5-9 Share Lessons Learned

Sharing lessons learned regarding the purchase process is a mechanism for the transfer of knowledge among members of the purchase⁄SCM team and supplier. A lesson learned is not past performance information like that discussed in Section 2-22, Prequalify Suppliers. It is a function of project closeout and is an ongoing discussion among the parties to the purchase to determine what was successful and what could have been improved. Lessons learned can be extended to anyone within the Postal Service who will gain value from the experiences of parties to, and administrators of, a contract. Because effective relationships between the Postal Service and the supplier are central to the success of a purchase, partnerships and collaboration should be fostered to achieve mutual goals. In sharing lessons learned and by communicating useful information regarding both successful and unsuccessful endeavors, efforts, problems, and accomplishments are identified, resolved, and⁄or propagated. Effective contribution to the lessons learned forum results from clear and concise communication.

Whether lessons learned should be shared is the decision of the purchase⁄SCM team. Factors that should be considered are the overall effectiveness or lack thereof of the contract, whether the purchase furthered or hindered a major Postal Service program, whether the purchase⁄SCM team employed any innovative purchase practice and the extent of which those purchase practices were successful or unsuccessful, and any other pertinent facts the purchase⁄SCM team feels would benefit other purchase⁄SCM teams.

The main forum for sharing lessons learned is a postcontract performance workshop, facilitated by the CO, which is attended by the purchase⁄SCM team and pertinent representatives from the supplier. The results of the workshop should be posted on the Postal Service intranet knowledge site so that the lessons learned can be perpetually accessed and shared. Sharing lessons learned is the foundation for the topics associated with the Manage the Supplier Relationship task of USPS Supplying Practices Process Step 5: Measure and Manage Supply.

Sharing lessons learned is the circulation and transfer of helpful knowledge in an open and descriptive environment and requires: