Dan Puett

Manager - Sales Support

Capability Transfer


One of the key goals in execution of a large scale IT project such as an ERP implementation is achieving self-sufficiency post implementation. However, that kind of independence must have a clear path and plan to achieve it. It is far more valuable to the client to transfer capability than to simply transfer knowledge. Knowledge transfer focuses on conveying information from one individual to another, producing comprehension and understanding. However, capability transfer imparts practical skills and abilities. CIBER’s proven approach integrates both knowledge and capability transfer because we recognize that comprehension and understanding are valuable assets. Each aspect of the project must focus on transferring capability from consultants to the client personnel.

The CIBER Team’s approach to capability transfer focuses on the following objectives:

  • Involving client staff in the design of the capability transfer plan
  • Addressing both functional and technical capability transfer
  • Involving the client staff in the process from the beginning of the project
  • Instituting integrated CIBER and client work teams throughout the project
  • Utilizing both formal and informal training opportunities to effectively and efficiently transfer capability
  • Measuring progress periodically and consistently

CIBER believes that capability transfer should occur over the life of the project, not just within one specific timeframe. However, it is imperative to consider such factors as project milestones, impact on staff, and delivery risk when designing and delivering the components of the capability transfer program.

The challenge of capability transfer is to proactively manage the transformation to allow maximum organizational learning and rapid self-sufficiency. This challenge requires five key commitments:

  • Executive management teams must understand independence is a requirement of the project and that capability transfer is paramount to the successful transition to the new system.
  • The implementation team must balance and plan for capability transfer time within the project plans. Although day-to-day project activities will continue, time must be allocated to capability transfer
  • Consultants must meet their responsibilities for creating a learning and working environment in which their counterparts can work to achieve their capability transfer objectives.
  • Client participants in the capability transfer program must be active participants and take ownership for their own development.
  • Periodic assessments must be built into the process to update team leaders and the executive management team about progress achieved and any recommended process changes.

The Combined Project Team must be jointly responsible for capability transfer. It is a “push/pull” process: the plan provides structure, checkpoints, and direction, but the only way to accomplish capability transfer is if the providers are pushing and the recipients are pulling. The Consultant Team must provide the means for the Client Team to learn how to successfully maintain new systems and processes. It is also critically important the client organization make an equal commitment: assigning both adequate time and staff resources to training and identifying those areas that require additional emphasis so its staff can understand the new system and processes. The resources the implementing organization assigns to the project and joint work team approach are key foundations for effective capability transfer.

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