American Productivity and Quality Center on how to mitigate the loss of critical knowledge

[Deutscher Titel: Das American Productivity and Quality Center darüber, wie man den Verlust kritischen Wissens abschwächt]

Danis, K. T. et al.
Retaining Today’s Knowledge for Tomorrow’s Work Force.
Huston, TX: American Productivity and Quality Center (Best Practices Report), 2008. 229 p.; ISBN-10: 1601971435; ISBN-13: 9781601971432

Abstract: Scarcity of knowledge and expertise is, and will continue to be, a huge challenge for organizations. Due to the anticipated mass retirement of baby boomers hired during the 1970s and 1980s, knowledge stewardship over time has become a critical concern.
However, knowledge retention and transfer is not just about retirement anymore: Many of today’s most pervasive knowledge issues result from the constant movement of people from project to project inside organizations, as well as the entrance of new employees as others leave.
Enterprises are increasingly realizing the need for knowledge strategies that address factors such as rapid organizational growth, layoffs, turnover, mergers and acquisitions, and internal redeployments.
In this report, APQC explores the steps that leading organizations have taken to mitigate the loss of critical knowledge. The investigation focuses on five best-practice partners—The Aerospace Corporation, Fluor Corporation, Michelin North America, NASA, and Rolls-Royce—and their successful knowledge retention and transfer strategies and approaches.

Selection of Key Findings

  • Communities of practice are a primary vehicle to identify, capture, and transfer knowledge.
  • Best-practice organizations apply facilitated knowledge-transfer approaches—such as knowledge audits, handoff documents, lessons learned, and interviews—to capture job-related knowledge.
  • Mentoring and apprenticeship programs play a key role in tacit knowledge transfer.
  • Best-practice organizations engage with subject matter experts in a formal, structured manner for the purposes of knowledge retention and transfer.
  • Storytelling continues to play an important role in imparting history, context, heroes, and values to employees.
  • In-house training organizations are taking on a larger, more strategic role with regard to knowledge retention and transfer.
  • Knowledge retention and transfer approaches span the employment life cycle, and best-in-class organizations continue to tap the expertise of retirees.
  • Disciplined use of enabling technology is what makes such technology effective.
  • Web 2.0 technologies may enable peer-to-peer knowledge transfer in ways that existing enterprise-wide knowledge capture applications cannot.
  • Engaging the organization in knowledge retention and transfer requires strong change management efforts.
  • Using business outcomes to measure the effectiveness of knowledge retention and transfer activities provides the strongest evidence of value.

Classification Codes :

  • Topics :   KM Culture,   KM and Change Management,   Human Capital,  
  • Processes :  6.2.4 Manage preplacement verification ,   6.2.5 Manage new hire/rehire ,  
  • Industry :  General

To the publisher’s website of the book.

© American Productivity and Quality Center.

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