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Mitigate Key IT Employee Knowledge Loss

Transfer IT knowledge before it’s gone.

Seventy-four percent of organizations do not have a formal process for capturing and retaining knowledge - which, when lost, results in decreased productivity, increased risk, and money out the door.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Seventy-four percent of organizations do not have a formal process for capturing and retaining knowledge – which, when lost, results in decreased productivity, increased risk, and money out the door. It’s estimated that Fortune 500 companies lose approximately $31.5 billion each year by failing to share knowledge.
  • Don’t follow a one-size-fits-all approach to knowledge transfer strategy! Right-size your approach based on your business goals.
  • Prioritize knowledge transfer candidates based on their likelihood of departure and the impact of losing that knowledge.
  • Select knowledge transfer tactics based on the type of knowledge that needs to be captured – explicit or tacit.

Impact and Result

Successful completion of the IT knowledge transfer project will result in the following outcomes:

  1. Approval for IT knowledge transfer project obtained.
  2. Knowledge and stakeholder risks identified.
  3. Effective knowledge transfer plans built.
  4. Knowledge transfer roadmap built.
  5. Knowledge transfer roadmap communicated and approval obtained.

Mitigate Key IT Employee Knowledge Loss Research & Tools

1. Mitigate Key IT Employee Knowledge Loss Deck – A step-by-step document that walks you through how to transfer knowledge on your team to mitigate risks from employees leaving the organization.

Minimize risk and IT costs resulting from attrition through effective knowledge transfer.

This blueprint will help you identify your knowledge risks and build a plan to transfer that knowledge before it’s gone.

2. Project Stakeholder Register Template – A template to help you identify and document project management stakeholders.

Use this template to document the knowledge transfer stakeholder power map by identifying the stakeholder’s name and role, and identifying their position on the power map.

3. IT Knowledge Transfer Project Charter Template – Define your project and lay the foundation for subsequent knowledge transfer project planning

Use this template to communicate the value and rationale for knowledge transfer to key stakeholders.

4. IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool – Identify the risk profile of knowledge sources and the knowledge they have

Use this tool to identify and assess the knowledge and individual risk of key knowledge holders.

5. IT Knowledge Transfer Plan Template – A template to help you determine the most effective knowledge transfer tactics to be used for each knowledge source by listing knowledge sources and their knowledge, identifying type of knowledge to be transferred and choosing tactics that are appropriate for the knowledge type

Use this template to track knowledge activities, intended recipients of knowledge, and appropriate transfer tactics for each knowledge source.

6. IT Knowledge Identification Interview Guide Template – A template that provides a framework to conduct interviews with knowledge sources, including comprehensive questions that cover what type of knowledge a knowledge source has and how unique the knowledge is

Use this template as a starting point for managers to interview knowledge sources to extract information about the type of knowledge the source has.

7. IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap Presentation Template – A presentation template that provides a vehicle used to communicate IT knowledge transfer recommendations to stakeholders to gain buy-in

Use this template as a starting point to build your proposed IT knowledge transfer roadmap presentation to management to obtain formal sign-off and initiate the next steps in the process.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

9.0/10


Overall Impact

$12,086


Average $ Saved

10


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Canada Border Services Agency

Workshop

10/10

$25,000

23

eGov Jamaica Ltd.

Guided Implementation

8/10

$1,259

5

Saskatchewan Blue Cross

Guided Implementation

9/10

$10,000

2


Knowledge Management

66 million Baby Boomers are set to retire and they're taking 50+ years of knowledge with them.
This course makes up part of the People & Resources Certificate.

Now Playing: Academy: Knowledge Management | Executive Brief

An active membership is required to access Info-Tech Academy
  • Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Completion Time: 2-2.5 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Carlene McCubbin, Sr. Research Manager, CIO Practice
  • James Alexander, SVP of Research and Advisory, CIO Practice

Workshop: Mitigate Key IT Employee Knowledge Loss

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.


Mitigate Key IT Employee Knowledge Loss

Transfer IT knowledge before it’s gone.

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

Common Obstacles

Info-Tech’s Approach

Seventy-four percent of organizations do not have a formal process for capturing and retaining knowledge1 which, when lost, results in decreased productivity, increased risk, and money out the door. You need to:

  • Build a strategic roadmap to retain and share knowledge.
  • Build a knowledge transfer strategy based on your organization’s business goals.
  • Increase departmental efficiencies through increased collaboration.
  • Retain key IT knowledge
  • Improve junior employee engagement by creating development opportunities.
  • Don’t follow a one-size fits all approach. Right-size your approach based on your organizational goals.
  • Prioritize knowledge transfer candidates based on their likelihood of departure and the impact of losing that knowledge.
  • What you’re transferring impacts how you should transfer it. Select knowledge transfer tactics based on the type of knowledge that needs to be captured – explicit or tacit.

Our client-tested methodology and project steps allow you to tailor your knowledge transfer plan to any size of organization, across industries. Successful completion of the IT knowledge transfer project will result in the following outcomes:

  • Approval for IT knowledge transfer project obtained.
  • Knowledge and stakeholder risks identified.
  • Effective knowledge transfer plans built.
  • Knowledge transfer roadmap built.
  • Knowledge transfer roadmap communicated.

Info-Tech Insight

Seventy-four percent of organizations do not have a formal process for capturing and retaining knowledge which, when lost, results in decreased productivity, increased risk, and money out the door.1

1 McLean & Company, 2016, N=120

Stop your knowledge from walking out the door

Today, the value of an organization has less to do with its fixed assets and more to do with its intangible assets. Intangible assets include patents, research and development, business processes and software, employee training, and employee knowledge and capability.

People (and their knowledge and capabilities) are an organization’s competitive advantage and with the baby boomer retirement looming, organizations need to invest in capturing employee knowledge before the employees leave. Losing employees in key roles without adequate preparation for their departure has a direct impact on the bottom line in terms of disrupted productivity, severed relationships, and missed opportunities.

Knowledge Transfer (KT) is the process and tactics by which intangible assets – expertise, knowledge, and capabilities – are transferred from one stakeholder to another. A well-devised knowledge transfer plan will mitigate the risk of knowledge loss, yet as many as 74%2 of organizations have no formal approach to KT – and it’s costing them money, reputation, and time.

84%of all enterprise value on the S&P 500 is intangibles.3

$31.5 billion lost annually by Fortune 500 companies failing to share knowledge. 1

74% of organizations have no formal process for facilitating knowledge transfer. 2

1 Shedding Light on Knowledge Management, 2004, p. 46

2 McLean & Company, 2016, N=120

3 Visual Capitalists, 2020

Losing knowledge will undermine your organization’s strategy in four ways

In a worst-case scenario, key employees leaving will result in the loss of valuable knowledge, core business relationships, and profits.

1

Inefficiency due to “reinvention of the wheel.” When older workers leave and don’t effectively transfer their knowledge, younger generations duplicate effort to solve problems and find solutions.

2

Loss of competitive advantage. What and who you know is a tremendous source of competitive edge. Losing knowledge and/or established client relationships hurts your asset base and stifles growth, especially in terms of proprietary or unique knowledge.

3

Reduced capacity to innovate. Older workers know what works and what doesn’t, as well as what’s new and what’s not. They can identify the status quo faster, to make way for novel thinking.

4

Increased vulnerability. One thing that comes with knowledge is a deeper understanding of risk. Losing knowledge can impede your organizational ability to identify, understand, and mitigate risks. You’ll have to learn through experience all over again.

Are you part of the 74% of organizations with no knowledge transfer planning in place? Can you afford not to have it?

Consider this:

55-60

67%

78%

$14k / minute

the average age of mainframe workers – making close to 50% of workers over 60.2

of Fortune 100 companies still use mainframes3 requiring. specialized skills and knowledge

of CIOs report mainframe applications will remain a key asset in the next decade.1

is the cost of mainframe outages for an average enterprise.1

A system failure to a mainframe could be disastrous for organizations that haven’t effectively transferred key knowledge. Now think past the mainframe to key processes, customer/vendor relationships, legal requirements, home grown solutions etc. in your organization.

What would knowledge loss cost you in terms of financial and reputational loss?

Source: 1 Big Tech Problem as Mainframes Outlast Workforce

Source: 2 IT's most wanted: Mainframe programmers

Source: 3The State of the Mainframe, 2022

Case Study

Insurance organization fails to mitigate risk of employee departure and incurs costly consequences – in the millions

INDUSTRY: Insurance

SOURCE: ITRG Member

Challenge

Solution

Results

  • A rapidly growing organization's key Senior System Architect unexpectedly fell ill and needed to leave the organization.
  • This individual had been with the organization for more than 25 years and was the primary person in IT responsible for several mission-critical systems.
  • Following this individual’s departure, one of the systems unexpectedly went down.
  • As this individual had always been the go-to person for the system, and issues were few and far between, no one had thought to document key system elements and no knowledge transfer had taken place.
  • The failed system cost the organization more than a million dollars in lost revenue.
  • The organization needed to hire a forensic development team to reverse engineer the system.
  • This cost the organization another $200k in consulting fees plus the additional cost of training existing employees on a system which they had originally been hoping to upgrade.

Forward thinking organizations use knowledge transfer not only to avoid risks, but to drive IT innovation

IT knowledge transfer is a process that, at its most basic level, ensures that essential IT knowledge and capabilities don’t leave the organization – and at its most sophisticated level, drives innovation and customer service by leveraging knowledge assets.

Knowledge Transfer Risks:

Knowledge Transfer Opportunities:

✗ Increased training and development costs when key stakeholders leave the organization.

✗ Decreased efficiency through long development cycles.

✗ Late projects that tie up IT resources longer than planned, and cost overruns that come out of the IT budget.

✗ Lost relationships with key stakeholders within and outside the organization.

✗ Inconsistent project/task execution, leading to inconsistent outcomes.

✗ IT losing its credibility due to system or project failure from lost information.

✗ Customer dissatisfaction from inconsistent service.

✓ Mitigated risks and costs from talent leaving the organization.

✓ Business continuity through redundancies preventing service interruptions and project delays.

✓ Operational efficiency through increased productivity by never having to start projects from scratch.

✓ Increased engagement from junior staff through development planning.

✓ Innovation by capitalizing on collective knowledge.

✓ Increased ability to adapt to change and save time-to-market.

✓ IT teams that drive process improvement and improved execution.

