How to Successfully Implement a Knowledge Transfer Plan

A knowledge transfer plan is a process of storing and sharing employee knowledge, best practices, and daily job duties with other team members. This strategy prevents knowledge loss when employees leave the company and boosts productivity, as employees won’t be searching through endless emails or messages to find the information they need.

This article dives into why a knowledge transfer plan is important, what you should include, and how to execute it. 

Why Should You Have a Knowledge Transfer Plan?

A knowledge transfer plan can support employees as they transition to new roles and ensure that key knowledge is shared with current and future team members. If a key employee is leaving the company, it is essential to transfer their knowledge to other employees.

Without a knowledge transfer plan, most companies will scramble to hold meetings before the employee leaves, and often, the knowledge transfer is not very effective. A strong knowledge transfer plan will help with onboarding, internal programs, and employees transferring roles. All you need is a clear step-by-step process. 

What Should You Include In a Knowledge Transfer Plan?

When creating a knowledge transfer plan, you need to consider both explicit and tacit knowledge. Both types of knowledge are important and passed along in different ways. 

Explicit knowledge is easily shared and transferred through speaking or writing. This knowledge can easily be picked up and doesn’t require formal training or many meetings. 

Tacit knowledge is the most important and difficult type of knowledge to transfer. It is hard to pass along simply through speaking or writing and is developed from someone’s experiences, observations, and insights. Shared activities or mentorship are usually required for someone to gain this type of knowledge. 

How to Execute a Knowledge Transfer Plan

To transfer knowledge, you need a solid step-by-step plan. Set clear goals to guide the process and avoid frustration as much as possible. 

1. Identify the knowledge you need and who you need it from

This is the first and most important part of the process. You should ask yourself a few questions, such as:

Answer those questions, then write down a list of names, activities, and tasks you need to learn more about. 

2. Obtain the knowledge 

Create a system for obtaining knowledge from certain employees in the company, then capture and organize everything. You can use a spreadsheet or a knowledge transfer plan software, like Cyper Learning Curve

Consider the following questions and write down the answers:

Once you've gathered and stored all the information, choose an effective way to deliver this information to others.  

3. Share the knowledge

There are several effective knowledge transfer methods. You can use one or more of these together for the best results.  

Mentorship – this will likely involve in-person or one-on-one meetings. It can be short or long-term, depending on how long the mentor will be at the company and how much information is being passed along. Mentorship is effective for transferring tacit knowledge.

Guided experience – sometimes called “second-hand learning,” this is done when a hands-on element is required for certain job activities. The person transferring the knowledge shares it and demonstrates how it is done. 

Work shadowing – the person obtaining the knowledge shadows the experienced individual. This lets the learner observe the job functions and activities closely. 

Paired work – two people who are learning the new role are paired up and work closely together to bounce ideas off each other. They will often have shared explicit knowledge and learn tacit knowledge through trial and error. 

4. Measure and evaluate

To evaluate the success of your knowledge transfer plan, look at the goals you originally had when developing the plan. Did you achieve the goals you set for yourself? Did new employees learn and implement everything the senior employees passed down?

Evaluating your original goals against how everything turned out will show any gaps in the transfer plan, and you’ll see how you can improve the plan moving forward. 


Having an efficient and successful knowledge transfer plan will speed up the training of new employees and is the best way to share knowledge across a team quickly. It is also proven to reduce employee burnout and turnover rates

Your knowledge transfer plan should be evaluated regularly and revised as your company grows over time.

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