Transfer of skills costs too much or happens too slowly


Transfer of skills costs too much or happens too slowly.  The ideal skills transfer approaches provide the skills just in time.  The majority of taught information is lost within hours if not applied immediately.


There are many alternatives for skills transfer.  The Appropriate Process Movement considers this topic to be one of their main concerns, equivalent in importance to approaches to risk; the topic dealt with on this section of the web site.  It is intended that there shall be an equivalent section on skills transfer; at the time of writing this is not yet available.  In general, and there will be exceptions to the rule, pairing is better than mentoring, mentoring is better than training, and training is quicker than finding out for oneself.

Prevention, Amelioration, Cure

A few key patterns are given here.  At some later date we will put in links to the skills transfer section of the web site.


Patterns including self-tuition and training are not given yet.  Training is possibly the least effective approach of those that can be recommended; yet it can be efficient in time and expenditure.  It is important to time the training so the knowledge gained will be put to use immediately.  Mentoring can be provided by expertise bought in for the purpose, or by ones own staff, whereupon the DayCare pattern can minimize the disruption.  Collaborative working can be more efficient, as advocated in DevelopmentEpisode.


Agile approaches favour collaborative working, and some specifically require DevelopingInPairs.  This is probably the most efficient and effective way of transfer of skills and knowledge.