Knowledge Management at NASA: Case Studies and Lessons Learned - Apr. 2015
SAND Number: SAND2015-3572V Presenter: Dr. Ed Rogers, Chief Knowledge Officer NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and David Oberhettinger, Chief Knowledge Officer NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Shortly after 9:00am on February 1st, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart during re-entry and the seven astronauts on board perished. In the accident investigation report it was stated that, “NASA …has not demonstrated the characteristics of a learning organization.” This statement caused considerable consternation and thinking inside NASA. Dr. Ed Rogers was hired that same year as Chief Knowledge Officer to help the Goddard Space Flight Center become the kind of learning organization that doesn’t repeat mistakes. In this two-part story-telling presentation, Dr. Rogers will share the highlights of what he learned about how to change the way an organization like NASA thinks about learning. He’ll share his journey and the simple principles and practices he made use of along the way. Our second speaker, David Oberhettinger, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) and LLC Chair, will discuss lesson learned best practices. For example, NASA components like the “sky crane” that landed Mars Science Laboratory in 2012 must be very robust, but the high risk associated with one-of-a-kind, never-before-flown spacecraft means that hardware and software faults are inevitable. In this inherently risky business, it behooves us to make “new” mistakes and to avoid repeating known errors with these national assets. JPL “infuses” each lesson learned into our two primary “engineering bibles” so an organization is not dependent on the key person reading the lesson at the key point in the project lifecycle. A formal lessons learned process is a hallmark of a mature engineering organization. The NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has a Lessons Learned Committee (LLC) that has met weekly since 1984 to evaluate lesson learned candidates and prepare lesson learned for publication in the NASA repository.
8551-1 Digital Media Operations
4/16/2015 7:00:00 PM

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