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In our previous blogs, we addressed the importance of service design and service transition processes but of equal importance is the process of knowledge transfer.

In this blog, we describe the importance of effective Knowledge Transfer, and describe the process to ensure that your Knowledge Transfer is effective.

What is Knowledge Transfer?

At the end of a large project or programme, ownership of a new or changed product moves from the project team to a live service support team.  It is vital to ensure that the business-as-usual support teams are suitability equipped to manage the new or changed service in a live environment.

Knowledge Transfer (KT) is the process which defines the required KT, classifies it, assigns an owner to each item and tracks its progress. The action of transferring knowledge is obviously the most important step.  This is followed by a review and sign-off by the receiving team and the project subject matter expert.

A typical knowledge transfer process is described below.


  • Define KT scope and content

    This phase of the process defines what knowledge is to be transferred. This will need to be performed in collaboration with the project team and the receiving teams, to agree upon a KT scope and content which can then be logged and tracked.

  • Classify each KT requirement

    Some knowledge items will be more critical, lengthy or complex than others. Some may have prerequisites, such as training. Others may simply be upskilling or training requirements in their own right, particularly where new technology is involved.  By understanding these factors, a knowledge transfer tracker can be developed an suitable KT plan defined.

  • Assign Ownership

    Each KT item needs to be assigned an owner, both from the project team and the receiving team. Assigning ownership ensures that there is accountability for ensuring that the KT takes place and resolving any issues which may occur along the way.

  • Perform KT

    Depending upon the KT classification factors described above, the appropriate KT method can be agreed. This may involve any combination of:

    1. Classroom based training
    2. Computer based training
    3. Documentation review
    4. Assisted performance of the task
    5. Supervised performance of the task
    6. Review of the performance of the task once it has been completed independently
    7. Meetings and workshops to discuss specific challenges or complex KT items
  • Review and Sign off KT

    This part is critical. Both the giving and receiving party should review and sign off to state that the KT was given and received to an appropriate standard and to satisfaction of both parties. Where necessary, evidence should be provided to support the fact that KT has been given and both parties are satisfied.

  • Track progress and ensure momentum

    Progress should be tracked to provide a single source of the status each KT item. This tracker should be reviewed regularly to ensure that progress is maintained, and issues identified and escalated as quickly as possible.

Undertaking effective knowledge transfer will reduce the dependence on the project team quickly and will also lessen the likelihood of customer dissatisfaction with the level of support provided by the support teams.

I hope you’ve found this blog interesting.  If you’d like to discuss your specific knowledge transfer challenges or indeed, any other issue, please feel free to get in touch.