Difference between revisions of "Knowledge loss risk assessment"

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Revision as of 08:43, 4 December 2015


Knowledge loss risk assessment is {{ Knowledge loss risk assessment


Knowledge loss risk assessment is the process used to determine the potential business impact of the loss of critical knowledge from an organization. The process for attrition based risk assessment is described in Ref. [1]. The process uses a risk assessment matrix, which focuses on two key parameters:

  • Position risk (i.e. based on the unique/critical knowledge and skills possessed by the employee and an estimate of the difficulty or level of effort required to refill the position);
  • Attrition risk (i.e. based on the expected retirement or other attrition date of an employee). Based on the combination of the two above factors, a total knowledge loss risk factor can be derived for each individual in the organization.

A suggested process of identifying knowledge loss risk consist of the following steps:

  • Identify expert incumbents who possess critical knowledge and skills;
  • Conduct a risk assessment based on two factors: time until retirement and position criticality;
  • Determine the most appropriate method(s) for addressing potential knowledge loss through attrition;
  • Establish knowledge retention plans that meet continuously changing business needs;
  • Provide a process to review results and ensure knowledge retention plans are monitored and evaluated.

A knowledge loss risk assessment is a useful starting point for establishing the priorities by which key individuals in an organization can be targeted for knowledge elicitation/harvesting or other mitigation actions. Currently the IAEA documentation considers only knowledge loss due to attrition (staff that leaves due to retirement, transfer or termination) but the methodology is readily extended to address other situations.


[1] Risk Management of Knowledge Loss in Nuclear Industry Organizations, IAEA Publications STI/PUB/1248, 2006

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