Making New Mistakes: Lessons Learned at NASA

Effective people, projects, and organizations learn from their own mistakes—and from the lessons learned by those around them. The simplest test to determine whether an organization promotes a climate of continuous improvement is to ask: “Can I make a mistake around here?” If the answer is, “Yes, I can make a mistake… but I’ll pay for it,” then that organization probably has a way to go before it can be considered to foster a learning environment. With Chief Knowledge Officers (CKOs) at every center and a commitment to compiling and leveraging lessons learned, NASA is a dedicated learning organization. During this NASA Virtual Project Management Challenge, presenters Michael Bell, CKO at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Program Manager for the agency’s lessons learned information system (LLIS), and Barbara Fillip, Knowledge Management Lead in the Flight Projects Directorate at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) will explore how project managers can leverage the “return on others’ experience” to achieve mission success.