Common obstacles

In building your knowledge transfer roadmap, the size of your organization can present unique challenges

How you build your knowledge transfer roadmap will not change drastically based on the size of your organization; however, the scope of your initiative, tactics you employ, and your communication plan for knowledge transfer may change.


How knowledge transfer projects vary by organization size:

Small Organization

Medium Organization

Large Organization

Project Opportunities

✓ Project scope is much more manageable.

✓ Communication and planning can be more manageable.

✓ Fewer knowledge sources and receivers can clarify prioritization needs.

✓ Project scope is more manageable.

✓ Moderate budget for knowledge transfer activities.

✓ Communication and enforcement is easier.

✓ Budget available to knowledge transfer initiatives.

✓ In-house expertise may be available.

Project Risks

✗ Limited resources for the project.

✗ In-house expertise is unlikely.

✗ Knowledge transfer may be informal and not documented.

✗ Limited overlap in responsibilities, resulting in fewer redundancies.

✗ Limited staff with knowledge transfer experience for the project.

✗ Knowledge assets are less likely to be documented.

✗ Knowledge transfer may be a lower priority and difficult to generate buy-in.

✗ More staff to manage knowledge transfer for, and much larger scope for the project.

✗ Impact of poor knowledge transfer can result in much higher costs.

✗Geographically dispersed business units make collaboration and communication difficult.

✗ Vast amounts of historical knowledge to capture.

Capture both explicit and tacit knowledge

Explicit

Tacit

  • “What knowledge” – knowledge can be articulated, codified, and easily communicated.
  • Easily explained and captured – documents, memos, speeches, books, manuals, process diagrams, facts, etc.
  • Learn through reading or being told.
  • “How knowledge” – intangible knowledge from an individual’s experience that is more from the process of learning, understanding, and applying information (insights, judgments, and intuition).
  • Hard to verbalize, and difficult to capture and quantify.
  • Learn through observation, imitation, and practice.

Types of explicit knowledge

Types of tacit knowledge

Information

  • Specialized technical knowledge.
  • Unique design capabilities/ methods/ models.
  • Legacy systems, details, passwords.
  • Special formulas/algorithms/ techniques/contacts.

Process

  • Specialized research and development processes.
  • Proprietary production processes.
  • Decision-making processes.
  • Legacy systems.
  • Variations from documented processes.

Skills

  • Techniques for executing on processes.
  • Relationship management.
  • Competencies built through deliberate practice enabling someone to act effectively.

Expertise

  • Company history and values.
  • Relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Tips and tricks.
  • Competitor history and differentiators.

Examples: reading music, building a bike, knowing the alphabet, watching a YouTube video on karate.

Examples: playing the piano, riding a bike, reading or speaking a language, earning a black belt in karate.

Knowledge transfer is not a one-size-fits-all project

The image contains a picture of Info-Tech's Knowledge Transfer Maturity Model. Level 0: Accidental, goal is not prioritized. Level 1: Stabilize, goal is risk mitigation. Level 2: Proactive, goal is operational efficiency. Level 3: Knowledge Culture, goal is innovation & customer service.

No formal knowledge transfer program exists; knowledge transfer is ad hoc, or may be conducted through an exit interview only.

74% of organizations are at level 0.1

At level one, knowledge transfer is focused around ensuring that high risk, explicit knowledge is covered for all high-risk stakeholders.

Organizations have knowledge transfer plans for all high-risk knowledge to ensure redundancies exist and leverage this to drive process improvements, effectiveness, and employee engagement.

Increase end-user satisfaction and create a knowledge value center by leveraging the collective knowledge to solve repeat customer issues and drive new product innovation.

1 Source: McLean & Company, 2016, N=120

Assess your fit for this blueprint by considering the following statements

I’m an IT Leader who…

Stabilize

…has witnessed that new employees have recently left or are preparing to leave the organization, and worries that we don’t have their knowledge captured anywhere.

…previously had to cut down our IT department, and as a result there is a lack of redundancy for tasks. If someone leaves, we don’t have the information we need to continue operating effectively.

…is worried that the IT department has no succession planning in place and that we’re opening ourselves up to risk.

Proactive

…feels like we are losing productivity because the same problems are being solved differently multiple times.

…worries that different employees have unique knowledge which is critical to performance and that they are the only ones who know about it.

…has noticed that the processes people are using are different from the ones that are written down.

…feels like the IT department is constantly starting projects from scratch, and employees aren’t leveraging each other’s information, which is causing inefficiencies.

…feels like new employees take too long to get up to speed.

…knows that we have undocumented systems and more are being built each day.

Knowledge Culture

…feels like we’re losing out on opportunities to innovate because we’re not sharing information, learning from others’ mistakes, or capitalizing on their successes.

…notices that staff don’t have a platform to share information on a regular basis, and believes if we brought that information together, we would be able to improve customer service and drive product innovation.

…wants to create a culture where employees are valued for their competencies and motivated to learn.

…values knowledge and the contributions of my team.

This blueprint can help you build a roadmap to resolve each of these pain points. However, not all organizations need to have a knowledge culture. In the next section, we will walk you through the steps of selecting your target maturity model based on your knowledge goals.

Case Study

Siemens builds a knowledge culture to drive customer service improvements and increases sales by $122 million

INDUSTRY: Electronics Engineering

SOURCE: KM Best Practices

Challenge

Solution

Results

  • As a large electronics and engineering global company, Siemens was facing increased global competition.
  • There was an emphasized need for agility and specialized knowledge to remain competitive.
  • The new company strategy to address competitive forces focused on becoming a knowledge enterprise and improving knowledge-sharing processes.
  • New leadership roles were created to develop a knowledge management culture.
  • “Communities of practice” were created with the goal of “connecting people to people” by allowing them to share best practices and information across departments.
  • An internal information-sharing program was launched that combined chat, database, and search engine capabilities for 12,000 employees.
  • Employees were able to better focus on customer needs based on offering services and products with high knowledge content.
  • With the improved customer focus, sales increased by $122 million and there was a return of $10-$20 per dollar spent on investment in the communities of practice.

Info-Tech’s approach

Five steps to future-proof your IT team

The five steps are in a cycle. The five steps are: Obtain approval for IT knowledge transfer project, Identify your  knowledge and stakeholder risks, Build knowledge transfer plans, Build your knowledge transfer roadmap, Communicate your knowledge transfer roadmap to stakeholders.

The Info-Tech difference:

  1. Successfully build a knowledge transfer roadmap based on your goals, no matter what market segment or size of business.
  2. Increase departmental efficiencies through increased collaboration.
  3. Retain key IT knowledge.
  4. Improve junior employee engagement by creating development opportunities.

Use Info-Tech tools and templates

Project outcomes

1. Approval for IT knowledge transfer project obtained

2. Knowledge and stakeholder risks identified

3. Tactics for individuals’ knowledge transfer identified

4. Knowledge transfer roadmap built

5. Knowledge transfer roadmap approved

Info-Tech tools and templates to help you complete your project deliverables

Project Stakeholder Register Template

IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool

IT Knowledge Identification Interview Guide Template

Project Planning and Monitoring Tool

IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap Presentation Template

IT Knowledge Transfer Project Charter Template

IT Knowledge Transfer Plan Template

Your completed project deliverables

IT Knowledge Transfer Plans

IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap Presentation

IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap

Info-Tech’s methodology to mitigate key IT employee knowledge loss

1. Initiate

2. Design

3. Implement

Phase Steps

  1. Obtain approval for IT knowledge transfer project.
  2. Identify your knowledge and stakeholder risks.
  1. Build knowledge transfer plans.
  2. Build your knowledge transfer roadmap.
  1. Communicate your knowledge transfer roadmap to stakeholders.

Phase Outcomes

  • Approval for IT knowledge transfer project obtained.
  • Knowledge and stakeholder risks identified.
  • IT knowledge transfer project charter created.
  • Tactics for individuals’ knowledge transfer identified.
  • Knowledge transfer roadmap built.
  • IT knowledge transfer plans established.
  • IT Knowledge transfer roadmap presented.
  • Knowledge transfer roadmap approved.

Blueprint deliverables

Each step of this blueprint is accompanied by supporting deliverables to help you accomplish your goals:

IT Knowledge Transfer Project Charter

Establish a clear project scope, decision rights, and executive sponsorship for the project.

The image contains a screenshot of the IT Knowledge Transfer Project Charter.

IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool

Identify and assess the knowledge and individual risk of key knowledge holders.

The image contains a screenshot of the IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool.

IT Knowledge Identification Interview Guide

Extract information about the type of knowledge sources have.

The image contains a screenshot of the IT Knowledge Identification Interview Guide.

IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap Presentation

Communicate IT knowledge transfer recommendations to stakeholders to gain buy-in.

The image contains a screenshot of the IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap Presentation.

Key deliverable:

IT Knowledge Transfer Plan

Track knowledge activities, intended recipients, and appropriate transfer tactics for each knowledge source.

The image contains a screenshot of the IT Knowledge Transfer Plan.

Blueprint benefits

IT Benefits

Business Benefits

  • Business continuity through redundancies preventing service interruptions and project delays.
  • Operational efficiency through increased productivity by never having to start projects from scratch.
  • Increased engagement from junior staff through development planning.
  • IT teams that drive process improvement and improved execution.
  • Mitigated risks and costs from talent leaving the organization.
  • Innovation by capitalizing on collective knowledge.
  • Increased ability to adapt to change and save time-to-market.

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

“ Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful.”

Guided Implementation

“Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track.”

Workshop

“We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place.”

Consulting

“Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project.”

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Guided Implementation

What does a typical GI on this topic look like?

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

Call #1: Structure the project. Discuss transfer maturity goal and metrics.

Call #2: Build knowledge transfer plans.

Call #3: Identify priorities & review risk assessment tool.

Call #4: Build knowledge transfer roadmap. Determine logistics of implementation.

Call #5: Determine logistics of implementation.

A Guided Implementation (GI) is a series of calls with an Info-Tech analyst to help implement our best practices in your organization. A typical GI is five to six calls.

