Debriefing is The systemic process of (self) reflection and evaluation of knowledge created by individuals or teams in exercising their work/tasks. Source: National approaches and strategies for Nuclear Knowledge Management
Debriefing is the systemic process of (self) reflection and evaluation of knowledge created by individuals or teams in exercising their work/tasks. Through reflection selected issues or events are scrutinized leading to discovery and identification of critical, largely implicit knowledge. By evaluation the identified knowledge is put into the related business context and considered and assessed regarding its relevance and value for future business — be in decision making, direct action or (strategic) planning.
At debriefing Knowledge Manager moderates and leads the interview/discussion. It starts with introduction of participants (if applicable) and of debriefing subject by the debriefed. Participants scrutinize what they consider necessary. Emphasis of the discussion lies on e.g. discrepancies from planning, problems evolved, description of problem solving, lessons learned, advice to colleagues, ideas for improvement. The Knowledge Manager records the interview and discussion results in writing and summarizes the key experience, lessons learned, ideas of improvement etc. captured during the interview. Goal of debriefing is:
- Make transparent and keep up-to-date skills and experience of people/experts;
- Enable and speed up learning from good/best practices and failures;
- Enlarge the problem solving competence of individuals and the organization;
- Improve quality, safety and efficiency of work thus adding value to business.
Example for realization of debriefing at selected points of the core processes to retain, preserve and develop critical knowledge of the company.
- People joining the company should be debriefed regarding their education, skills, competencies and experiences in relevant knowledge areas;
- People leaving the company should be obliged to undertake a debriefing in order to retain critical knowledge and to minimize know-how loss;
- People getting retired should be extensively debriefed according to their immense experiences accumulated during their professional life. Ideally availability after retirement should be ensured for further debriefings if needed;
- Large projects and projects of little routine, e.g. significant modification of facilities, components and/or procedures should be generally debriefed, also if they are under full responsibility of contractors in order to retain and preserve the knowledge and experience for the company;
- Critical sub-processes e.g. in fuel elements handling, waste management, waste water processing and handling etc. should be debriefed periodically since there a lot of experience and tacit knowledge is created which — if discovered and shared appropriately — significantly saves time in future operation and makes processes safer and more effective.