Thursday, 19 November 2015

8 approaches to Knowledge Transfer

Imagine you have some learnings within a team. How do you pass them on?

Image from wikimedia
The approach you take to Knowledge Transfer depends on the circumstances, and the answers to the three questions below will define 8 possible approaches.
  • Who needs the knowledge? The same team as generated it, or a different team?
  • When do they need it? Now, or at some undetermined time in the future?
  • Where are they? Near enough to sit down with, or somewhere remote?
So we have three variables, so we can't draw a Boston Square with four divisions - we have to draw a Boston Cube with eight. And in each of those divisions, we take a different approach to how we transfer the knowledge.

  1. Same team, same place, same time - hold an AAR. Discuss the learning, and help everyone internalise it.
  2. Same team, different place, same time (virtual team) - hold a virtual AAR. Discuss the learning, and help everyone internalise it. Checking for internalisation will be harder without access to body language.
  3. Same team, same place, different time - hold a Retrospect and update and improve your team processes, procedures and practices. Then if you follow those next time, performance will improve.  
  4. Same team, different place(virtual team), different time  -  conduct a Learning History and update and improve your team processes, procedures and practices. Then if you follow those next time, performance will improve.
  5. Different team, same place, same time - hold a Peer Assist. Discuss the learning, and help the other team internalise it. Or host a site knowledge visit
  6. Different team, different place, same time - hold a virtual Peer Assist. Discuss the learning, and help everyone internalise it. Checking for internalisation will be harder without access to body language. Set up a community of practice, or virtual coaching group.
  7. Different  team, same place, different time - hold a Retrospect and document a Knowledge Asset. When the knowledge is needed, find someone from the original team to talk through the Knowledge Asset.
  8. Different team, different place, different time - hold a Retrospect and document a stand-alone Knowledge Asset.
Different contexts require different approaches, for example the 8 approaches defined here

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