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In business, the process of retaining the skills to do a given task when an employee (usually a contractor) leaves. This is generally done in a disorganized and ineffective manner, often involving trying to explain to a secretary who is afraid of her computer how to architect J2EE compliant web applications. The results, surprisingly enough, are often less useful than management had thought they would be.

If a company wishes to retain knowledge, it is more effective to transfer that knowledge to someone who already is familiar with the general field. For example:

If your sysadmin is heading off to greener pastures, you might consider having him show a promising tech support person what he does and how he does it, rather than trying to train the entry-level marketroid.

There are many fine structured formal methods of knowledge transfer, such as workshops, symposia, training courses, colleges (Community and other), etc etc. Having someone who is not trained as an educator and has no interest in being one is probably not the best method.

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