einventing the wheel is a waste of resources. But when project teams
lack the blueprints to replicate success—and avoid repeating mistakes—they have no choice but to start from scratch.
Going back to the drawing board is more than just inefficient. It also reduces a project’s chance of success. Organizations that have formal knowledge transfer processes in
place also are more likely to deliver projects on schedule
( 59 percent versus 41 percent) and on budget ( 62 percent versus 48 percent), according to PMI’s 2015 Pulse
of the Profession®: Capturing the Value of Project Management.
Despite these benefits, the Pulse report found that only half of global organizations have a formal knowledge transfer process in place. This shortfall can
cost an organization “time, money and credibility,” says Tracy Vilkauskas, PMP,
senior project manager, Cable One Inc., Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
“If a senior-level project manager leaves and has not been required to transi-
tion their knowledge in a structured fashion to another project manager, there
is a breakdown in the effectiveness of the organization,” she says. “When you
have a person performing a role who does not have the necessary knowledge, it
takes them longer to execute and there is a serious risk of mistakes being made
that may affect team morale and overall project delivery.”
A formal knowledge transfer process can prevent this
scenario—and drive results. The Pulse report found that
75 percent of high-performing organizations have a formal
knowledge transfer process in place, compared to just 35
percent of low-performing organizations. High performers
successfully complete 90 percent of their projects, while
low performers successfully complete only 36 percent.
PROVE THE CONCEPT
This risk is exacerbated if major team changes happen in
the middle of a long-term project, says Girish Mahajan,
PMP, senior project manager, Care Management International, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“People who worked previously on the project have
gained a lot of knowledge, and it could take months or
“When you have a
a role who does not
have the necessary
knowledge, it takes
them longer to
execute and there
is a serious risk of
mistakes being made
that may affect
team morale and overall project delivery.”
—Tracy Vilkauskas, PMP, Cable One Inc., Phoenix, Arizona, USA