Once again Ackoff provides great ideas:
Page 4 and 5 explore the method to effectively learn from decisions the organization makes. The idea seem simple but they are powerful.
something. This record should include the following information:
Ã The justification for the decision including its expected effects and the
time by which they are expected...
Ã The assumptions on which the expectations are based...
Ã The information, knowledge, and understanding that went into the
Ã Who made the decision, how it was made, and when...
The decision should be monitored to determine whether the expectations are
being met and the assumptions on which they are based remain valid.
When a deviation is found in either the assumptions or expectations, it should
be diagnosed, the cause determined and corrective action prescribed and
The corrective action is itself the result of a decision. A record of this decision
should be made and treated as the original decision. In this way the process
can not only yield learning but also learning how to learn.
A record of the entire process (all four steps) should be made and stored for
easy access by those who may later be confronted by the need to make a
similar type of decision.
More articles and books by Russell Ackoff
Theory of Knowledge