Do we learn from risks?

I recently posted on a Risk Management LinkedIn group a question “Do we learned from risks?”

Is it possible to ‘integrate’ risk management and knowledge management (ie lessons learned) in a project management environment?
Please share your experiences…

I received a number of good responses that will all help with understanding the KM, RM and PM variables associated with learning from risks.

….extract from the group post 29April2012:
To Justin, Jacquetta, Garth, Rick, Peter, Quinton and ir Peter, very much appreciate you for all sharing and making comments.
@Garth, I like the comments on cultural/systemic risk
@ Rick, I like the anti-mistake solution 🙂

@Quinton, I agree that Knowledge Management (KM) is much more than Lessons Learned which is why I get frustrated in the PM circles of PMBoK and PRINCE2 etc looks like we have a common interest in the role of KM in project Risk Management (RM)…

One thing I am struggling with is that both KM systems and RM systems don’t seem to be well integrated and yet they both play an important role in capturing/managing uncertainty and project success. My experience shoes that KM systems contain a lot of risk related information that one does not find in RM systems.
I am currently researching PM Lessons Learned ( and this alignment with risk management is a key variable of interest for me.
If anyone else has some learning’s to share, please comment or contact/connect with me privately.
Regards, Stephen


Lessons Learned 2.0 – When and how to capture lessons learned

All, another good post on the apm site. Lessons Learned 2.0 – When and how to capture lessons learned. I have just made a few comments, hopefully this may encourage some more feedback 🙂

Owain: When and how to capture lessons learned (often known more as Lessons Identified) >>> There are many KM methods one can use…(peer assist, scoping, action learning, after action reviews, CoPs, Project reviews, LL ?, Learning diaries, group brainstorming, knowledge cafe, knowledge jam, retrospect’s, post project reviews, knowledge histories, storytelling, case studies, reflection….the list goes on)  and the timing should be from Day 1, then weekly, fortnightly or Monthly at regular meetings…

How and when to share lessons learned >

Adoption – Issues, motivation and ways to gain adoption>>>These are the tricky ones…this is where culture, social and systems block the process.

patw: >>> Your on the mark with a KM solution… Not quite sure on the KM system front?… however my research to date in the KM space would say KM is broken in many aspects as much as Lessons Learned is broken. On the term ‘lessons Learned’ (I really don’t like this label – can we call it something else?) I do believe we should be looking at replacing the ‘Lessons Learned’ terms in PMBOK and PRINCE 2 etc with KM terms, as there are many other KM methods/ways we can share our learning’s.

james: >>> The behavioral issue you mention is very much from my perspective the social/culture factors that block the process.  I too have had an interesting background with best (good) practice, I have seen the best and worst of this approach…in summary many PMs do not want to follow others best practice? . why? We just like repeating the mistakes of others? More on this topic in the months to come on

Regards, Stephen



Lessons learned debate turns to competitive advantage. Have your say… (from a Linkedin apm post) Part 3

John Riddell and Elisabeth Goodman have summarised the apm post on LinkedIn. They have written a APM Web Briefing – Lessons Learned paper available of the apm website. It makes an interesting read and again highlights how LL is broken (‘nobody looks at them anyway do they?”)…. I contributed a number of posts/comments, so it is good to see the comments in use as part of web briefing paper.  Regards, Stephen