I presume that a number of us agree that Knowledge Management is a necessity when running a project. This might be a formal process ( like a knowledge management initiative) or something that has, over time,  become an ingrained part of your project management approach.

During the course of a long running ( generally support / maintenance )  project there is a good chance that you will see team members leave and new people come on board. Whether by accident or design.

Great pressure is put on projects to ensure that they start delivering more value with less cost year on year. So how do you do this? Traditionally you figure out a way of delivering the same quality of work using a resource with less experience ( i.e : cost saving ). This would involve rotating your resources to ensure that your project expenses stay under control.

This is where an induction plan becomes very important.

In order to effectively manage the induction of every new member while ensuring that the time and effort spent in doing so is kept under control a well documented, and managed , induction training plan is necessary.

When the project is first started there is a lot of effort put into planning and executing a well orchestrated knowledge transfer, that way when you finally take over the work from your client you encounter as few hiccups as possible. Unfortunately this focus is generally lost after the project starts running properly and in a number of cases new team members are not given the same quality knowledge transition that the original people experienced. Needless to say this causes a lot of problems, including a gradual reduction in your service quality.

Using a simple document to map out (day by day) what a new team member is supposed to learn will allow you to keep track of how he / she is progressing and to ensure that every element of the transition process is covered.

Benefits of doing this correctly

- Increased service levels on a sustained basis

- Reduces lead time for a new resource to be effective

- Ability to track training progress and make changes as necessary

- Increased client satisfaction

- Creating a knowledge base that can be grown over time.