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Digital Transformation and Knowledge Transfer

The pandemic and all the associated funding streams that continue to be distributed at a rapid pace have made transforming old processes and systems more of a necessity. To keep up with the compliance and reporting demands that will be incoming this year, organizations need to ensure that their processes are effective, and that these organizational changes will “stick.” The goal is to effectively transfer knowledge quickly while also freeing up your team members to concentrate on the more fulfilling aspects of their positions instead of struggling with administrative burden.  

Typically, knowledge transfer involves small, incremental changes over time to solve for organizational issues. Incremental change can be effective if you are trying to create new process with a legacy system instead of implementing something new. Incremental change is also just that: incremental. While one aspect of a process may be refined using these practices, it will take a much longer period to reap the benefits. Many experts agree that one way to accomplish this is through digital transformation.  

Digital transformation is not just about replacing old technologies with new ones. Instead, digital transformation allows your organization to become truly data-driven and to revolutionize the way your team operates.

Incremental change can be achieved by a few individuals, but digital transformation can only be achieved by actively engaging managers and employees to make the new way of operating reality (Westerman et al., 2014).  

Typically, the demands of maintaining compliance often overshadow the ability to effectively distribute the knowledge about how that is achieved. This is normal and not a deficiency in your team or your leadership. There is simply always too much to do, especially now, and it is impractical for every team member to have every aspect of their role documented “just in case.” The knowledge that resides in the minds of your team members is the data you need to capture and ensure transfer in case of organizational change. If Grant Managers want to drive digital transformation to gain deeper visibility into your performance, approaching this shift as a means of knowledge transfer can be incredibly effective. 

According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), digital transformation can make the biggest impact “in the process of capturing or creating digital records of people (e.g., what they do, who they are, what they prefer, etc.).” HBR calls this practice “digitization,” or “the process of datafying human behavior” because “the real benefits from technology are not ‘hard’ (i.e., cheaper systems or infrastructure), but ‘soft’ (i.e., capturing valuable data).” 

Digital transformation is also an effective strategy that can be implemented to deal with the effects of “The Great Resignation.” Ultimately, during a time when 52% of local public workers have considered leaving their positions, you can’t always count on someone being available to train someone new and get them acquainted with the way things have been done in the past. Revolutionizing the processes that help you maintain compliance not only adds capacity for your team overall, but also allows for knowledge transfer to take place on a larger scale. During a time when remote work has become more desirable and equitable, digital transformation can keep workers engaged, create capacity for more fulfilling work, and offer new perspectives and insight on more efficient processes.  

Implementing purpose-built technology to help you streamline your processes with a solutions provider who understands the importance of knowledge transfer can help your organization respond to challenges quickly and consistently, no matter what comes your way. If you want more information on how to implement digital transformation practices for your organization, don’t hesitate to reach out.


Photo by NicoElNino from Canva

Topics:  Best Practices