveys, consultation with space partners, reference to models used by other fields of knowledge and by the Canadian Government central agencies, review of actual lessons learned material (space and others), and the trial and errors of implementing such an approach. This paper, adapted from a presentation at the International Aerospace Congress 04, in Vancouver, BC, discusses how SProMaLLs can effectively and simply be identified, captured, documented, authorized, disseminated and used. It also provides examples of actual SProMaLLs and suggestions for further developments regarding generic SProMaLLs. Findings – The paper finds suggestions for future knowledge management initiatives such as SProMalls international discussion forums (in person and via the net), integration of SProMaLLs management with risk and portfolio management, and review of SProMaLLs banks prior to approving a given project. The conclusion is hopefully a motivator to foster international cooperation in the development, use and management of space project management lessons learned. Research limitations/implications – This is a concept paper, based on actual implementation and comparison with the lessons learned management systems of partners. The system proposed is in place and being used, but is still evolving. Practical implications – The paper provides a very useful source of information on lessons learned material and on a practical approach to lessons learned management, applicable to space projects, but also almost immediately adaptable to other fields. Originality/value – This paper provides a practical and effective approach to lessons learned management, which fully supports integrated risk management.
Journal of Knowledge Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 2006
Keywords: Knowledge management; Space technology; Project management
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