Select Page

What is a Knowledge Transfer Plan?

According to Investopedia, 10,000 baby boomers retire from their careers everKnowledge Transfer is about peopley day. This means that there is a massive turnover of who is exiting the workforce. When a person has worked at a company for decades, they amass so much knowledge that information can become second nature to them. Therefore, when an employee retires, if they do not document the information they have learned over time, it can create a huge vacuum of vital company information. Therefore, it is crucial that businesses and organizations have a knowledge transfer plan. A knowledge transfer plan helps the company preserve the information that they may lose with a retiring member, and transfer it quickly and efficiently to new employees. By planning the movement of skills and information at the right time, a company can remain competitive and innovative, even with brand new employees.


How to know when a KTP is necessary:

The knowledge transfer process is a completely different process from learning and development. Learning and development refer to the natural learning process that occurs when anybody starts a job. However, knowledge transfer is wisdom that employees acquire after years of experience. People do not acquire this knowledge through the average formal learning environment. Some common reasons a company may implement a KTP are: 

  • a longtime employee leaving
  •  the creation of an internship program
  • Many team members retiring simultaneously
  • Company is downsizing
  • Transferring to remote work 
  • Multiple businesses are merging together
  • Internal hiring of employees

Knowledge Transfer Plan Steps

Although many organizations do have a knowledge transfer plan developed through their HR department, some companies may need to update their plans. With the rapid development of new technology, as employees retire, the knowledge they possess is greater than it ever has been. Therefore, it is crucial that employee knowledge transfer plans follow a template. To make a knowledge transfer plan, it is vital to keep a few steps in mind. Steps may include:

Identifying the information needed in the transfer process. 

If your most valuable employee submits their resignation tomorrow, you need to make sure you know exactly what knowledge remains for them. Next, you need to create a process to maintain it. Ask yourself some questions to identify the most valuable knowledge. 

  • Who are your best employees?  
  • What do your top employees know that others don’t know? 
  • How does an organization or team handle a task when a top employee is ill, on vacation, or otherwise unavailable? 
  • What information do top employees know what others are most looking for?
  • Is the information stored? How is it stored?

Create a plan for transferring this information.

You need to consider how to store information as well as identify what is important. There is a dichotomy between simple and complex knowledge. Templates need to address the different types of knowledge in different ways. 

First, employees store and transfer simple knowledge easily. Simple knowledge transfer refers to 

  • information that is written down 
  •  Information that is easily shared in simple conversations 
  •  Information that is saved in native format (Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, etc.) 

Complex knowledge transfer is information that is much more difficult to reproduce quickly. It typically refers to 

  •  Information that is difficult to write down 
  •  Information obtained from human experience and observation 
  •  Information that requires a long conversation or simulation to explain 

Whether the information is simple or complex, it is important that during this step the company identifies which template they would like to follow for seamless knowledge transfer. Further on this page, there are links to pre-created templates for knowledge transfer. There exist a plethora of templates for specific organizations and types of knowledge, so it is possible to pick the one best suited to your needs. 

Chose a medium of knowledge transfer

Software developers recognize knowledge management to create these platforms. These platforms focus on standardizing and automating information storage. They often employ text, charts, images, audio, and video to aid in sharing of information. It is important that HR chooses the correct template for transfer. The medium of transfer supports the template by enhancing efficiency.

Some of the best-ranked knowledge management software include:

  1. Helpjuice
  2. Guru
  3. Confluence
  4. Notion
  5. ConcordNow
  6. M-Files
  7. eFileCabinet
  8. Teamwork
  9. HubSpot CRM
  10. Salesforce Sales Cloud


Specialized Knowledge Transfer Plans

Knowledge Transfer Plans look different based on what information needs to be transferred. There are many templates for knowledge transfer plans that are developed and utilized by various organizations. If you are searching for a template for any of these areas, you can check there out:

  1. Knowledge Transfer Template for Employees: 
  2. Knowledge Transfer Template for University
  3. Knowledge Transfer Template for Clerk Certification Class Credit
  4. Knowledge Transfer Document Template for SMEs

How a KTP Impacts a Business

It is important that the knowledge transfer template and plan clarify specific talent issues that put your business at risk. KTP uses a common language. Additionally, KTP uses simple language and everyone is on board with the same solution. Companies prioritize the most valuable information to preserve tacit knowledge. Moreover, companies ensure that workflow is not reduced during transitionary periods because they consider the timeline. It is also important to recognize the scale of knowledge transfer. Companies use knowledge transfer at both the individual team level and for the entire organization.


Overall, the Knowledge Transfer Process can help preserve efficiency even through the retirement or resignation of beloved employees. In conclusion, new employees acclimate quickly and efficiently to working environments because of a KTP. Therefore, it is important to have a portfolio of templates for knowledge transfer that apply to different situations and types of knowledge.


Whether you need a single technical writer for a brief project or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, the quality of our work is guaranteed for you. Our clients work closely with an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or to get started.


Written by Samantha Galvin