Emergency Knowledge Transfer

Start transferring critical knowledge and skills in as little as two days.
Learn How

Emergency knowledge transfer is designed specifically to help companies avoid the pain and cost of a critical employee or contractor departure.

The first emergency knowledge transfer project was in May 1993, and since then we’ve honed the process – helping clients cut ramp up time in half, saving them money, and reducing productivity loss during transitions.

We’ve worked with 5000+ experts in a wide range of industries, which enables us to move effectively within complex environments and work with a variety of personalities. Our process is uniquely tailored for the complicated work of engineers, architects, scientists, analysts and other deeply technical professionals – ensuring quick, clear, and measurable knowledge transfer.

How It Works

Each emergency knowledge transfer process is led by a certified facilitator and typically unfolds as follows.

Step 1: Define & Prioritize What Needs to be Transferred

To start, we engage your team in a simple, but highly structured Q&A to identify your departing expert’s unique knowledge areas. Within an hour we can chart these results in a simple matrix, so you can prioritize the knowledge areas that present the highest risk to your business.

Step 2: Break Down Priority Areas into Teachable Tasks

Through one-on-one interviews, we get deep into the expert’s tacit knowledge and experience, helping them break down their knowledge areas into specific tasks that can be taught in an hour. From there, we create Skill Development Plans that lay out prioritized tasks along with resources to guide the expert’s successor(s) as they get up to speed.

Within as little as two business days, you’ll gain a thorough plan that effectively uses every available hour between kickoff and the expert’s last day.

Step 3: Train Participants to Transfer Knowledge Effectively

Not everyone is a natural teacher (or an efficient learner), so we provide your expert and their successor(s) with proven techniques (including six proprietary tools) for running successful knowledge transfer sessions—real-time, on the job.

Step 4: Transfer Knowledge, Test & Measure

Properly armed, your expert can begin passing on their skills and knowledge at a pace that works within your timeframe. Our facilitators remain on hand to monitor early sessions and troubleshoot throughout. We also give your team a set of test questions—a hallmark of our process—that quickly validates whether the successor(s) will meet the standard needed to perform each task independently.

“The knowledge transfer process is brilliantly constructed around the idea that you focus on what people do, not just what they know.”

Dona Dirlam
Library Director, GIA

Details & Logistics


A typical emergency knowledge transfer process costs a $25,000 flat fee with no additional expenses.


All work is done remotely via virtual meetings with screen sharing. Requests for in-office time can be accommodated, but are rarely necessary or advantageous.


Setting up a typical emergency knowledge transfer process includes 12-15 hours of hands-on work over 1-4 weeks, depending on the urgency and availability of participants. Upon completion, knowledge transfer can begin immediately at whatever pace is appropriate, lasting from 2-52 weeks.


An emergency knowledge transfer process can usually be scheduled to start within 7-10 business days. In emergency situations (from surprise or urgent departures), work can often begin in as little as 24 hours.

Participation Requirements

Below are time commitment estimates for those involved in the process. Please note that the time required for actual knowledge transfer is dynamic and depends on how many skills need to be transferred.

  • Manager/Supervisor: 3 hours to initiate process, set priorities, select participants, monitor progress, and hold everyone accountable.
  • Expert: 12 hours with facilitator to define and deconstruct their unique areas of expertise and train in fundamentals of successful knowledge transfer.
  • Successor(s): 6 hours to train in the fundamentals of successful knowledge transfer and prep for knowledge transfer sessions.
  • Administrative Support: 2 hours to help with scheduling, technology, and other logistics.

Knowledge Transfer Stories

5 Years In 30 Days

Capturing & Transferring the Expertise of a Chief Software Architect

The chief software architect at a global provider of automation and information solutions had just given 30-days notice. He held the vision for one of the company’s core software products ...
Read More
By Steve Trautman June 28, 2018

Millennials vs. Boomers

5 Ways to End Bickering and Ensure Knowledge Transfer

While overseeing a knowledge transfer project at a nuclear power plant, I worked with a veteran employee who was adamant that his young apprentice did not have enough experience to be truste...
Read More
By Steve Trautman August 22, 2018

Knowledge Transfer is Power

Steve Trautman Featured in HR Professional Magazine

Really brilliant experts are rarely also good at communicating what they know. Tell them exactly what you want them to teach, give them a simple and clear way to deconstruct their expertise,...
Read More
By Sonja Gustafson July 9, 2018

Are you ready for quick and clear knowledge transfer?