Knowledge loss risk assessment

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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. [3]. 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 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.

Source: Knowledge Management for Nuclear Research and Development Organizations


[3] INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Managing Nuclear Knowledge, IAEA Proceedings including CD-ROM, STI/PUB/1266, ISSN: 0074-1884, IAEA, Vienna (2006).

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