As I learned some years ago madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Here are a few thoughts about what NASA might do differently:
- As well as fixing the 'supply' side and codification of information; what about really stimulating the 'demand' side of the learning loop? This barely gets a mention. KIN Associate Nick Milton has advocated this for ages.
- Things are not helped by the report conflating information management and knowledge management, when the two require quite different approaches and processes. The recommendations should use this differentiation and resources be applied appropriately.
- There is a fascinating tension between the need for accountability / due-diligence and the informality that effective knowledge sharing often needs to foster trust. The legal ramifications of high profile and expensive disasters (Challenger, Deepwater Horizon, Buncefield) have done us no favours in this regard. The answer: Communities of Practice remain the most effective vehicles for the stewardship and accessibility of 'latent' knowledge and know-how. Large organisations such as NASA do recognise this but rarely do they see the same level of investment or monitoring as Lessons Learned Systems.
Let's hope we do not see yet another NASA 'Lessons Learned System' failure report in 2013.