Workshop Overview

Contact your account representative for more information.
workshops@infotech.com 1-888-670-8889

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Define the Current and Target State

Identify Knowledge Priorities

Build Knowledge Transfer Plans

Define the Knowledge Transfer Roadmap

Next Steps and
Wrap-Up (offsite)

Activities

1.1 Have knowledge transfer fireside chat.

1.2 Identify current and target maturity.

1.3 Identify knowledge transfer metrics

1.4 Identify knowledge transfer project stakeholders

2.1 Identify your knowledge sources.

2.2 Complete a knowledge risk assessment.

2.3 Identify knowledge sources’ level of knowledge risk.

3.1 Build an interview guide.

3.2 Interview knowledge holders.

4.1 Prioritize the sequence of initiatives.

4.2 Complete the project roadmap.

4.3 Prepare communication presentation.

5.1 Complete in-progress deliverables from previous four days.

5.2 Set up review time for workshop deliverables and to discuss next steps.

Deliverables

  1. Organizational benefits and current pain points of knowledge transfer.
  2. Identification of target state of maturity.
  3. Metrics for knowledge transfer.
  4. Project stakeholder register.
  1. List of high risk knowledge sources.
  2. Departure analysis.
  3. Knowledge risk analysis.
  1. Knowledge transfer interview guide.
  2. Itemized knowledge assets.
  1. Prioritized sequence based on target state maturity goals.
  2. Project roadmap.
  3. Communication deck.

Phase #1

Initiate your IT knowledge transfer project

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

1.1 Obtain approval for project

1.2 Identify knowledge and stakeholder risks

2.1 Build knowledge transfer plans

2.2 Build knowledge transfer roadmap

3.1 Communicate your roadmap

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Hold a working session with key stakeholders.
  • Identify your current state of maturity for knowledge transfer.
  • Identify your target state of maturity for knowledge transfer.
  • Define key knowledge transfer metrics.
  • Identify your project team and their responsibilities.
  • Build the project charter and obtain approval.

This phase involves the following participants:

  • IT Leadership
  • Other key stakeholders

Step 1.1

Obtain Approval for Your IT Knowledge Transfer Project

Activities

1.1.1 Hold a Working Session With Key Stakeholders

1.1.2 Conduct a Current and Target State Analysis.

1.1.3 Identify Key Metrics

1.1.4 Identify Your Project Team

1.1.5 Populate an RACI

1.1.6 Build the Project Charter and Obtain Approval

Initiate Your IT Knowledge Transfer Project

The primary goal of this section is to gain a thorough understanding of the reasons why your organization should invest in knowledge transfer and to identify the specific challenges to address.

Outcomes of this step

Organizational benefits and current pain points of knowledge transfer

Hold a working session with the key stakeholders to structure the project

Don’t build your project charter in a vacuum. Involve key stakeholders to determine the desired knowledge transfer goals, target maturity and KPIs, and ultimately build the project charter.

Building the project charter as a group will help you to clarify your key messages and help secure buy-in from critical stakeholders up-front, which is key.

In order to execute on the knowledge transfer project, you will need significant involvement from your IT leadership team. The trouble is that knowledge transfer can be inherently stressful for employees as it can cause concerns around job security. Members of your IT leadership team will also be individuals who need to participate in knowledge transfer, so get them involved upfront. The working session will help stakeholders feel more engaged in the project, which is pivotal for success.

You may feel like a full project charter isn’t necessary, and depending on your organizational size, it might not be. However, the exercise of building the charter is important regardless. No matter your current climate, some level of socializing the value and plans for knowledge transfer will be necessary.

Meeting Agenda

  1. Short project introduction
  2. Led by: Project Sponsor

    • Why the project was initiated.
  3. Make the case for the project
  4. Led by: Project Manager

    • Current state: What project does the project address?
    • Future state: What is our target state of maturity?
  5. Success criteria
  6. Led by: Project Manager

    • How will success be measured?
  7. Define the project team
  8. Led by: Project Manager

    • Description of planned project approach.
    • Stakeholder assessment.
    • What is required of the sponsor and stakeholders?
  9. Determine next steps
  10. Led by: Project Manager

1.1.1 Key Stakeholder Working Session

Identify the pain points you’re experiencing with knowledge transfer and some of the benefits which you’d like to see from a program to determine the key objectives By doing so, you’ll get a holistic view of what you need to achieve.

Collect this information by:

  1. Asking the working group participants (as a whole or in smaller groups) to discuss pain points created by ineffective knowledge transfer practices.
    • Challenges related to stakeholders.
    • Challenges created by process issues.
    • Issues achieving the intended outcome due to ineffective knowledge transfer.
    • Difficulties improving knowledge transfer practices.
  2. Discussing opportunities to be gained from improving these practices.
  3. Having participants write these down on sticky notes and place them on a whiteboard or flip chart.
  4. Reviewing all the points as a group and grouping challenges and benefits into themes.
  5. Having the group prioritize the risks and benefits in terms of what the solution “must have,” “should have,” “could have,” and “won’t have.”
  6. Documenting this in the IT Knowledge Transfer Charter template.
Input Output
  • Reasons for the project
  • Stakeholder requirements
  • Pain point and risks
  • Identified next steps
  • Target state
  • Completed IT Knowledge Transfer Charter
Materials Participants
  • Agenda (see previous slide)
  • Sticky notes (optional)
  • Pens (optional)
  • Whiteboard (optional
  • Markers (optional)
  • IT leadership

Examples of Possible Pain Points

  • Employees have recently left or are preparing to leave the organization, and we worry that we don’t have their knowledge captured anywhere.
  • We previously had to cut down our IT department, and as a result there is a lack of redundancy for tasks. If someone leaves, we don’t have the information we need to continue operating effectively.
  • We’re worried that the IT department has no succession planning in place and that we’re opening ourselves up to risk.
  • It feels like we are losing productivity because the same problems are being solved multiple times, differently.
  • We’re worried that different employees have unique knowledge which is critical to performance, and that they are the only ones who know about it.
  • We’ve noticed that the processes people are using are different from the ones that are written down.
  • It feels like the IT department is constantly starting projects from scratch and employees aren’t leveraging each other’s information, which is causing inefficiencies.
  • It feels like new employees take too long to get up to speed.
  • We know that we have undocumented systems and more are being built each day.
  • We feel like we’re losing out on opportunities to innovate because we’re not sharing information, learning from others’ mistakes, or capitalizing on their successes.
  • We’ve noticed that staff don’t have a platform to share information on a regular basis. We believe if we brought that information together, we would be better able to improve customer service and drive product innovation.
  • We want to create a culture where employees are valued for their competencies and motivated to learn.
  • We value knowledge and the contributions of our team.

1.1.2 Conduct a Current and Target State Analysis

Identify your current and target state of maturity

How to determine your current and target state of maturity:

  1. Provide the previous two slides with the details of the maturity assessment to the group, to review.
  2. Ask each participant to individually determine what they think is the IT team’s current state of maturity. After a few minutes, discuss as a group and come to an agreement.
  3. Review each of the benefits and timing for each of the maturity levels. Compare the benefits listed to those that you named in the previous exercise and determine which maturity level best describes your target state.
  4. Discuss as a group and agree on one maturity level.
  5. Review the other levels of maturity and determine what is in and out of scope for the project (hint: higher level benefits would be considered out of scope). Document this in the IT Knowledge Transfer Project Charter template.
Input Output
  • Knowledge Transfer Maturity Level charts
  • Target maturity level documented in the IT Knowledge Transfer Charter
Materials Participants
  • Paper and pens
  • Handouts of maturity levels
  • IT Leadership Team

IT Knowledge Transfer Project Charter Template

Info-Tech’s Knowledge Transfer Maturity Model

Depending on the level of maturity you are trying to achieve, a knowledge transfer project could take weeks, months, or even years. Your maturity level depends on the business goal you would like to achieve, and impacts who and what your roadmap targets.

The image contains a picture of Info-Tech's Knowledge Transfer Maturity Model. Level 0: Accidental, goal is not prioritized. Level 1: Stabilize, goal is risk mitigation. Level 2: Proactive, goal is operational efficiency. Level 3: Knowledge Culture, goal is innovation & customer service.

Info-Tech Insight

The maturity levels build on one another; if you start with a project, it is possible to move from a level 0 to a level 1, and once the project is complete, you can advance to a level 2 or 3. However, it’s important to set clear boundaries upfront to limit scope creep, and it’s important to set appropriate expectations for what the project will deliver.

Knowledge Transfer Maturity Level: Accidental and Stabilize

Goal

Description

Time to implement

Benefits

Level 0: Accidental

Not Prioritized

  • No knowledge transfer process is present.
  • Knowledge transfer is completed in an ad hoc manner.
  • Some transfer may take place through exit interviews.

N/A

  • Simple to implement and maintain.

Level 1: Stabilize

Risk Mitigation

At level one, knowledge transfer is focused around ensuring that redundancies exist for explicit knowledge for:

  1. ALL high-risk knowledge.
  2. ALL high-risk stakeholders.

Your high-risk knowledge is any information which is proprietary, unique, or specialized.

High risk stakeholders are those individuals who are at a higher likelihood of departing the organization due to retirement or disengagement.

0 – 6 months

  • Mitigates risks from talent leaving the organization.
  • Ensures business continuity through redundancies.
  • Provides stability to sustain high-performing services, and mitigates risks from service interruptions.

Knowledge Transfer Maturity Level: Proactive and Knowledge Culture

Goal

Description

Time to implement

Benefits

Level 2: Proactive

Operational Efficiency

Level 2 extends Level 1.

Once stabilized, you can work on KT initiatives that allow you to be more proactive and cover high risk knowledge that may not be held by those see as high risk individuals.

Knowledge transfer plans must exist for ALL high risk knowledge.

3m – 1yr

  • Enhances productivity by reducing need to start projects from scratch.
  • Increases efficiency by tweaking existing processes with best practices.
  • Sees new employees become productive more quickly through targeted development planning.
  • Increases chance that employees will stay at the organization longer, if they can see growth opportunities.
  • Streamlines efficiencies by eliminating redundant or unnecessary processes.

Level 3: Knowledge Culture

Drive Innovation Through Knowledge

Level 3 extends Level 2.

  • Knowledge Transfer covers explicit and tacit information throughout the IT organization.
  • The program should be integrated with leadership development and talent management.
  • Key metrics should be tied to process improvement, innovation, and customer service.

1-2 years

  • Increases end-user satisfaction by leveraging the collective knowledge to solve repeat customer issues.
  • Drives product innovation through collaboration.
  • Increases employee engagement by recognizing and rewarding knowledge sharing.
  • Increases your ability to adapt to change and save time-to-market through increased learning.
  • Enables the development of new ideas through iteration.
  • Supports faster access to knowledge.

