OPEXShare: A New Lessons Learned Website for SLAC

July 20, 2015

SLAC’s Contractor and Quality Assurance (CQA) team is unveiling a new lessons-learned website, which is designed to capture and share lessons people learn from their experiences working at the laboratory and across the DOE complex. The goal is to avoid repeating past problems, anticipate undesirable consequences so they can be mitigated or avoided, replicate best practices and improve work processes.

OPEXShare replaces the previous SLAC lessons-learned system, which was shared with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. It is a searchable database that contains experiences and lessons learned from SLAC operations, other DOE laboratories and private industry, including nuclear power and oil and gas operations.

“Having an effective lessons-learned system is an important element of our SLAC contractor assurance program, because learning from the experiences of others is often preferable to having to learn lessons on our own,” said Marc Clay, SLAC contractor assurance manager. “OPEXShare has great advantages. It’s easy to use, it can be tailored to the needs of individual users and it offers an extensive collection of information that is applicable to a broad audience.”

Brookhaven, Idaho and Oak Ridge national laboratories are also using the site, which currently contains approximately 3,500 articles and videos regarding best practices, operational experiences, current report summaries, government reports, statistics and more. Topics range from ergonomics, health and wellness to vehicle, electrical, biological, chemical and nuclear safety.

“The emphasis of this program is about learning from every avenue,” Clay said. “Everyone at SLAC can use this information in some capacity, and we expect the new site to attract more users and readers and trigger more discussion about lessons we are gaining and sharing.”

The simple, quick registration and subscription process asks users to choose topics that are relevant to their jobs and specify how frequently they want to receive information.

“OPEXShare contains a wealth of information that can be tailored so that it’s most beneficial to the user.”  Clay said. “It allows for subscriptions to specific areas of interest, such as electrical safety, or general topic areas, such as operations or project management. The user can also choose how often to receive information, such as once per month, or as often as an article in their area of interest is published.”

SLAC employees are encouraged to submit lessons learned suggestions, information or videos they believe would be beneficial to SLAC or the DOE complex. All submissions are welcome and do not require a particular format. As the OPEXShare system administrators for SLAC, the CQA team reviews submissions and works with individuals to develop a summary and then publish the content.

SLAC staff can contact the CQA team for more information or to set up a training or briefing session to learn how they can best use the system.