It is about time to reveal the second part of the Leaving Experts flowchart, don’t you think? Until now I have only been showing you the first part, to determine if an expert has knowledge to transfer and if yes, how long (s)he is available to do this.
This is the second part, including the best ways to extract their knowledge given the situation.
It will come as no surprise that someone who retires in 6 months will give you more options than someone who leaves the company in 2 months’ time. So if your colleague is leaving the company soon, get into action as soon as possible!
The flowchart above shows the best extraction methods. You may want to check if these are also the best ways to produce the knowledge products that you need. The table below shows you more.
Or download as pdf.
The “staying connected” knowledge extraction method is not mentioned since this can take all kinds of shapes and is usually ad-hoc.
You will also notice that some techniques lend itself to create many different products:
- Thinking out loud
- Mind mapping
You may want to brush up on those skills, or learn where you can hire the expertise.
Now you go and get that knowledge from your colleague before it is too late!
Even better, start promoting working out loud at this very moment, so you do not have to leave everything to the last moment.
If that feels like too much exposure right now, why not start blogging first? This will not only be useful for your colleagues, but also for yourself.
I write blogs to collect, store and share my own experiences about things like SharePoint permissions or copying from Excel into a SharePoint Datasheet. I also use blogs (my own and other’s) as help materials to the users I support. A good blogpost saves me a lot of time explaining it over and over again.
And if you think: “Why is she writing this to me? I am not a KM expert or responsible for knowledge management”, think again. Capturing and retaining knowledge is also your responsibility, perhaps not for all your organization, but certainly for your own work and your own team.
So, how are you dealing with “leaving experts” in your team?