Pause and Learn
Holding a PaL helps teams members reflect on their experiences and articulate their own lessons learned. It is a process for individual reflection, learning and sharing at the work group level.
What is a PaL?
A Pause and Learn (PaL) session is a time for reflecting among fellow team members. A PaL session tends to focus on recent events. It is simple to implement and requires a small time commitment. Usually a facilitator from outside the team is brought in to guide the discussion over a period of one or two hours. The primary benefit of the session is the participants' own learning and reflection. Reports are not required and the environment is one of non-attribution.
Why Pause and Learn?
The PaL is a proven way to facilitate team learning during missions. It helps to bridge the gap between individual learning and team learning. The PaL methodology is adapted from the Army’s After-Action-Review (AAR). However, rather than being conducted at the end of a project or mission, PaL sessions are conducted throughout the project life cycle.
Who is implementing PaLs at NASA?
The practice was initially implemented within Goddard from the OCKO. Other NASA centers and offices have now adopted it as well including ESMD.
If you would like help getting started, holding a PaL or getting some basic training on the process please contact the Goddard OCKO at 301 286 4467.
- Pause and Learn Brochure
- Ed Rogers & John Milam, “Pausing for Learning: Applying the After Action Review Process at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,” IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings, March 7-12, 2005.
- Ed Rogers, “Introducing the Pause and Learn (PaL) Process: Adapting the Army After Action Review Process to the NASA Project World at the Goddard Space Flight Center,” Revised June 8, 2006.
- U.S. Army Combined Command, “A Leader’s Guide to After-Action-Review,” Training Circular 25-20, 1993.