I’ve just wrapped up a 2 ½ year consulting engagement. Typically, when I leave a client, I have been on a project and my focus is on completing as many action items as possible and making sure I have transitioned the remaining action items to someone. My team members generally already understand the project.
This time was a bit different; the remaining product manager and BAs had been there less time than me, so I needed to concentrate on doing as much knowledge transfer as possible. Toward that end, I listed my major areas of knowledge (there were about 10) and the tasks I would need to do to transition the knowledge. Additionally, I identified who else within the company also knew about the area of knowledge. I ran it by the team who would be taking over my responsibilities and we fine-tuned it.
In many cases, others were already fairly familiar with the area of knowledge and I simply provided a guide to finding information—there were all sorts of models, user stories, and acceptance criteria for them to reference in the future. It was in various places on the intranet because of the many programs I had been associated with. They needed a map to the information. The map also included links to information I hadn’t created, but had run across and found useful. The remaining product manager reviewed the more than 50 links to information to make sure I had clearly identified it.
In a few cases, others needed to become familiar enough with the subject matter to immediately support the systems. We had documentation for the current behavior of the system and a backlog for future enhancements and changes. Learning a subject is easier when you’re actually doing something with the information and not just reading or listening. For these systems, we decided that the people taking them over would present information about the system, at a high level, to others. This really focused the learning and worked well. I was in the room during the presentation to make sure they had the knowledge down. This also allowed us to validate the knowledge transfer.
I’m confident they have been set up for success and will do well.