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Towards a Methodology for Lessons Learned Practice in Complex Product Development

Research group:

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


15th European Conference on Knowledge Management


Academic Conferences and Publishing International, 2014


Organisations are becoming increasingly aware that learning from experience can be a source of competitive advantage. Many manufacturing companies are not immune to this realisation and have established lessons learned practices as one of the key knowledge management efforts for the collection and dissemination of experiences in the form of lessons learned. However, identifying relevant lessons learned from past product development projects and reusing them in new situations is still an enormous task for many companies. The paper uses qualitative data collected in three case studies in the aerospace industry to investigate the potential barriers in the current lessons learned practice in a complex product development setting, and to identify the end-user’s requirements for improving this practice. A new methodology for capturing lessons learned in complex product development is then presented and discussed. The methodology represents a lesson learned in a standardized format together with guidelines, using videos as enabling media. The format comprises a seven-step representation of lesson learned, consisting of: (1) lesson 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.


author = {Koteshwar Chirumalla},
title = {Towards a Methodology for Lessons Learned Practice in Complex Product Development},
isbn = {1910309346, 9781910309346},
editor = {Carla Vivas},
pages = {205--213},
month = {September},
year = {2014},
booktitle = {15th European Conference on Knowledge Management},
publisher = {Academic Conferences and Publishing International, 2014},
url = {}