Select project-specific KPIs

Use the selected KPIs to track the value of knowledge transfer

You need to ensure your knowledge transfer initiatives are having the desired effect and adjust course when necessary. Establishing an upfront list of key performance indicators that will be benchmarked and tracked is a crucial step.

Many organizations overlook the creation of KPIs for knowledge transfer because the benefits are often one step removed from the knowledge transfer itself. However, there are several metrics you can use to measure success.

Hint: Metrics will vary based on your knowledge transfer maturity goals.

Metrics For Knowledge Transfer

Creating KPIs for knowledge transfer is a crucial step that many organizations overlook because the benefits are often one step removed from the knowledge transfer itself. However, there are several qualitative and quantitative metrics you can use to measure success depending on your maturity level goals.

Stabilize

  • Number of high departure risk employees identified.
  • Number of high-risk employees without knowledge transfer plans.
  • Number of post-retirement knowledge issues.

Be Proactive

  • Number of issues arising from lack of redundancy.
  • Percentage of high-risk knowledge items without transfer plans.
  • Time required to get new employees up to speed.

Promote Knowledge Culture

  • Percentage of returned deliverables for rework.
  • Percentage of errors repeated in reports.
  • Number of employees mentoring their colleagues.
  • Number of issues solved through knowledge sharing.
  • Percentage of employees with knowledge transfer/development plans.

1.1.3 Identify Key Metrics

Identify key metrics the organization will use to measure knowledge transfer success

How to determine knowledge transfer metrics:

  1. Assign each participant 1-4 of the desired knowledge transfer benefits and pain points which you identified as priorities.
  2. Independently have them brainstorm how they would measure the success of each, and after 10 minutes, present their thoughts to the group.
  3. Write each of the metric suggestions on a whiteboard and agree to 3-5 benefits which you will track. The metrics you choose should relate to the key pain points you have identified and match your desired maturity level.
InputOutput
  • Knowledge transfer pain points and benefits
  • 3-5 key metrics to track
MaterialsParticipants
  • Whiteboard
  • IT Leadership Team

Identify knowledge transfer project team

Determine Project Participants

Pick a Project Sponsor

  • The project participants are the IT managers and directors whose day-to-day lives will be impacted by the knowledge transfer roadmap and its implementation.
  • These individuals will be your roadmap ream and will help with planning. Most of these individuals should be in the workshop, but ensure you have everyone covered. Some examples of individuals you should consider for your team are:
    • Director/Manager Level:
      • Applications
      • Infrastructure
      • Operations
    • Service Delivery Managers
    • Business Relationship Managers
  • The project sponsor should be a member of your IT department’s senior executive team whose goals and objectives will be impacted by knowledge transfer implementation.
    • This is the person you will get to sign-off on the project charter document.
The image contains a triangle that has been split into three parts. The top section is labelled: Project Sponsor, middle section: Project Participants, and the bottom is labelled Project Stakeholders.

The project sponsor is the main catalyst for the creation of the roadmap. They will be the one who signs off on the project roadmap.

The Project Participants are the key stakeholders in your organization whose input will be pivotal to the creation of the roadmap.

The project stakeholders are the senior executives who have a vested interest in knowledge transfer. Following completion of this workshop, you will present your roadmap to these individuals for approval.

1.1.4 Identify Your Project Team

How to define the knowledge transfer project team:

  1. Through discussion, generate a complete list of key stakeholders, considering each of the roles indicated in the chart on the Key Project Management Stakeholders slide. Write their names on a whiteboard.
  2. Using the quadrant template on the next slide, draw the stakeholder power map.
  3. Evaluate each stakeholder on the list based on their level of influence and support of the project. Write the stakeholder’s name on a sticky note and place it in the appropriate place on the grid.
  4. Create an engagement plan based on the stakeholder’s placement.
  5. Use Info-Tech’s Project Stakeholder Register Template to identify and document your project management stakeholders.

Project Stakeholder Register Template

Input Output
  • Initial stakeholder analysis
  • Complete list of project participants.
  • Complete project stakeholder register.
Materials Participants
  • Whiteboard / Flip chart
  • Markers / Pens
  • Project Stakeholder Register Template
  • IT Leadership Team
  • Other stakeholders

Have a strategic approach for engaging stakeholders to help secure buy-in

If your IT leadership team isn’t on board, you’re in serious trouble! IT leaders will not only be highly involved in the knowledge transfer project, but they also may be participants, so it’s essential that you get their buy-in for the project upfront.

Document the results in the Project Stakeholder Register Template; use this as a guide to help structure your communication with stakeholders based on where they fall on the grid.

How to Manage:

Focus on increasing these stakeholders’ level of support!

  1. Have a one-on-one meeting to seek their views on critical issues and address concerns.
  2. Identify key pain points they have experienced and incorporate these in the project goal statements.
  3. Where possible, leverage KT champions to help encourage support.
The image contains a small graph to demonstrate the noise makers, the blockers, the changers, and the helpers.

Capitalize on champions to drive the project/change.

  1. Use them for internal PR of the objectives and benefits.
  2. Ask them what other stakeholders can be leveraged.
  3. Involve them early in creating project documents.

How to Manage:

How to Manage:

Pick your battles – focus on your noise makers first, and then move on to your blockers.

  1. Determine the level of involvement the blockers will have in the project (i.e. what you will need from them in the future) and determine next steps based on this (one-on-one meeting, group meeting, informal communication, or leveraging helpers/ champions to encourage them).

Leverage this group where possible to help socialize the program and to help encourage dissenters to support.

  1. Mention their support in group settings.
  2. Focus on increasing their understanding via informal communication.

How to Manage:

Key Project Management Stakeholders

Role

Project Role

Required

CIO

Will often play the role of project sponsor and should be involved in key decision points.

IT Managers Directors

Assist in the identification of high-risk stakeholders and knowledge and will be heavily involved in the development of each transfer plan.

Project Manager

Should be in charge of leading the development and execution of the project.

Business Analysts

Responsible for knowledge transfer elicitation analysis and validation for the knowledge transfer project.

Situational

Technical Lead

Responsible for solution design where required for knowledge transfer tactics.

HR

Will aid in the identification of high-risk stakeholders or help with communication and stakeholder management.

Legal

Organizations that are subject to knowledge confidentiality, Sarbanes-Oxley, federal rules, etc. may need legal to participate in planning.

Ensure coverage of all project tasks

Populate a Project RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) chart

Apps MGR

Dev. MGR

Infra MGR

Build the project charter

R

R

I

Identify IT stakeholders

R

R

I

Identify high risk stakeholders

R

A

R

Identify high risk knowledge

I C C

Validate prioritized stakeholders

I C R

Interview key stakeholders

R R A

Identify knowledge transfer tactics for individuals

C C A

Communicate knowledge transfer goals

C R A

Build the knowledge transfer roadmap

C R A

Approve knowledge transfer roadmap

C R C

1.1.5 Populate an RACI

Populate a RACI chart to identify who should be responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed for each key activity.

How to define RACI for the project team:

  1. Write out the list of all stakeholders along the top of a whiteboard. Write out the key project steps along the left-hand side (use this list as a starting point).
  2. For each initiative, identify each team member’s role. Are they:
  3. Responsible: The one responsible for getting the job done.

    Accountable: Only one person can be accountable for each task.

    Consulted: Involvement through input of knowledge and information.

    Informed: Receiving information about process execution and quality.

  4. As you proceed through the project, continue to add tasks and assign responsibility to the RACI chart on the next slide.
InputOutput
  • Stakeholder list
  • Key project steps
  • Project RACI chart
MaterialsParticipants
  • Whiteboard
  • IT Leadership Team

1.1.6 Build the Project Charter and Obtain Sign-off

Complete the IT knowledge transfer project charter.

Build the project charter and obtain sign-off from your project sponsor. Use your organization’s project charter if one exists. If not, customize Info-Tech’s IT Knowledge Transfer Project Charter Template to suit your needs.

The image contains a screenshot of the IT knowledge transfer project charter template.

IT Knowledge Transfer Project Charter Template

Step 1.2

Identify Your Knowledge and Stakeholder Risks

Activities

1.2.1 Identify Knowledge Sources

1.2.2 Complete a Knowledge Risk Assessment

1.2.3 Review the Prioritized List of Knowledge Sources

The primary goal of this section is to identify who your primary risk targets are for knowledge transfer.

Outcomes of this step

  • A list of your high-risk knowledge sources
  • Departure analysis
  • Knowledge risk analysis

Prioritize your knowledge transfer initiatives

Throughout this section, we will walk through the following 3 activities in the tool to determine where you need to focus attention for your knowledge transfer roadmap based on knowledge value and likelihood of departure.

1. Identify Knowledge Sources

Create a list of knowledge sources for whom you will be conducting the analysis, and identify which sources currently have a transfer plan in place.

2. Value of Knowledge

Consider the type of knowledge held by each identified knowledge source and determine the level of risk based on the knowledge:

  1. Criticality
  2. Availability

3. Likelihood of Departure

Identify the knowledge source’s risk of leaving the organization based on their:

  1. Age cohort
  2. Engagement level

This tool contains sensitive information. Do not share this tool with knowledge sources. The BA and Project Manager, and potentially the project sponsor, should be the only ones who see the completed tool.

The image contains screenshots from the Knowledge Risk Assessment Tool.

Focus on key roles instead of all roles in IT

Identify Key Roles

Hold a meeting with your IT Leadership team, or meet with members individually, and ask these questions to identify key roles:

  • What are the roles that have a significant impact on delivering the business strategy?
  • What are the key differentiating roles for our IT organization?
  • Which roles, if vacant, would leave the organization open to non-compliance with regulatory or legal requirements?
  • Which roles have a direct impact on the customer?
  • Which roles, if vacant, would create system, function, or process failure for the organization?

Key roles include:

  • Strategic roles: Roles that give the greatest competitive advantage. Often these are roles that involve decision-making responsibility.
  • Core roles: Roles that must provide consistent results to achieve business goals.
  • Proprietary roles: Roles that are tied closely to unique or proprietary internal processes or knowledge that cannot be procured externally. These are often highly technical or specialized.
  • Required roles: Roles that support the department and are required to keep it moving forward day-to-day.
  • Influential roles: Positions filled by employees who are the backbone of the organization, i.e. the go-to people who are the corporate culture.

