“A conversation is the starting point,” she says. “It’s a sales job, primarily.
Executives like documentation presented to them in a very clear, distinct way. If
you can show them the risks that become issues when knowledge transfer does
not take place—if you can document for them all the dominoes that will fall,
highlighting time, cost and quality—that will ring executives’ bells.”
In a previous role, Ms. Vilkauskas introduced executives and other stakehold-
ers to the benefits of knowledge transfer by organizing a knowledge transfer
“road show.” “It was a presentation that essentially ran through—from front to
back—what the knowledge transfer process was, and what the benefits were,”
she explains. “We presented that road show to anybody and everybody in the
organization who would listen, and I think that was a great part of our success.”
A targeted messaging campaign can build the support needed to assign
PMO-level resources to a strategic knowledge transfer initiative. And hav-
ing a dedicated team is the best way to implement a program that will work,
says Mr. Mahajan.
“Organizations need to ensure there are people who are focused specifically on knowledge transfer,” he says. “These people are the change agents
who will continuously enforce the standards that are set and the best practices that are adopted. They’re the people who ultimately are accountable
for making sure knowledge is transferred. In that way, knowledge transfer
itself becomes a project in the organization. That’s the ideal way to approach
it, because it mitigates risk and creates
accountability, ownership and alignment
with the goals of the organization.”
FORMALIZE THE APPROACH
With executive sponsorship secured and
change agents in place, successful knowledge transfer relies on the development
and execution of specific, structured processes and practices.
“In strategic terms, it is very important
to identify which knowledge you need and want to capture,” says Ms. Peleja.
“When that is done, the first thing to do is to establish what methods will
be used and for which purpose. This will depend on industry, age, cultural
factors and, many times, on personal preferences.”
Whether information is being downloaded from senior- to junior-level
employees, from the project team to the operations team, or from external to
internal team members, processes should aim to make the transfer personal,
says Ms. Peleja.
“It is more than organizing, creating or distributing ‘knowledge.’ It is more
than sharing technical, technological or soft skills. It is sharing the whole experience,” she says.
itself becomes a project
in the organization.
That’s the ideal way to
—Girish Mahajan, PMP, Care Management
International, Dubai, United Arab Emirates