Prioritizing knowledge in the knowledge transfer process

Last updated: May 19, 2021

Once you've identified the knowledge required to perform the activities, the next step is to determine which knowledge needs to be prioritized for capture and transfer. The Knowledge Transfer Inventory Template (PDF, 58KB) is a great place to record this information. It also includes the knowledge prioritization formula, explained below.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when looking at all of the knowledge required to perform a team’s activities. A method to streamline the process is to apply the knowledge prioritization formula to the knowledge you've identified. The formula rates knowledge on three factors: importance, availability, and frequency. The ratings on these 3 factors are added together to determine the priority of the knowledge.

Prioritization formula

Priority = Importance + Availability + Frequency

 
Importance  
Rating How important the knowledge is to delivering an organization’s objectives?
3 = Very important Transfer cannot be postponed or primary activities will be impacted. Knowledge is critical to deliver on business objectives
2 = Important Transfer could be temporarily postponed without significant impact to operations
1 = Somewhat important Transfer could be postponed for some time without impact to operations
 
Availability  
Rating How available the knowledge is within the organization?
3 = Rare Knowledge or skill required to perform the activity is rare and very few individuals hold it
2 = Moderately available Other individuals within the organization have the knowledge or skill required to perform the activity
1 = Common Multiple individuals across the public service have the knowledge or skill to perform the activity
 
Frequency  
Rating How frequently is the knowledge used?
3 = Frequently Skill or knowledge is used more than once a week
2 = Occasionally Skill or knowledge is used less than once a week and may be used weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually
1 = Rarely Skill or knowledge is used only when a specific situation arises

Prioritize the knowledge

Once you've completed the importance, availability, and frequency rating, calculate the overall priority for this activity and related knowledge transfer.

The Knowledge Transfer Inventory Template (XLSX, 58KB) guides a person or team through identifying the knowledge that needs to be transferred, who holds that knowledge, who needs to receive the knowledge, as well as prioritizing the knowledge. This tool allows a person or team to identify which knowledge transfer approaches are a good fit for transferring the knowledge.

The priority rating is manually calculated by adding the importance, availability, and frequency ratings.

Priority = Importance + Availability + Frequency

Priority

Score

Description

High

7 to 9

  • The knowledge is essential to achieving the organization’s objectives, not widely available, and used frequently
  • Actions should be taken immediately to capture or transfer knowledge

Medium

4 to 6

  • The knowledge is less important to achieving the organization’s objectives, may be more commonly available within the organization, or may not be used as frequently
  • An action plan should be established to capture or transfer knowledge

Low

1 to 3

  • The knowledge is not essential to achieving the organization’s objectives, are commonly available, and may be use infrequently or cyclical
  • Although it's low in priority, determine a plan for transferring knowledge
  • This knowledge may be the easiest to transfer

Once the knowledge has been identified and prioritized, the next step is capturing and transferring the knowledge.