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Manage   »   Project Management   »   Knowledge transfer

This is the process to convey and handover information and responsibilities from one section of an organisation to another. Your objective is to ensure that key information is retained for the future, for the long-term benefit of the organisation and for future projects. Moreover, it seeks to insure that key responsibilities are identified, resourced and delivered. One of the key skills and responsibilities to transfer for future use is, of course, the management of projects using the Toolkit. This transfer is achieved via Knowledge transfer and Knowledge transfer is a straightforward process split into four simple elements.


Simply put it demands that you perform the knowledge transfer, define it in detail, sharing knowledge and the status of the transfer, allocate and distribute it, maintain and sustain the transfer responsibilities and perform a planned exit from the responsibilities. You perform the transfer, support the team and then gradually separate from them.

To make the process easier, we recommend you use a knowledge transfer plan. This is a very simple document that records the process you will use to perform knowledge transfer. The plan will identify people in your organisation who have knowledge you wish to transfer. These people can be named if you wish or simply recording their specific role and manager.

The plan will demonstrate the way that you will record their knowledge, how you will transfer it (Demo, document, presentation, workshop etc.), how you will measure that it has been transferred (examination, demo, presentation by the recipient) and lists some benefits that will motivate both sides to engage and complete the transfer. Finally, it will describe the length of time that knowledge will be supported after the transfer end date when the transfer is complete. After this time, the new team is on its own. Now before we plan to close the team down, Let us build them up first.

It is a natural behaviour to be an individual and, at the same time, to be part of a team. The natural world has many examples of team behaviour and the benefits of belonging to a team in the wild are obvious. Animals will team together to hunt in groups and African Wild Dogs are a notorious example of an often blood related team with dominant and alpha team members taking charge or control of the team. Interestingly, they also combine into teams for protection so the team fiercely defends intrusion from non related dogs or attacks on the team, its litter or on an individual. Thankfully, we rarely need to bare our teeth and growl to defend the activity of our project but behaviour patterns are strangely but agreeably similar.

Teams have positive elements as well as negative ones. Positive factors include such aspects as protection, focus, shared vision, lineage, bonding, team spirit, group creativity, combined knowledge, added experiences and the simple fact that some tasks cannot be performed or achieved by one or two individuals. Furthermore there are many activities that cannot be performed successfully at all by a team that does not work together.

Teams though have negative elements too which include inter team and intra team conflict, politics and partisan bias, adverse competition between teams as well as many more. Your project demands the team sways towards positive and away from negative behaviours. Indelicately delivering Knowledge Transfer without planning, process, management and rigid communications can delicately unpick the stability of a previously efficient team and lead to the precise negative behaviours you seek to avoid.

We are still in the Chapter on Management so this is a good time to look at Management Information.

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