By Steve Trautman June 14, 2013

Improve Your Knowledge Transfer Results -- Draft a Case Study for Your KT Pilot BEFORE the Project Begins

Posted by Steve Trautman on Jun 14, 2013 6:31:30 AM

For every knowledge transfer pilot my consulting company completes, we like to write a case study that highlights results and lessons learned. The pilot is a test of how an organization responds to a structured approach to knowledge transfer, and the next step after the pilot is often to encourage our client’s leadership team to get behind a broader rollout. To make this process easier, we have started writing the story before the pilot begins, leaving blank spots for data we’ll gather during the pilot. This knowledge transfer best practice allows us to make sure we are hitting the target for a solid value proposition, resolving pain points, and creating a compelling story of solution.


Here are some of the spots we know in advance we’ll want to fill:

  • The protagonists are… (How many people would we like in the story? Is it a few mentor/apprentice pairs, a whole team, or all participants? What level of leadership should we include, such as the Knowledge Transfer Sponsor and the Knowledge Transfer Process Owner?)

  • The business issues are… (Which issue(s) should we highlight? Unique critical knowledge siloed in one employee? Retiring workers who might take their secret sauce out the door with them? Onboarding faster? Cross-generational or inter-location knowledge transfer challenges? Contractor-to-FTE consistency? Etc.)

  • The outcomes include… (How much hard data is required to prove pilot success? We must know this so we can track it throughout the project. For example, we could accelerate the development, customization, and execution of Skill Development Plans (SDP) for one or a handful of employees so that there are quick examples of “finished” knowledge transfer in a critical knowledge area (silo), if that is important to leadership. Or, we could show breadth of knowledge transferred, such as “all the employees on the team need to master these 10 high-priority job skills, as identified on the master SDP, and they have all learned these 10 skills by 9/1.”)

  • We overcame these cultural hurdles…

  • We have buy in from these people…

  • We recommend tying knowledge transfer to these business strategies… for these reasons…

Shaping your case on the front end focuses those executing your knowledge transfer solution like a laser on excellent outcomes.

Topics: Best Practices

Steve Trautman

Steve Trautman

Steve Trautman is corporate America’s leading talent risk management and knowledge transfer expert. With two decades of application inside blue chips and Fortune 1000s, his pioneering work in the field of talent risk management and related knowledge transfer tools are now the nationally-recognized gold standard. He is known for a high energy style that combines humor, street smarts, and board room wisdom.

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