Identify your company’s knowledge weaknesses and those who can help fix them.


an Action


Learn to
act on the

What It Is

A combination of a straightforward Q&A process and a simple framework to chart the outcomes, which are then put into a database. Reports reveal the talent and knowledge risks for a working team in just seconds.

The KSM charts the technical and professional expertise of workers against relevant knowledge areas.

Uses and Benefits

  • Assess and prioritize risks of loss of knowledge and experience
  • Map employees’ critical roles and skills to identify talent shortages and redundancies as well as opportunities to standardize job roles and share best practices
  • Uncover key employees at risk of burnout to help balance their workload and improve means of retaining employees
  • Assess the degree of bench strength in your workforce (e.g. to mitigate aging workforce risks)
  • Spot productivity and quality risks due to insufficient on-boarding of new or transferring employees
  • Identify gaps in your formal training resources that would guide future spending
  • Call out those in your organization who are best suited to mentor others
  • Find and mitigate pockets of persistent risk

How it works

The Knowledge Silo Matrix essentially formats the results from our pointed information-gathering process into a simple grid charting the degree of technical and professional expertise held by individual workers in a group or team, graphed against the relevant knowledge areas of your business (i.e. processes, tools, platforms, standards, systems, products, customers, physical location, and history).

The Knowledge Silo Matrix can be filled out for a typical team or division in a matter of hours or days, not weeks or months. The tool is scalable from small teams to enterprise-wide solutions. And the product does not require a high degree of learning: the relational database used to display results is ultra simple.

For Companies Facing the Aging Workforce Crisis:

The Knowledge Silo Matrix is an exceptional framework for the systematic assessment and mitigation of workforce risks due to aging workers nearing retirement. For example, aging workforce challenges are set to hit the nuclear industry hard. We recently implemented a project for a nuclear power plant and, after applying this risk assessment framework, found that a process defined by the client as vital was being run by a worker who was already retired and only coming in part-time. No other employee in the workforce was competent in this skill, which could potentially shutdown operations if not properly maintained. Since the work was getting done for the moment, managers had overlooked the issue and senior leadership wasn’t aware of the talent shortage—until our Knowledge Silo Matrix brought the risk to light. The next two tools in our 3-step solution facilitated the transfer of the retiree’s knowledge to apprentice workers, and a potential safety and productivity incident was avoided. Similar scenarios were repeated throughout the enterprise until its imminent talent and knowledge risks were neutralized.

For Companies Planning or Undergoing Mergers or Reorganizations:

The Knowledge Silo Matrix presents executives planning or executing a merger or reorganization with a quick, clear visual of their workforce’s strengths, risks, and redundancies to answer: where is the talent in this organization? Which people and what functions must we keep? What roles might we outsource? The head of one utility company for which we applied our framework said that with this tool in hand his plant’s recent reorganization was the easiest he’s experienced in 30 years.

For the High Tech, Entertainment, and Communications Industries:

A common problem in the fast growing high tech, entertainment, and communications sectors is that managers of growing companies often rely too heavily on a limited number of experienced people and, as a result, on-the-job mentors are overtaxed. The Knowledge Silo Matrix is a valuable tool for identifying burnout risks, setting appropriate load levels, and retaining employees. For example, in one instance the Knowledge Silo Matrix predicted the exit of a critical employee, due to burn out, three months prior: a video game company that had been experiencing rapid growth and substantial hiring came to us inquiring about our products, and over the course of a half hour on the phone, we filled out a demonstration KSM for one of their small teams. We found that one worker on the team was purple—the color of an expert and mentor—across all silos in the matrix. A signal of high risk. Several months later, the company’s executives hired us to create their knowledge transfer plan, and we inquired about that worker. We were told, “He left yesterday on medical leave. He’ll be out for four months.” They had lost the worker due to stress. Everyone on his team had been drawing upon him, and he was so overtaxed that he had a breakdown. Our Knowledge Silo Matrix can help you to avoid such events by identifying at-risk employees and can quickly show you the path to more appropriate load leveling and smarter, sustainable on-boarding.

For the Manufacturing, Processing, and Energy Industries:

We understand that in your business reducing safety incidents is a particular concern—with real financial and human costs at stake if measures fail. The recent disasters experienced by BP and the Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant have only made the need for onboarding and cross training employees more of a hot button issue. Our 3-step knowledge transfer solution, led by the Knowledge Silo Matrix, has been proven to identify and reduce safety risks. For example, six months after our program was rolled out at a major American mining company, data clearly showed that new hires who received typical on-boarding and on-the-job training got hurt three times more often than the new hires on-boarded and trained by mentors who had taken the Knowledge Transfer Workshop.

For the Finance/Banking Industry:

A trend in your industry is to form formal risk management teams or positions—such as enterprise risk management groups or chief risk officers who evaluate potential threats in all aspects of your business. Our Knowledge Silo Matrix is a quick, relevant tool to equip such teams and individuals who are tasked to ask: what could go wrong in terms of our workforce and their ability to execute on time and on budget?

Step 2: Create an Action Plan

Get Started Now

Download a free Knowledge Silo Matrix to fill out on your own.

Or, Contact Us to set up a demonstration.

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