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Knowledge Transfer: Pinning Down The Process

A desktop computer with pictures of code, representing the importance of cybersecurity technical writers.

Knowledge is Power

Knowledge transfer ensures that information remains accessible when there is a risk of information loss  through promotion or downsizing. Ideally, this is a hypothetical situation.  However, the process of knowledge migration is the loss of details, convictions, and facts. Our familiarity with the process makes us create safeguards to have it be amenable to our needs. In that regard, knowledge transfer represents our desire for stable progress. Though we are applying it to business today, it is as human a need as socializing and about as communication centric. Whatever sense of finality “transfer” evokes, as though one experience is coming to an end, the truth is that the experience continues in a new setting, skirted by different subjectivities, growing more approachable.

Knowledge Transfer: It Has To Do With Continuity

Recently, our wish for knowledge to remain has, like the best science fiction, proved something as yet beyond our means, though we contend its practicality. I am referring to the Great Resignation, the modern exodus from the careers some employees feel no longer fit their interests or would improve with a few changes. Greg Kihlström of Forbes argues that the Resignation is driven in part by lack of continuity and lack of engagement and innovation. For our purposes, the most devastating effect on that list is lack of continuity, since it implies a poor knowledge transfer system. 

“-Fer” means “to carry,” and if documentation does not carry information, then the business stagnates. Consider the state of a world where people do not share breakthroughs in knowledge.  Instead ideas begin and end in the innovators’ minds. It is simultaneously a world without the physics, art, mathematics, and all of the other disciplines that have brought humanity to its current state. So imagined, it seems that knowledge often travels as a result of its discovery, and arguably, it cannot be called knowledge unless somebody has heard or read of it.

It Is Also About People, People, People

Sales Professional Going Over a Contract with a Couple.

The New York Times recommends making the most of the human asset, which, if to interpret the almost Marxian terminology here, means to help workers reach their collective potential. The Times takes points from HR Magazine, specifically a three-tiered approach:

  • Who has info?
  • How to transfer it?
  • Who will replace those with the info?

The transfer of knowledge deserves the best preparation and discipline. Every company is only as accomplished as its best employees, but take away the knowledge supplementing their work ethic—the mission statements, say—and over time, employees may forget the purpose of their work. There is more to knowing than what amounts to recalling working memory; still, the seemingly inconsequential data is, when in context, the inch that makes a foot.

At the risk of sounding didactic, I will say that knowledge transfer does come down to extending the impact of a few variables, like time and legacy, until the need has passed. The trouble is that the limit changes, and inconsistency leads to at best, partial completion and at worst, indifference. 

How Economics Impacts Knowledge Transfer

InImpact: The Journal of Innovation Impact published an article discussing the effects of budget cuts to Israeli Higher Education and Research Development and how that in turn cut human resources and the ability to innovate. As the article states, there is a direct link between innovation and economic growth, which is as good a reason as any for knowledge transfer. When navigating the basics is instinctual, spotting opportunities for novelty takes less random guessing and more practiced timing. Israel, as is to be expected, relies on its human capital to keep a balance between the private and public sectors of education and research. 

The “Achilles heel” of Israel’s private knowledge sector, according to the article, is the lack of government funding. This also implies a lack of interest in the private sector’s ambitions. What occurs, then, is that knowledge that  someone may transfer to the private sector is left in the areas where it had an impact. No great change is taking place, but it is not that a change must be great, either; rather, the universities that are housing the knowledge should to share it with those who can recognize its value. 

If the Brookings Institute is anything to go by, the knowledge proves most valuable to the disadvantaged and otherwise displaced workers to whom a training program could mean benefits out-sizing their current living state. That leads to, potentially, higher pay, health benefits, or higher career rankings in the long-term. Downsides may present themselves at one time or another. Yet with such an array of promising outcomes, the risks of knowledge transfer are low, indeed.

Change Could Be Right Around The Corner

We want to help you make the process possible. Look at it in a way as a knowledge transfer to anticipate the future transfer. We know data, yes, but you also know your data best. What we can do is categorize the knowledge and match it up with whatever criteria you give us. Ultimately, our plan is always yours, and the finished product will be exactly what you want.

The loss of knowledge is the loss of our company’s purpose. Data pushes us forward. In the modern world, after all, who does not hold data to the highest standard? 

Get in touch with us, and we promise that you will feel immediately that you have made the right choice.

Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, we guarantee the quality of our work. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or [email protected]

Written by Will Boswell