A Holistic Approach to Lessons Learned 3



Book Title: A Holistic Approach to Lessons Learned: How Organizations Can Benefit from Their Own Knowledge      
Author:  Moria Levy
Publisher:  CRC Press – Taylor & Francis Group – Auerbach
List Price: $59.95
Format:  Hardcover, 145 pages
Publication Date: January 2018
ISBN: 978-1-138-56476-3
Reviewer: Manjeeta Sitaula, PMP
Review Date: October 2018



This book provides invaluable information on incorporating & implementing lessons learned which is often overlooked in many organizations due to various reasons. The author, Moria Levy emphasizes that, for our lessons to yield better operations and improved performance, the knowledge must be transformed into action. Lessons learned must be accessible and embedded in the organization so that it is hard to repeat mistakes.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The content of the book is divided into five parts with various chapters within each part and subheadings within the chapters. The five parts flow seamlessly into the other.

  • Part I starts with the ‘need, importance and types of knowledge/information that can be used as lessons’;
  • Part II discusses the ‘what, who and how to debrief and the debriefing techniques’;
  • Part III elaborates on ‘how to manage the knowledge that has been created’;
  • Part IV focuses on requesting prior knowledge before implementing any new actions;
  • Part V discusses implementation of the life-cycle model of lessons and summarizes debriefing techniques.


The first half of the book discusses sources of new knowledge namely debriefing, quality-based processes and experience. Debriefing is described as a natural process, however, in organizations there can be resistance to implement it due to fear of exposing failures/mistakes and possible blame game. The author reviews debriefing techniques such as Action After Review (AAR) and Multi Case Learning (MCL) and also notes that the organization can develop their own processes that yield constructive results by focusing on the future and lessons that can be learned. Quality based processes such as Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), Gemba walks and quality audits help to develop the sources of knowledge and provide recommendations for improvements. Experience is another source of new knowledge which is gained through work or everyday life actions.


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About the Reviewer

Manjeeta Sitaula

Texas, USA



Manjeeta Sitaula is a Civil Engineer by profession and has been certified as a PMP since 2013.


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