Integrating Risk and Knowledge Management for Exploration
Lengyel, David; Lengyel, David
The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate has developed an effective strategy to learn from past lessons (Apollo, Shuttle, Space Station) as well as generate and share new engineering design and management best practices. To accomplish this, ESMD risk and knowledge management practitioners have integrated a set of inter-related knowledge management processes with risk management. They include: 1. Pause and Learn Processes (Modeled after the U.S. Army’s After Action Review, or AAR, process) 2. Knowledge-Based Risks (KBRs) 3. Communities of Practice (CoP) 4. Knowledge Sharing Forums 5. Experienced-Based Training This paper will focus on the Knowledge-Based Risk process which has already had positive impact on ESMD becoming a learning organization. The ESMD KBR strategy is intended to convey risk-related lessons learned and best practices to ESMD personnel. This strategy integrates the existing Continuous Risk Management (CRM) paradigm used at NASA and knowledge management--with the primary focus on integrating transfer of knowledge through existing work processes and not adding an additional burden to the workforce to incorporate new KM tools and concepts. ESMD defines Knowledge-Based Risks as: Knowledge-Based Risk n. 1. A risk based on lessons learned from previous experience. 2. A closed risk with documented lessons learned appended. 3. A means of transferring knowledge in a risk context. KBRs are documented in the risk database and offer to the users “what worked – or – didn’t work” in terms of risk mitigation strategies. KBRs also provide a means of identifying future risks as well as closing knowledge gaps on analyses of risks. This provides an infusion process for KBRs back into risk management and other disciplines which the current NASA lessons learned systems lacks. More importantly, this aids in creating a culture of knowledge sharing. ESMD also represents information in a portal environment where there is also embedded 3-8 minute “video nuggets” of the risk owner, a transcript of the video, related content – reports, documents, etc. and finally a threaded discussion (blog) feature where users may contribute additional information on this risk category from previous experience. ESMD faces exciting opportunities and formidable challenges. To reduce risk and apply knowledge more effectively, ESMD is integrating its risk and knowledge management practices and systems in a comprehensive manner that will accomplish more with less bureaucracy.