Info-Tech Insight

This step is meant to help speed up and simplify the process for large IT organizations. IT organizations with fewer than 30 people, or organizations looking to build a knowledge culture, can opt to skip this step and include all members of the IT team. This way, everyone is considered and you can prioritize accordingly.

1.2.1 Identify Key Knowledge Sources

  1. Identify key roles, as shown on the previous slide. This can be done by brainstorming names on sticky notes and placing them on a whiteboard.
  2. Document using IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool Tab 2. Input with first name, last name, department/ IT area, and manager of each identified Knowledge Source.
  3. Also answer the question of whether the Knowledge Source currently has a knowledge transfer plan in place.
    • Not in place
    • Partially in place
    • In place
  4. Conduct sanity check: once you have identified key roles, ask – “did we miss anybody?”
InputOutput
  • Employee list
  • List of knowledge sources for IT
MaterialsParticipants
  • IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool.
  • IT Leadership Team

IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool

Document key knowledge sources (example)

Use information about the current state of knowledge transfer plans in your organization to understand your key risks and focus areas.

The image contains a screenshot of the knowledge source.

Legend:

1. Document knowledge source information (name, department, and manager).

2. Select the current state of knowledge transfer plans for each knowledge source.

Once you have identified key roles, conduct a sanity check and ask – “did we miss anybody?” For example:

  • There are three systems administrators. One of them, Joe, has been with the organization for 15 years.
  • Joe’s intimate systems knowledge and long-term relationship with one of the plant systems vendors has made him a go-to person during times of operational systems crisis and has resulted in systems support discounts.
  • While the systems administrator role by itself is not considered key (partly due to role redundancy), Joe is a key person to flag for knowledge transfer activities as losing him would make achieving core business goals more difficult.

Case Study

Municipal government learns the importance of thorough knowledge source identification after losing key stakeholder

INDUSTRY: Government

Challenge

Solution

Results

  • A municipal government was introducing a new integration project that was led by their controller.
  • The controller left abruptly, and while the HR department conducted an exit interview, they didn’t realize until after the individual had left how much information was lost.
  • Nobody knew the information needed to complete the integration, so they had to make do with what they had.
  • The Director of IT at the time was the most familiar with the process.
  • Even though she would not normally do this type of project, at the time she was the only person with knowledge of the process and luckily was able to complete the integration.
  • The Director of IT had to put other key projects on hold, and lost productivity on other prioritized work.
  • The organization realized how much they were at risk and changed how they approached knowledge. They created a new process to identify “single point of failures” and label people as high risk. These processes started with the support organization’s senior level key people to identify their processes and record everything they do and what they know.

Identify employees who may be nearing retirement and flag them as high risk

Risk Parameter

Description

How to Collect this Data:

Age Cohort

  • 60+ years of age or older, or anyone who has indicated they will be retiring within five years (highest risk).
  • Employees in their early 50s: are still many years away from retirement but have a sufficient number of years remaining in their career to make a move to a new role outside of your organization.
  • Employees in their late 50s: are likely more than five years away from retirement but are less likely than younger employees to leave your organization for another role because of increasing risk in making such a move, and persistent employer unwillingness to hire older employees.
  • Employees under 50: should never be considered low risk only based on age – which is why the second component of stakeholder risk is engagement.

For those people on your shortlist, pull some hard demographic data.

Compile a report that breaks down employees into age-based demographic groups.

Flag those over the age of 50 – they’re in the “retirement zone” and could decide to leave at any time.

Check to see which stakeholders identified fall into the “over 50” age demographic.

Document this information in the IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool.

Info-Tech Insight

150% of an employee’s base salary and benefits is the estimated cost of turnover according to The Society of Human Resource Professionals.1

1McLean & Company, Make the Case for Employee Engagement

Identify disengaged employees who may be preparing to leave the organization

Risk Parameter

Description

How to Collect this Data:

Engagement

An engaged stakeholder is energized and passionate about their work, leading them to exert discretionary effort to drive organizational performance (lowest risk).

An almost engaged stakeholder is generally passionate about their work. At times they exert discretionary effort to help achieve organizational goals.

Indifferent employees are satisfied, comfortable, and generally able to meet minimum expectations. They see their work as “just a job,” prioritizing their needs before organizational goals.

Disengaged employees have little interest in their job and the organization and often display negative attitudes (highest risk).

Option 1:

The optimal approach for determining employee engagement is through an engagement survey. See McLean & Company for more details.

Option 2:

Ask the identified stakeholder’s manager to provide an assessment of their engagement either independently or via a meeting.

Info-Tech Insight

Engaged employees are five times more likely than disengaged employees to agree that they are committed to their organization.1

1Source: McLean & Company, N = 13683

The level of risk of the type of information is defined by criticality and availability

Risk Parameter

Description

How to Collect this Data:

Criticality

Roles that are critical to the continuation of business and cannot be left vacant without risking business operations. Would the role, if vacant, create system, function, or process failure for the organization?

Option 1: (preferred)

Meet with IT managers/directors over the phone or directly and review each of the identified reports to determine the risk.

Option 2: Send the IT mangers/directors the list of their direct reports, and ask them to evaluate their knowledge type risk independently and return the information to you.

Option 3: (if necessary) Review individual job descriptions independently, and use your judgment to come up with a rating for each. Send the assessment to the stakeholders’ managers for validation.

Availability

Refers to level of redundancy both within and outside of the organization. Information which is highly available is considered lower risk. Key questions to consider include: does this individual have specialized, unique, or proprietary expertise? Are there internal redundancies?

1.2.2 Complete a Knowledge Risk Assessment

Complete a Tab 3 assessment for each of your identified Knowledge Sources. The Knowledge Source tab will pre-populate with information from Tab 2 of the tool. For each knowledge source, you will determine their likelihood of departure and degree of knowledge risk.

Likelihood of departure:

  1. Document the age cohort risk for each knowledge source on Tab 3 of the IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool. Age Cohort: Under 50, 51-55, 56-60, or over 60.
  2. Document the engagement risk for each knowledge source on Tab 3, “Assessment”, of the IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool. Engagement level: Engaged, Almost engaged, Indifferent employees, Disengaged.
  3. Degree of knowledge risk is based on:

  4. Document the knowledge type risk for each stakeholder on Tab 3, “Assessment” in the IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool.
    • Criticality: Would the role, if vacant, create system, function, or process failure for the organization?
    • Availability: Does this individual have specialized, unique, or proprietary expertise? Are there internal redundancies?
Input Output
  • Knowledge source list (Tab 2)
  • Employee demographics information
  • List of high-risk knowledge sources
Materials Participants
  • Sticky notes
  • Pens
  • Whiteboard
  • Marker
  • IT Leadership Team
  • HR

IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool

Results matrix

The image contains a screenshot of risk assessment. The image contains a matrix example from tab 4.

Determine where to focus your efforts

The IT Knowledge Transfer Map on Tab 5 helps you to determine where to focus your knowledge transfer efforts

Knowledge sources have been separated into the three maturity levels (Stabilize, Proactive, and Knowledge Culture) and prioritized within each level.

Focus first on your stabilize groups, and based on your target maturity goal, move on to your proactive and knowledge culture groups respectively.

The image contains a screenshot of the IT Knowledge Transfer Map on tab 5.

Sequential Prioritization

Orange line Level 1: Stabilize

Blue Line Level 2: Proactive

Green Line Level 3: Knowledge Culture

Each pie chart indicates which of the stakeholders in that risk column currently has knowledge transfer plans.

Each individual also has their own status ball on whether they currently have a knowledge transfer plan.

1.2.3 Review the Prioritized List

Review results

Identify knowledge sources to focus on for the knowledge transfer roadmap. Review the IT Knowledge Transfer Map on Tab 5 to determine where to focus your knowledge transfer efforts

  1. Show the results from the assessment tool.
  2. Discuss matrix and prioritized list.
    • Does it match with maturity goals?
    • Do prioritizations seem correct?
InputOutput
  • Knowledge source risk profile
  • Risk Assessment (Tab 3)
  • Prioritized list of knowledge sources to focus on for the knowledge transfer roadmap
MaterialsParticipants
  • n/a
  • IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool
  • IT Leadership Team

IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool

Phase #2

Design your knowledge transfer plans

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

1.1 Obtain approval for project

1.2 Identify knowledge and stakeholder risks

2.1 Build knowledge transfer plans

2.2 Build knowledge transfer roadmap

3.1 Communicate your roadmap

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Building knowledge transfer plans for all prioritized knowledge sources.
  • Understanding which transfer tactics are best suited for different knowledge types.
  • Identifying opportunities to leverage collaboration tools for knowledge transfer.

This phase involves the following participants:

  • IT Leadership
  • Other key stakeholders
  • Knowledge sources

Define what knowledge needs to be transferred

Each knowledge source has unique information which needs to be transferred. Chances are you don’t know what you don’t know. The first step is therefore to interview knowledge sources to find out.

Identify the knowledge receiver

Depending on who the information is going to, the knowledge transfer tactic you employ will differ. Before deciding on the knowledge receiver and tactic, consider three key factors:

  • How will this knowledge be used in the future?
  • What is the next career step for the knowledge receiver?
  • Are the receiver and the source going to be in the same location?

Identify which knowledge transfer tactics you will use for each knowledge asset

Not all tactics are good in every situation. Always keep the “knowledge type” (information, process, skills, and expertise), knowledge sources’ engagement level, and the knowledge receiver in mind as you select tactics.

Determine knowledge transfer tactics

Determine tactics for each stakeholder based on qualities of their specific knowledge.

This tool is built to accommodate up to 30 knowledge items; Info-Tech recommends focusing on the top 10-15 items.

  1. Send documents to each manager. Include:
    • a copy of this template.
    • interview guide.
    • tactics booklet.
  2. Instruct managers to complete the template for each knowledge source and return it to you.

These steps should be completed by the BA or IT Manager. The BA is helpful to have around because they can learn about the tactics and answer any questions about the tactics that the managers might have when completing the template.

The image contains a screenshot of the Knowledge Source's Name.

IT Knowledge Transfer Plan Template

Step 2.1

Build Your Knowledge Transfer Plans

Activities

2.1.1 Interview Knowledge Sources to Uncover Key Knowledge Items

2.1.2 Identify When to use Knowledge Transfer Tactics

2.1.3 Build Individual Knowledge Transfer Plans

The primary goal of this section is to build an interview guide and interview knowledge sources to identify key knowledge assets.

