Knowledge transfer is akin to teaching and learning with a predetermined end-goal in mind. When know-how, expertise, or technology moves from one place or person to another, knowledge transfer is taking place. By addressing this process in a formal and structured way, end-goal success can be predicted and measured. Ideal knowledge transfer™ is a continuously improving concept that builds on the following existing principles and disciplines:
- Professional Project Management
- Fundamental Engineering Practices
- Universally Recognized Quality Systems
- Formal Problem Solving Methods
IKT™ takes into account non-negligible parameters at all scales – from molecular interactions to macroeconomics. The path to predictable success starts with planning and understanding; more effort is exerted in the early phases so that later phases benefit. In competitive and regulated industries, transferring knowledge and technology is central for innovation, growth, and profitability. Such industries must adopt methodologies to ensure proper, complete, and reproducible knowledge transfer. An investment in these formalized procedures is sometimes necessitated by law and economic survival. By spending more time and effort on knowledge transfer, companies are more likely to have efficient, first-time successes that can serve as a foundation for future successes.
Ideal Knowledge Transfer Principles
- Understand your natural talents and weaknesses, as well as those of others around you. Focus on cultivating your areas of talent instead of trying to improve weaknesses. However, manage key weaknesses so they do not interfere or take away from your talent.
- If you want to improve your productivity, work on effectiveness first, then move to efficiency. Otherwise, you’ll be efficient at doing the wrong things.
- When creating or using a new system, keep it simple in the beginning. Avoid data overload and develop/use only the required basic features. This approach will get you and your team up and running faster, while minimizing confusion and scope creep.
- Never compromise on data integrity. Like trust, once it has been lost, it’s extremely hard to get back.
- “Stop. Analyze. Think. Plan. Do. Repeat.” Following these steps to make your “doing” efficient and effective.
- Only implement full-automation when the steps are fully defined and operational using manual methods. Otherwise, take conservative risk planning measures.
- Perfecting the last 1 to 10% of an individual task may take a disproportionate amount of time and resources and usually does not provide a positive overall return. Instead of perfection, strive towards a state of overall robustness where multiple strategies help ensure the desired outcome.
- Until you can verify otherwise, never assume work that was done before you meets your standards.
- When given an opportunity to take blame, do so. Such action shows humility and responsibility – or, in other words, good leadership. It will promptly bring focus to creating a plan to get back on track and to avoid future incidents.
- In order to evaluate the effectiveness of an implemented system, meaningful and frequent measurements must be taken, trended and compared against goals or limits (e.g., tracking body composition on a diet and exercise program). Such action is critical for any quality system.
- Setting higher expectations and standards at the onset of a task tools resources for the duration, thus accelerating overall completion. Conversely, raising the bar at each step requires resources to frequently retool, adding time, cost and feelings of frustration.
- Until governing first principles are well-known and understood, remain skeptical of (apparent) cause-effect relationships.
- When transferring knowledge, try to take the route of “least variables.”
- Always be critical of important data, especially when it is presented pictorially.
- Package communication for the receiver’s benefit. Keep in mind that individuals have different key motivators; such motivations may be based on personality traits or Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, among other factors.
The Popcorn Example
A three-part example titled “Producing Quality Homemade Popcorn” was created by Kymanox to illustrate methodologies that are aligned with Ideal Knowledge Transfer™. These three elements are:
- A Step-by-Step Procedure
- Background and Theory Presentation
- An Audio/Video demonstration.
Together, these three elements work with one another (see diagram below) to capture the process of Producing Quality Homemade Popcorn in a complete and robust manner. This technique is a proven way to transfer knowledge efficiently and effectively and can be applied to a variety of situations.
Step By Step Procedure
A detailed, step-by-step written procedure creates an easy and sequential-based reference so the task can be replicated consistently:
PDF (1.2MB, 10 pages)
Background and Theory Presentation
A background and process theory slide presentation provides historical information and scientific reasoning for the finalized procedure:
Powerpoint Presentation (1.1MB, 27 slides)
An audio/video demonstration provides a real-world illustration of the procedure, for added clarity:
YouTube A/V (5 min.)