Identification of effective management practices and technologies for lessons learned programs in the construction industry

Carlos H. Caldas, G. Edward Gibson, Runi Weerasooriya, Angela M. Yohe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Organizations in the construction industry cannot afford to make repetitive mistakes on major projects. Conversely, there are great benefits to repeating positive experiences from past projects. This need for institutional memory is amplified by the reality that in the course of normal turnover and retirement, people with years of experience leave their organizations. An effective lessons learned program is a critical element in the management of institutional knowledge; it will facilitate the continuous improvement of processes and procedures and provide a direct advantage in an even more competitive industry. This paper describes a research study that aimed to identify effective management practices and technologies for lessons learned programs in the construction industry. Data from 70 organizations that participated in this study are presented. Research found that even though more lessons learned programs are being initiated, the potential for savings and improvement has not been fully met. The study has also identified seven crucial characteristics of a successful program and verified that most organizations are stronger in some categories and weaker in others. The key to an effective program is to address all seven areas and guidance is provided for those wishing to implement lessons learned programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-539
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Volume135
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Construction management
  • Information management
  • Knowledge-based systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management

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