Outcomes of this step

  • Knowledge Transfer Interview Guide
  • Itemized knowledge assets
  • Completed knowledge transfer plans

2.1.1 Interview Knowledge Sources

Determine key knowledge items

The first step is for managers to interview knowledge sources in order to extract information about the type of knowledge the source has.

Meet with the knowledge sources and work with them to identify essential knowledge. Use the following questions as guidance:

  1. What are you an expert in?
  2. What do others ask you for assistance with?
  3. What are you known for?
  4. What are key responsibilities you have that no one else has or knows how to do?
  5. Are there any key systems, processes, or applications which you’ve taken the lead on?
  6. When you go on vacation, what is waiting for you in your inbox?
  7. If you went on vacation, would there be any systems that, if there was a failure, you would be the only one who knows how to fix?
  8. Would you say that all the key processes you use, or tools, codes etc. are documented?
Input Output
  • Knowledge type information
  • Prioritized list of key knowledge sources.
  • Knowledge activity information
  • What are examples of good use cases for the technique?
  • Why would you use this technique over others?
  • Is this technique suitable for all projects? When wouldn’t you use it?
Materials Participants
  • Interview guide
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • IT Leadership Team
  • Knowledge sources

IT Knowledge Identification Interview Guide Template

2.1.2 Understand Knowledge Transfer Tactics

Understand when and how to use different knowledge transfer tactics

  1. Break the workshop participants into teams. Assign each team two to four knowledge transfer tactics and provide them with the associated handout(s) from the following slides. Using the material provided, have each team brainstorm around the following questions:
    1. What types of information can the technique be used to collect?
    2. What are examples of good use cases for the technique?
    3. Why would you use this technique over others?
    4. Is this technique suitable for all projects? When wouldn’t you use it?
  2. Have each group present their findings from the brainstorming to the group.
  3. Once everyone has presented, have the groups select which tactics they would be interested in using and which ones they would not want to use by putting green and red dots on each.
  4. As a group, confirm the list of tactics you would be interested in using and disqualify the others.
Input Output
  • List of knowledge tactics to utilize.
Materials Participants
  • Knowledge transfer tactics handouts
  • Flip chart paper
  • Markers
  • Green and red dot stickers
  • IT Leadership Team
  • Project team

Knowledge Transfer Tactics:

Interviews

Interviews provide an opportunity to meet one-on-one with key stakeholders to document key knowledge assets. Interviews can be used for explicit and tacit information, and in particular, capture processes, rules, coding information, best practices, etc.

Benefits:

  • Good bang-for-your-buck interviews are simple to conduct and can be used for all types of knowledge.
  • Interviews can obtain a lot of information in a relatively short period of time.
  • Interviews help make tacit knowledge more explicit through effective questioning.
  • They have highly flexible formatting as interviews can be conducted in person, over the phone, or by email.

How to get started:

  1. Have the business analyst (BA) review the employee’s knowledge transfer plan and highlight the areas to be discussed in the interview.
  2. The BA will then create an interview guide detailing key questions which would need to be asked to ascertain the information.
  3. Schedule a 30-60 minute interview. When complete, document the interview and key lessons learned. Send the information back to the interviewee for validation of what was discussed.

Knowledge Types

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Dependencies

Training: Minimal

Technology Support: N/A

Process Development: Minimal

Duration: Annual

Participants

Business analysts

Knowledge source

Materials

Interview guide

Notepad

Pen

Knowledge Transfer Tactics:

Process Mapping

Business process mapping refers to building a flow chart diagram of the sequence of actions which defines what a business does. The flow chart defines exactly what a process does and the specific succession of steps including all inputs, outputs, flows, and linkages. Process maps are a powerful tool to frame requirements in the context of the complete solution.

Benefits:

  • They are simple to build and analyze; most organizations and users are familiar with flow diagrams, making them highly usable.
  • They provide an end-to-end picture of a process.
  • They’re ideal for gathering full and detailed requirements of a process.
  • They include information around who is responsible, what they do, when, where it occurs, triggers, to what degree, and how often it occurs.
  • They’re great for legacy systems.

How to get started:

  1. Have the BA prepare beforehand by doing some preliminary research on the purpose of the process, and the beginning and end points.
  2. With the knowledge holder, use a whiteboard and identify the different stakeholders who interact with the process, and draw swim lanes for each.
  3. Together, use sticky notes and/or dry erase markers etc. to draw out the process.
  4. When you believe you’re complete, start again from the beginning and break the process down to more details.

Knowledge Types

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Dependencies

Training: Minimal

Technology Support: N/A

Process Development: Minimal

Duration: Annual

Participants

Business analysts

Knowledge source

Materials

Whiteboard / flip-chart paper

Marker

Knowledge Transfer Tactics:

Use Cases

Use case diagrams are a common transfer tactic where the BA maps out step-by-step how an employee completes a project or uses a system. Use cases show what a system or project does rather than how it does it. Use cases are frequently used by product managers and developers.

Benefits:

  • Easy to draw and understand.
  • Simple way to digest information.
  • Can get very detailed.
  • Should be used for documenting processes, experiences etc.
  • Initiation and brainstorming.
  • Great for legacy systems.

How to get started:

  1. The BA will schedule a 30-60 minute in-person meeting with the employee, draw a stick figure on the left side of the board, and pose the initial question: “If you need to do X, what is your first step?” Have the stakeholder go step-by-step through the process until the end goal. Draw this process across the whiteboard. Make sure you capture the triggers, causes of events, decision points, outcomes, tools, and interactions.
  2. Starting at the beginning of the diagram, go through each step again and ask the employee if the step can be broken down into more granular steps. If the answer is yes, break down the use case further.
  3. Ask the employee if there are any alternative flows that people could use, or any exceptions. If there are, map these out on the board.

Knowledge Types

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Dependencies

Training: Minimal

Technology Support: N/A

Process Development: Minimal

Duration: Annual

Participants

Business analysts

Knowledge source

Materials

Whiteboard / flip-chart paper

Marker

Knowledge Transfer Tactics:

Job Shadow

Job shadowing is a working arrangement where the “knowledge receiver” learns how to do a job by observing an experienced employee complete key tasks throughout their normal workday.

Benefits:

  • Low cost and minimal effort required.
  • Helps employees understand different elements of the business.
  • Helps build relationships.
  • Good for knowledge holders who are not great communicators.
  • Great for legacy systems.

How to get started:

  1. Determine goals and objectives for the knowledge transfer, and communicate these to the knowledge source and receiver.
  2. Have the knowledge source identify when they will be performing a particular knowledge activity and select that day for the job shadow. If the information is primarily experience, select any day which is convenient.
  3. Ask the knowledge receiver to shadow the source and ask questions whenever they have them.
  4. Following the job shadow, have the knowledge receiver document what they learned that day and file that information.

Knowledge Types

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Dependencies

Training: Required

Technology Support: N/A

Process Development:Required

Duration:Ongoing

Participants

BA

IT manager

Knowledge source and receiver

Materials

N/A

Knowledge Transfer Tactics:

Peer Assist

Meeting or workshop where peers from different teams share their experiences and knowledge with individuals or teams that require help with a specific challenge or problem.

Benefits:

  • Improves productivity through enhanced problem solving.
  • Encourages collaboration between teams to share insight, and assistance from people outside your team to obtain new possible approaches.
  • Promotes sharing and development of new connections among different staff, and creates opportunities for innovation.
  • Can be combined with Action Reviews.

How to get started:

  1. Create a registry of key projects that different individuals have solved. Where applicable, leverage the existing work done through action reviews.
  2. Create and communicate a process for knowledge sources and receivers to reach out to one another. Email or social collaboration platforms are the most common.
  3. The source may then reply with documentation or a peer can set up an interview to discuss.
  4. Information should be recorded and saved on a corporate share drive with appropriate metadata to ensure ease of search.
  5. See Appendix for further details.

Knowledge Types

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Dependencies

Training: Minimal

Technology Support: N/A

Process Development:Required

Duration:Ongoing

Participants

Knowledge sources

Knowledge receiver

BA to build a skill repository

Materials

Intranet

Knowledge Transfer Tactics:

Transition Workshop

A half- to full-day exercise where an outgoing leader facilitates a knowledge transfer of key insights they have learned along the way and any high-profile knowledge they may have.

Benefits:

  • Accelerates knowledge transfer following a leadership change.
  • Ensures business continuity.
  • New leader gets a chance to understand the business drivers behind team decisions and skills of each member.
  • The individuals on the team learn about the new leader’s values and communication styles.

How to get started:

  1. Outgoing leader organizes a one-time session where they share information with the team (focus on tacit knowledge, such as team successes and challenges) and team can ask questions.
  2. Incoming leader and remaining team members share information about norms, priorities, and values.
  3. Document the information.

Knowledge Types

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Dependencies

Training: Required

Technology Support: Some

Process Development: Some

Duration:Ongoing

Participants

IT leader

Incoming IT team

Key stakeholders

Materials

Meeting space

Video conferencing (as needed)

Knowledge Transfer Tactics:

Action Review

Action Review is a team-based discussion at the end of a project or step to review how the activity went and what can be done differently next time. It is ideal for transferring expertise and skills.

Benefits:

  • Learning is done during and immediately after the project so that knowledge transfer happens quickly.
  • Results can be shared with other teams outside of the immediate members.
  • Makes tacit knowledge explicit.
  • Encourages a culture where making mistakes is OK, but you need to learn from them.

How to get started:

  1. Hold an initial meeting with IT teams to inform them of the action reviews. Create an action review goals statement by working with IT teams to discuss what they hope to get out of the initiative.
  2. Ask project teams to present their work and answer the following questions:
    1. What was supposed to happen?
    2. What actually happened?
    3. Why were there differences?
    4. What can we learn and do differently next time?
  3. Have each individual or group present, record the meeting minutes, and send the details to the group for future reference. Determine a share storage place on your company intranet or shared drive for future reference.

Knowledge Types

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Dependencies

Training:Minimal

Technology Support: Minimal

Process Development: Some

Duration:Ongoing

Participants

IT unit/group

Any related IT stakeholder impacted by or involved in a project.

Materials

Meeting space

Video conferencing (as needed)

Knowledge Transfer Tactics:

Mentoring

Mentoring can be a formal program where management sets schedules and expectations. It can also be informal through an environment for open dialogue where staff is encouraged to seek advice and guidance, and to share their knowledge with more novice members of the organization.

