An investigative study of the application of lessons learned systems in construction projects

Sik Wah Fong, J.C.H. Yip

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Construction projects in Hong Kong involve huge investments of capital, resources and time. Good management practices can maximize profits in construction projects. However, almost no organizations have adopted formal systems to manage such practices. Lessons learned systems (LLS) supported by knowledge management and organizational learning principles have achieved many success stories in other countries. The LLS includes the process of acquiring, handling and verifying good or bad practices from projects in different stages, disseminating the verified and approved lessons to related parties, and recording such practices in appropriate ways for future reuse. Construction professionals are not concerned with how data is recorded. In fact, project professionals mainly transfer management practices among those team members involved in a project, but do not do so to the larger organization. Needless to say, organizational learning does not exist in these construction organizations. More often than not, mistakes are repeated and successes are not continued in future projects. âReinventing the wheelâ is a frequent phenomenon and projects are not executed as well as they should be. The quantitative analysis of a questionnaire survey shows that LLS can improve professionalsâ performance in construction projects. The survey also investigated professionalsâ preferred methods of acquiring, handling, verifying and disseminating the lessons learned. The findings further suggest that real-life adoption of LLS can lead to the successful management of construction projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
JournalThe journal for education in the built environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Construction Projects
  • Knowledge Management
  • Lessons Learned System
  • Organizational Learning

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