Kill the concept of “Knowledge Transfer” and “Notice Period”

Most organizations has a habit of keeping the person wait longer in his/her seat to fulfill the organization notice-period requirement. The reason claim is for ‘smooth transition of responsibilities to the other person’.

The intention of this post is about knowledge transfer but I cannot resist comment on some facts, which I believe:

What is the fact?

Official Reasons:

  1. Knowledge Transfer to the next appointed person
  2. Smooth Exit formalities

Unofficial Reasons:

  1. It is not easy to get a replacement sooner
  2. Customer will be frustrated if they come to know about this resignation. (Funny, I still know few companies have their team page with the photo of a resigned employee. Some keep their email ids as well but says the employee is in a vacation)
  3. It is not easy for another person to get comfortable with the project within 30 days which the employee was handling for 4 years.
  4. Negativity of spreading the news on employee’s resignation
  5. Employee should not quit! 30 to 90 days of notice period will stop the employee from being hired by another company. Very few companies will wait for 90 days.

After effects

  1. Unless the employee has true dedication towards his job, this person will not do anymore work with his heart.
  2. Waiting period leads to frustration and it becomes negativity and bad-mouthing. Employees siting around him also will also get demotivated and they also will start looking for jobs

So, how to get rid of this notice period problems and do a smooth knowledge transfer?

There should not be a person-dependency for any project or activity. To achieve this, a proper process need to be in place. Here are my suggestions for reducing the overhead of Knowledge Transfer.

  1. Have a repository – Wiki – a project management system. Keep all the project artifacts up to date. All the project decisions, changes etc. should be well documented along with action plans. Employees should even use this system to track their meeting notes and diagrams. Make it mandatory for every employee to contribute. Assign a cop to maintain this.
  2. Don’t use too formal documentation. It should be understandable for any human
  3. Prepare interactive study materials in parallel to the project development. This will help employees to have good project requirements understanding as well.
  4. A good issue tracking system connected with the above said wiki.
  5. Do not keep employees stay in a project for a longer period. Not just switching to a different project but can consider switching to a different department as well.
  6. 6 months is good, 1 year is best, 2 years max. Human beings always look for a change so people will think less about resignation if they enjoy the work they do.

If we have these systems in place, it will not require more than 1-2 days for releasing this person as it is a matter of transferring a person’s specific responsibilities. Keeping a Knowledge Transfer checklist is a good idea.