How to do a Knowledge Transfer
An important part of working with any new client is making sure we have all of the information we need to do our job effectively.
This requires a knowledge transfer and documentation of all of our client’s procedures. A knowledge transfer is much more than just getting some general guidelines about the work they do. This is a deep dive into their business, processes, and systems.
After leading countless knowledge transfer projects for our clients, there are a common set of steps I follow to make sure the process runs smoothly:
- Identify key personnel to assist with knowledge transfer
- Schedule work sessions with client and appropriate team members
- Client walks me through their processes step-by-step
- I take screenshots of all the steps
- Using the screenshots, I build out the documentation
- Send my draft to client for their review.
After I’ve sent the draft to the client for review, there most likely will be several revisions until we have it dialed in correctly. Once we get final approval from the client, the documentation goes through a validation process with our incident managers. After this initial work, the following ensures our continued success:
Use a Centralized Location for Files
If it passes their inspection, then at this point, we upload the document(s) to Sharepoint. We maintain files for all of our clients on Sharepoint, and it allows us to have one place to keep everyone updated on the files needed to work with specific clients.
It’s critical for any knowledge base to remain up-to-date, and Sharepoint automatically replaces files with the newest version available. This means our team always has access to current materials.
Schedule Regular Check-ins
I schedule weekly meetings with clients to discuss any changes that need to be made. I also have biweekly meetings with our incident managers and Tier 2 support team. I want to know if they are seeing any trends in the types of support tickets they are handling that would require updates to our documentation.
Expect the Unexpected
Occasionally we run into a situation where a client needs to have some vital piece of the documentation changed. We have a specific process for handling change requests, and it generally takes two or three days before that change is live. However, if the change is urgent, I make sure all of my clients have my cell phone number. They know they can call me with crucial changes, and I will put them through immediately. This way, we don’t run into any unexpected problems.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
The key to a successful knowledge transfer is having a solid point of contact with a deep understanding of the client processes and ongoing conversations to fine-tune the information. Keeping the channels of communication open; being responsive to constructive feedback; and responding quickly to client requests ensures a smooth transfer of information from the client to your internal support team.
As you consider moving any major set of responsibilities to another group, internal or external, a solid knowledge transfer process is key to overall success.