Singleton reliance

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An organizational dependency on the knowledge of an individual experts with no immediate successor


Singletons are technical experts or specialists in their field, who have no back-up or immediate successor. If a nuclear organization is relied on many singletons, this represents a challenging and serious KM issue. Several KM techniques can be deployed to address the singleton issue. Nuclear organizations rely to a great extent on competent personnel who are specialists in their field. A high proportion of staff are regarded as technical experts, and many have no back-up or immediate successor, i.e. they are regarded as ‘singletons’. This is a significant issue for all types of nuclear organization. The situation is often exacerbated by ageing staff, lack of funding and cost cutting strategies which often puts pressure on the recruitment and handover processes. Although succession planning processes do exist in a number of nuclear organizations, a widespread adoption of KM techniques that can be deployed to address the singleton issue are not widely observed. This is a key area where KM can provide benefit.

  1. Applicable organizational functions:
    • All types of nuclear organization.
  2. Related KM tools/techniques to consider:

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