Federal Manager's Daily Report

The Energy Department has a process to capture lessons learned on capital assets projects “but not all lessons are to be documented consistently or shared in a timely manner,” GAO has said.

The department and its subagency National Nuclear Security Administration document project management lessons learned differently and not all of the documented lessons learned are readily accessible to other staff, a report said. Further, the department does not require that project staff share lessons learned for capital asset projects until the start of construction, which can occur many years after the start of the project, it said.

As a best practice, such lessons “should be stored in a logical, organized manner, be easily retrievable, and be submitted in a timely manner,” it said. “Also, for capital asset projects, DoE does not require the evaluation of the results of all corrective actions to respond to lessons learned to ensure that problems are resolved, consistent with key practices. By developing requirements to evaluate the effectiveness of corrective actions, DoE could better verify whether the actions had the intended outcome.”

It said management agreed with its recommendations to develop requirements for defining how and where project management lessons learned for capital asset projects should be documented and shared routinely and in a timely manner, and for evaluating the effectiveness of corrective actions taken.