Effectiveness of the Lessons Learned Process in ESA OPS Directorate


  • Stefano Scaglioni ESA
  • Alfio Mantineo
  • Hanna Siebert




Lessons Learned, Improvement, Process, Effectiveness, Indicators


The ESA Directorate of Operations (D/OPS) has the need to continuously challenge for improvement the working practices, the deployed resources, the delivered products and services. Since 2007 D/OPS has put in place the process of Lessons Learned to address proposed changes coming from the performed experience. The positive outcome of this process over the years is visible in the implemented organisational improvements and in the general learning-based culture accumulated. As part of EN9100-based QMS, it is essential to have evidence that the process is effective, i.e. whether it is carried out according to expectations of the process owner. The paper will present the introduction of Key Effectiveness Indicators (KEI) on the Lessons Learned process, their measurement and the analysis of the collected data for identification of possible improvement actions. Some pre-conditions for definition and implementation of KEIs (for any process) need to be satisfied. Then it is possible to identify few strategic points in the process where expectation on the discipline of the organisation can be translated in a quantitative target. A typical measurement of effectiveness is the duration in performing a specific step of the Lessons Learned process (i.e. in terms of timeliness). The paper will present:

  • The identified KEIs for the Lessons Learned process
  • The identified homogeneous environments where the instances of the process are running
  • The (current) targets set by the process owner
  • The time scope of effectiveness measurement.

The analysis of collected data has demonstrated weaknesses in the process to be corrected but also highlighted the current strengths. This initiative confirmed that the continual improvement of the organisation relies also on the effectiveness of the Lessons Learned process itself, and not only on the contents to be learned (i.e. the performance indicators on the organisation itself).