Benefits:

  • Speeds up learning curves and helps staff acclimate to the organizational culture.
  • Communicates organizational values and appropriate behaviors, and is an effective way to augment training efforts.
  • Leads to higher engagement by improving communication among employees, developing leadership, and helping employees work effectively.
  • Improves succession planning by preparing and grooming employees for future roles and ensuring the next wave of managers is qualified.

How to get started:

  1. Have senior management define the goals for a mentorship program. Depending on your goals, the frequency, duration, and purpose for mentorship will change. Create a mission statement for the program.
  2. Communicate the program with mentors and mentees and define what the scope of their roles will be.
  3. Implement the program and measure success.

Creating a mentorship program is a full project in itself. For full details on how to set up a mentorship program, see McLean & Company’s Build a Mentoring Program.

Knowledge Types

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Dependencies

Training: Required

Technology Support: N/a

Process Development:Required

Duration:Ongoing

Participants

IT unit/group

Materials

Meeting space

Video conferencing (as needed)

Documentation

Knowledge Transfer Tactics:

Story Telling

Knowledge sources use anecdotal examples to highlight a specific point and pass on information, experience, and ideas through narrative.

Benefits:

  • Provides context and transfers expertise in a simple way between people of different contexts and background.
  • Illustrates a point effectively and makes a lasting impression.
  • Helps others learn from past situations and respond more effectively in future ones.
  • Can be completed in person, through blogs, video or audio recordings, or case studies.

How to get started:

  1. Select a medium for how your organization will record stories, whether through blogs, video or audio recordings, or case studies. Develop a template for how you’re going to record the information.
  2. Integrate story telling into key activities – project wrap-up, job descriptions, morning meetings, etc.
  3. Determine the medium for retaining and searching stories.

Knowledge Types

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Dependencies

Training: Required

Technology Support: Some

Process Development:Required

Duration:Ongoing

Participants

Knowledge source

Knowledge receiver

Videographer (where applicable)

Materials

Meeting space

Video conferencing (as needed)

Documentation

Knowledge Transfer Tactics:

Job Share

Job share exists when at least two people share the knowledge and responsibilities of two job roles.

Benefits:

  • Reduces the risk of concentrating all knowledge in one person and creating a single point of failure.
  • Increases the number of experts who hold key knowledge that can be shared with others, i.e. “two heads are better than one.”
  • Ensures redundancies exist for when an employee leaves or goes on vacation.
  • Great for getting junior employees up to speed on legacy system functionality.
  • Results in more agile teams.
  • Doubles the amount of skills and expertise.

How to get started:

  1. Determine which elements of two individuals’ job duties could be shared by two people. Before embarking on a job share, ensure that the two individuals will work well together as a team and individually.
  2. Establish a vision, clear values, and well-defined roles, responsibilities, and reporting relationships to avoid duplication of effort and confusion.
  3. Start with a pilot group of employees who are in support of the initiative, track the results, and make adjustments where needed.

Knowledge Types

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Dependencies

Training: Some

Technology Support: Minimal

Process Development:Required

Duration:Ongoing

Participants

IT manager

HR

Employees

Materials

Job descriptions

Knowledge Transfer Tactics:

Communities of Practice

Communities of practice are working groups of individuals who engage in a process of regularly sharing information with each other across different parts of the organization by focusing on common purpose and working practices. These groups meet on a regular basis to work together on problem solving, to gain information, ask for help and assets, and share opinions and best practices.

Benefits:

  • Supports a collaborative environment.
  • Creates a sense of community and positive working relationships, which is a key driver for engagement.
  • Encourages creative thinking and support of one another.
  • Facilitates transfer of wide range of knowledge between people from different specialties.
  • Fast access to information.
  • Multiple employees hear the answers to questions and discussions, resulting in wider spread knowledge.
  • Can be done in person or via video conference, and is best when supported by social collaboration tools.

How to get started:

  1. Determine your medium for these communities and ensure you have the needed technology.
  2. Develop training materials, and a rewards and recognition process for communities.
  3. Have a meeting with staff, ask them to brainstorm a list of different key “communities,” and ask staff to self select into communities.
  4. Have the communities determine the purpose statement for each group, and set up guidelines for functionality and uses.

Knowledge Types

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Dependencies

Training:Required

Technology Support: Required

Process Development:Required

Duration:Ongoing

Participants

Employees

BA (to assist in establishing)

IT managers (rewards and recognition)

Materials

TBD

The effectiveness of each knowledge transfer tactic varies based on the type of knowledge you are trying to transfer

This table shows the relative strengths and weaknesses of each knowledge transfer tactic compared to four different knowledge types.

Not all techniques are effective for types of knowledge; it is important to use a healthy mixture of techniques to optimize effectiveness.

Very strong = Very effective

Strong = Effective

Medium = Somewhat effective

Weak = Minimally effective

Very weak = Not effective

Knowledge Type

Tactic

Explicit

Tacit

Information

Process

Skills

Expertise

Interviews

Very strong

Strong

Strong

Strong

Process mapping

Medium

Very strong

Very weak

Very weak

Use cases

Medium

Very strong

Very weak

Very weak

Job shadow

Very weak

Medium

Very strong

Very strong

Peer assist

Strong

Medium

Very strong

Very strong

Action review

Medium

Medium

Strong

Weak

Mentoring

Weak

Weak

Strong

Very strong

Transition workshop

Strong

Strong

Strong

Strong

Story telling

Weak

Weak

Strong

Very strong

Job share

Weak

Weak

Very strong

Very strong

Communities of practice

Strong

Weak

Very strong

Very strong

Consider your stakeholders’ level of engagement prior to selecting a knowledge transfer tactic

Level of Engagement

Tactic

Disengaged/ Indifferent

Almost Engaged - Engaged

Interviews

Yes

Yes

Process mapping

Yes

Yes

Use cases

Yes

Yes

Job shadow

No

Yes

Peer assist

Yes

Yes

Action review

Yes

Yes

Mentoring

No

Yes

Transition workshop

Yes

Yes

Story telling

No

Yes

Job share

Maybe

Yes

Communities of practice

Maybe

Yes

When considering which tactics to employ, it’s important to consider the knowledge holder’s level of engagement. Employees whom you would identify as being disengaged may not make good candidates for job shadowing, mentoring, or other tactics where they are required to do additional work or are asked to influence others.

Knowledge transfer can be controversial for all employees as it can cause feelings of job insecurity. It’s essential that motivations for knowledge transfer are communicated effectively.

Pay particular attention to your communication style with disengaged and indifferent employees, communicate frequently, and tie communication back to what’s in it for them.

Putting disengaged employees in a position where they are mentoring others can be a risk. Their negativity could influence others not to participate as well or negate the work you’re doing to create a positive knowledge sharing culture.

Consider using collaboration tools as a medium for knowledge transfer

There is a wide variety of different collaboration tools available to enable interpersonal and team connections for work-related purposes. Familiarize yourself with all types of collaboration tools to understand what is available to help facilitate knowledge transfer.

Collaboration Tools

Content Management

Real Time Communication

Community Collaboration

Social Collaboration

Tools for collaborating around documents. They store content and allow for easy sharing and editing, e.g. content repositories and version control.

Can be used for:

  • Action review
  • Process maps and use cases
  • Storing interview notes
  • Stories: blogs, video, and case studies

Tools that enable real-time employee interactions. They permit “on-demand” workplace communication, e.g. IM, video and web conferencing.

Can be used for:

  • Action review
  • Interviews
  • Mentoring
  • Peer assist
  • Story telling
  • Transition workshops

Tools that allow teams and communities to come together and share ideas or collaborate on projects, e.g. team portals, discussion boards, and ideation tools.

Can be used for:

  • Action review
  • Communities of practice
  • Peer assist
  • Story Telling

Social tools borrow concepts from consumer social media and apply them to the employee-centric context, e.g. employee profiles, activity streams, and microblogging.

Can be used for:

  • Peer assist
  • Story telling
  • Communities of practice

For more information on Collaboration Tools and how to use them, see Info-Tech’s Establish a Communication and Collaboration System Strategy.

Identify potential knowledge receivers

Hold a meeting with your IT leaders to identify who would be the best knowledge receivers for specific knowledge assets

  • Before deciding on a successor, determine how the knowledge asset will be used in the future. This will impact who the receiver will be and your tactic. That is, if you are looking to upgrade a technology in the future, consider who would be taking on that project and what they would need to know.
  • Prior to the meeting, each manager should send a copy of the knowledge assets they have identified to the other managers.
  • Participants should come equipped with names of members of their teams and have an idea of what their career aspirations are.
  • Don’t assume that all employees want a career change. Be sure to have conversations with employees to determine their career aspirations.

Ask how effectively the potential knowledge receiver would serve in the role today.

  • Review their competencies in terms of:
    • Relationship-building skills
    • Business skills
    • Technical skills
    • Industry-specific skills or knowledge
  • Consider what competencies the knowledge receiver currently has and what must be learned.
  • Finally, determine how difficult it will be for the knowledge receiver to acquire missing skills or knowledge, whether the resources are available to provide the required development, and how long it will take to provide it.

Info-Tech Insight

Wherever possible, ask employees about their personal learning styles. It’s likely that a collaborative compromise will have to be struck for knowledge transfer to work well.

Using the IT knowledge transfer plan tool

The image contains a screenshot of the IT Knowledge Transfer tool.

We will use the IT Knowledge Transfer Plans as the foundation for building your knowledge transfer roadmap.

2.1.3 Complete Knowledge Transfer Plans

Complete one plan template for each of the knowledge sources

  1. Fill in the top with the knowledge source’s name. Remember that one template should be filled out for each source.
  2. List their key knowledge activities as identified through the interview.
  3. For each knowledge activity, identify and list the most appropriate recipient of this knowledge.
  4. For each knowledge activity, use the drop-down options to identify the type of knowledge that it falls under.
  5. Depending on the type of knowledge, different tactic drop-down options are available. Select which tactic would be most appropriate for this knowledge as well as the people involved in the knowledge transfer.

The Strength Level column will indicate how well matched the tactic is to the type of knowledge.

