Capturing organisational knowledge

Given the ongoing push to realise savings across both the public and private sectors, it is likely that high staff turnover will continue to impact organisations over coming years. Whenever a staff member moves on for any reason, there is a risk to the organisation of losing the knowledge the person has acquired over the course of their employment – like their understanding of key processes and procedures, workplace culture, and stakeholder management. This knowledge can build up over years of working with an organisation, and can continue to be a highly valuable resource after the employee has moved on – if you know how to retain it. Good knowledge capture involves eliciting knowledge from the person who currently holds it, distilling that knowledge, and repackaging it in a way that makes its accessible as a resource to the organisation.

Fyusion recently completed a project for a public sector client in which a key role (and point of risk for the organisation) was about to retire. This person held a vast amount of institutional knowledge and expertise, and only had a very short period of time in which to hand this over to the person newly recruited to the role. Feedback from participants and senior management indicated that this short project (completed within two weeks) successfully achieved the key outcome of retaining institutional knowledge and thereby reducing the risk to the organisation posed by the staffing change.

So how can you go about capturing this knowledge?

  1. Map key processes and practices with the exiting staff member;

  2. Support this with network maps (who to go to for specific types of information);

  3. Where possible, facilitate a discussion about the processes and maps between the incoming and outgoing staff members;

  4. Develop lists of supporting documents and tools required to carry out the processes; and

  5. Identify key issues for transition.

This information can now be used as a resource and reference point for the incoming staff member.

Process mapping is just one way to capture your employees’ valuable knowledge. To find out more about how Fyusion can support your organisation with knowledge capture, contact Lisa Koch on 0419 875 775 or lisa.koch@fyusion.com.au