Transfer IT Knowledge Before It’s Gone

66 million Baby Boomers are set to retire and they’re taking 50+ years of knowledge with them.


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Your Challenge

  • Over 66 million Baby Boomers will retire within the next 20 years, which means that a significant portion of your IT knowledge will be gone.
  • Effective knowledge transfer mitigates risks from employees leaving the organization and is a key asset driving innovation and customer service.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Despite the looming threat of baby boomer retirement, 74% 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.


  • City of Topeka 

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Get to Action

  1. Make the case for knowledge transfer

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

  2. Structure the project

    Identify current maturity of knowledge transfer and build project charter.

  3. Identify knowledge priorities

    Identify knowledge sources and risk profile.

  4. Build knowledge transfer plans

    Ensure prioritized knowledge is transferred and retained.

  5. Build knowledge transfer roadmap

    Prioritize and define knowledge transfer initiatives.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a three call advisory process.

  • Call #1: Structure the project

    Get off to a productive start: Discuss knowledge transfer maturity goal and metrics. Review the IT Knowledge Transfer Project Charter Template.

  • Call #2: Build knowledge transfer plans

    Identify knowledge priorities and plan transfer tactics: Review the IT Knowledge Transfer Risk Assessment Tool. Discuss differences between tacit and explicit knowledge and the most effective transfer tactics for different situations. Review IT Knowledge Transfer Plan Template.

  • Call #3: Build knowledge transfer roadmap

    Roadmap creation: Determine logistics of implementing transfer tactics and create key messages to present the roadmap to stakeholders. Review roadmap and metrics.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Define the Current and Target State

The Purpose

  • Gain a thorough understanding of reasons why your organization should invest in knowledge transfer.
  • Identify specific challenges that this workshop will address.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identified challenges.
  • Defined target state.
  • Identified project team.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Knowledge transfer fireside chat.
  • Organizational benefits and current pain points of knowledge transfer.
1.2 Identify current and target maturity.
  • Identified target state of maturity.
1.3 Identify knowledge transfer metrics.
  • Metrics for knowledge transfer.
1.4 Identify knowledge transfer project stakeholders.
  • Project stakeholder register.

Module 2: Identify Knowledge Priorities

The Purpose

  •  Identify who your primary risk targets for knowledge transfer are.

Key Benefits Achieved

  •  Identified knowledge sources.
  • Identified knowledge risks.
  • Identified knowledge sources’ likelihood of departure.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Identify your knowledge sources.
  • List of high risk knowledge sources.
2.2 Complete a knowledge risk assessment.
  • Departure analysis.
2.3 Identify knowledge sources’ level of knowledge risk.
  • Knowledge risk analysis.

Module 3: Build Knowledge Transfer Plans

The Purpose

  • Build an interview guide.
  • Practice interviewing knowledge sources to identify key knowledge assets.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Key sources interviewed.
  • Understanding of key knowledge transfer tactics.
  • Completed knowledge transfer plan.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Build an interview guide.
  • Knowledge transfer interview guide.
3.2 Interview knowledge holders.
  • Itemized knowledge assets.

Module 4: Define the Knowledge Transfer Roadmap

The Purpose

  • Build the logistics of the knowledge transfer roadmap.
  • Communicate to key stakeholders.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Prioritized the sequence of initiatives.
  • Completed the project roadmap.
  • Ready to communicate with project team and sponsor.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Prioritize the sequence of initiatives.
  • Prioritized sequence based on target state maturity goals.
4.2 Complete the project roadmap.
  • Project roadmap.
4.3 Prepare communication presentation.
  • Communication deck.

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Onsite 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 onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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Search Code: 74709
Published: October 24, 2014
Last Revised: October 24, 2014

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