Practical Project Management

Knowledge Transfer

Apr 25

4/25/2011 12:00 AM  RssIcon

In many projects, particularly system implementation projects, knowledge transfer is a key deliverable.

Knowledge transfer is not simple training or teaching. It includes an element of mentoring that is essential to the process.

To teach a person to ride a bicycle, you can give them the bicycle specifications:

  • metal alloy,                                   
  • gear and turning ratio,
  • seat height,                                    
  • pedal and handle bar movement, etc..

 You can give them verbal and written instruction:

  1. Throw your leg over the bar,
  2. Push on the pedals alternatively,
  3. Steer with the handlebars, etc..

And, in a couple of weeks (and a few trips to the Urgent Care) – they will learn to ride a bicycle.


you can provide all those things, and then hold on and run alongside until the rider learns to balance, and rides off on their own.

That is knowledge transfer.

You can also put a person on the back of the bicycle, and ride them all over town, and they won’t learn to ride.

Some principles to note:

  • Both the mentor and the subject must be fully engaged,
  • When the transfer is complete, the subject is self sufficient.


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