Input Output
  • Results of knowledge source interviews
  • A completed knowledge transfer plan for each identified knowledge source.
Materials Participants
  • A completed knowledge transfer plan for each identified knowledge source.
  • IT leadership team

IT Knowledge Transfer Plan Template

Step 2.2

Build Your Knowledge Transfer Roadmap

Activities

2.2.1 Merge Your Knowledge Transfer Plans

2.2.2 Define Knowledge Transfer Initiatives’ Timeframes

The goal of this step is to build the logistics of the knowledge transfer roadmap to prepare to communicate it to key stakeholders.

Outcomes of this step

  • Prioritized sequence based on target state maturity goals.
  • Project roadmap.

Plan and monitor the knowledge transfer project

Depending on the desired state of maturity, the number of initiatives your organization has will vary and there could be a lengthy number of tasks and subtasks required to reach your organization knowledge transfer target state. The best way to plan, organize, and manage all of them is with a project roadmap.

The image contains a screenshot of the Project Planning and Monitoring tool.

Project Planning & Monitoring Tool

Steps to use the project planning and monitoring tool:

  1. Begin by identifying all the project deliverables in scope for your organization. Review the previous content pertaining to specific people, process, and technology deliverables that your organization plans on creating.
  2. Identify all the tasks and subtasks necessary to create each deliverable.
  3. Arrange the tasks in the appropriate sequential order.
  4. Assign each task to a member of the project team.
  5. Estimate the day the task will be started and completed.
  6. Specify any significant dependencies or prerequisites between tasks.
  7. Update the project roadmap throughout the project by accounting for injections and entering the actual starting and ending dates.
  8. Use the project dashboard to monitor the project progress and identify risks early.

Project Planning & Monitoring Tool

Prioritize your tactics to build a realistic roadmap

Initiatives should not and cannot be tackled all at once;

  • At this stage, each of the identified stakeholders should have a knowledge transfer plan for each of their reports with rough estimates for how long initiatives will take.
  • Simply looking at this raw list of transition plans can be daunting. Logically bundle the identified needs into IT initiatives to create the optimal IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap.
  • It’s important not to try to do too much too quickly. Focus on some quick wins and leverage the success of these initiatives to drive the project forward.

The image contains a screenshot of the prioritize tactics step.

Populate the task column of the Project Planning and Monitoring Tool. See the following slides for more details on how to do this.

Some techniques require a higher degree of effort than others

Effort by Stakeholder

Tactic

Business Analyst

IT Manager

Knowledge Holder

Knowledge Receiver

Interviews

Medium

N/A

Low

Low

These tactics require the least amount of effort, especially for organizations that are already using these tactics for a traditional requirements gathering process.

Process Mapping

Medium

N/A

Low

Low

Use Cases

Medium

N/A

Low

Low

Job Shadow

Medium

Medium

Medium

Medium

These tactics generally require more involvement from IT management and the BA in tandem for preparation. They will also require ongoing effort for all stakeholders. Stakeholder buy-in is key for success.

Peer Assist

Medium

Medium

Medium

Medium

Action Review

Low

Medium

Medium

Low

Mentoring

Medium

High

High

Medium

Transition Workshop

Medium

Low

Medium

Low

Story Telling

Medium

Medium

Low

Low

Job Share

Medium

High

Medium

Medium

Communities of Practice

High

Medium

Medium

Medium

Consider each tactic’s dependencies as you build your roadmap

Implementation Dependencies

Tactic

Training

Technology Support

Process Development

Duration

Interviews

Minimal

N/A

Minimal

Annual

Start your knowledge transfer project here to get quick wins for explicit knowledge.

Process Mapping

Minimal

N/A

Minimal

Annual

Use Cases

Minimal

N/A

Minimal

Annual

Job Shadow

Required

N/A

Required

Ongoing

Don’t change too much too quickly or try to introduce all of the tactics at once. Focus on 1-2 key tactics and spend a significant amount of time upfront building an effective process and rolling it out. Leverage the effectiveness of the initial tactics to push these initiatives forward.

Peer Assist

Minimal

N/A

Required

Ongoing

Action Review

Minimal

Minimal

Some

Ongoing

Mentoring

Required

N/A

Required

Ongoing

Transition Workshop

Required

Some

Some

Ongoing

Story Telling

Some

Required

Required

Ongoing

Job Share

Some

Minimal

Required

Ongoing

Communities of Practice

Required

Required

Required

Ongoing

2.2.1 Merge Your Knowledge Transfer Plans

Populate the task column of the Project Planning and Monitoring Tool

  1. Take an inventory of all the tactics and techniques which you plan to employ. Eliminate redundancies where possible.
  2. Start your implementation with your highest risk group using explicit knowledge transfer tactics. Interviews, use cases, and process mapping will give you some quick wins and will help gain momentum for the project.
  3. Proactive and knowledge culture should then move forward to other tactics, the majority of which will require training and process design. Pick one to two other key tactics you would like to employ and build those out.
  4. Once you get more advanced, you can continue to grow the number of tactics you employ, but in the beginning, less is more. Keep growing your implementation roadmap one tactic at a time and track key metrics as you go.
InputOutput
  • A list of project tasks to be completed.
MaterialsParticipants
  • Project Planning Monitoring Tool.
  • IT Leadership Team

Project Planning & Monitoring Tool

2.2.2 Define Initiatives’ Timeframes

Populate the estimated start and completion date and task owner columns of the Project Planning and Monitoring Tool.

  1. Define the time frame: time frames will depend on several factors. Consider the following while defining timelines for your knowledge transfer tactics:
    • Tactics you choose to employ
    • Availability of resources to implement the initiative
    • Technology requirements
  2. Input the Start Date and End Date for each initiative via the drop-down. (Year 1-M1 = year 1, month 1 of implementation.)
  3. Define the status of initiative:
    • Planned
    • In progress
    • Completed
  4. The initiative owner will ensure each step of the rollout is executed as planned, and will:
    • Engage all required stakeholders at appropriate stages of the project.
    • Engage all required resources to implement the process and make sure that communication channels are open and available between all relevant parties.
Input Output
  • Timeframes for all project tasks.
Materials Participants
  • Project Planning and Monitoring Tool.
  • IT Leadership Team

Project Planning & Monitoring Tool

Once you start the implementation, leverage the Project Planning and Monitoring Tool for ongoing status updates

Track your progress

  • Update your project roadmap as you complete the project and keep track of your progress by completing the “Actual Start Date” and “Actual Completion Date” as you go through your project.
  • Use the Progress Report tab in project team meetings to update stakeholders on which tasks have been completed on schedule, for an analysis of tasks to date, and project time management.
The image contains screenshots from the Project Planning and Monitoring Tool.

Phase #3

Implement your knowledge transfer plans and roadmap

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

1.1 Obtain approval for project

1.2 Identify knowledge and stakeholder risks

2.1 Build knowledge transfer plans

2.2 Build knowledge transfer roadmap

3.1 Communicate your roadmap

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Preparing a key stakeholder communication presentation.

This phase involves the following participants:

  • IT Leadership
  • Other key stakeholders

Step 3.1

Communicate Your Knowledge Transfer Roadmap to Stakeholders

Activities

3.1.1 Prepare IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap Presentation

The goal of this step is to be ready to communicate the roadmap with the project team, project sponsor, and other key stakeholders.

Outcomes of this step

  • Key stakeholder communication deck.

Use Info-Tech’s template to communicate with stakeholders

Obtain approval for the IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap by customizing Info-Tech’s IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap Presentation Template designed to effectively convey your key messages. Tailor the template to suit your needs.

It includes:

  • Project Context
  • Project Scope and Objectives
  • Knowledge Transfer Roadmap
  • Next Steps

The image contains screenshots of the IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap Presentation Template.

Info-Tech Insight

The support of IT leadership is critical to the success of your roadmap roll-out. Remind them of the project benefits and impact them hard with the risks/pain points.

IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap Presentation Template

3.1.1 Prepare a Presentation for Your Project Team and Sponsor

Now that you have created your knowledge transfer roadmap, the final step of the process is to get sign-off from the project sponsor to begin the planning process to roll-out your initiatives.

Know your audience:

  1. Revisit your project charter to determine the knowledge transfer project stakeholders who will be included in your presentation audience.
  2. You want your presentation to be succinct and hard-hitting. Management’s time is tight, and they will lose interest if you drag out the delivery. Impact them hard and fast with the pains and benefits of your roadmap.
  3. The presentation should take no more than an hour. Depending on your audience, the actual presentation delivery could be quite short (12-13 slides). However, you want to ensure adequate time for Q & A.
Input Output
  • Project charter
  • A completed presentation to communicate your knowledge transfer roadmap.
Materials Participants
  • IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap Presentation Template
  • IT leadership team
  • Project sponsor
  • Project stakeholders

IT Knowledge Transfer Roadmap Presentation Template

Related Info-Tech Research

Build an IT Succession Plan

Train Managers to Handle Difficult Conversations

Lead Staff Through Change

Bibliography

Babcock, Pamela. “Shedding Light on Knowledge Management.” HR Magazine, 1 May 2004.

King, Rachael. "Big Tech Problem as Mainframes Outlast Workforce." Bloomberg, 3 Aug. 2010. Web.

Krill, Paul. “IT’s Most Wanted: Mainframe Programmers.” IDG Communications, Inc. 1 December 2011.

McLean & Company. “Mitigate the Risk of Baby Boomer Retirement with Scalable Succession Planning.” 7 March 2016.

McLean & Company. “Make the Case For Employee Engagement.” McLean and Company. 27 March 2014.

PwC. “15th Annual Global CEO Survey: Delivering Results Growth and Value in a Volatile World.” PwC, 2012.

Rocket Software, Inc. “Rocket Software 2022 Survey Report: The State of the Mainframe.” Rocket Software, Inc. January 2022. Accessed 30 April 2022.

Ross, Jenna. “Intangible Assets: A Hidden but Crucial Driver of Company Value.” Visual Capitalist, 11 February 2020. Accessed 2 May 2022.

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What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Guided Implementation #1 - Initiate Your IT Knowledge Transfer Project
  • Call #1 - Structure the project.

    Discuss transfer maturity goal and metrics.

Guided Implementation #2 - Design Your Knowledge Transfer Plans
  • Call #1 - Build knowledge transfer plans
  • Call #2 - Identify priorities and review risk assessment tool.

Guided Implementation #3 - Implement Your Knowledge Transfer Plans and Roadmap
  • Call #1 - Build knowledge transfer roadmap
  • Call #2 - Determine logistics of implementation

Authors

Carlene McCubbin

Rebecca Zhao

Contributors

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