Leaning and knwolegde transfer
Success factor: Learning and knowledge transfer

Teams that want to achieve a sustainable outcome need to learn in order to adapt to the dynamic world in which information and interdependencies constantly change. Collective learning, transferring knowledge about dependencies and the root cause of problems, increases the collective ability to anticipate to future events.

The success strategy: Anticipate by learning together. We share and apply our knowledge and experience into our daily practice in order to better anticipate to future challenges and situations. We can discuss this factor using the following success markers: Improve daily work, Anticipate, Root cause, Knowledge transfer and Learn together

Improve daily work
We regularly evaluate and improve our daily work
Dagelijks verbeteren
Continuous improvement of the daily work is a blind spot for many people. When talking about themselves professionals feel they learn and improve unconsciously. Ask them about all professionals in the team and their perception is the opposite: 49% feels that team members do not evaluate and improve their daily work.  Regular evaluation and improvement is quickly becoming the key for an agile work setting.
Individual improvement

Complete your tasks and meetings with three simple quiestions:

  1. What works?
  2. What needs to improve?
  3. How to approach it next time?

Focus on small adjustments with a large effect.

Log the answers. Evaluate this log after 10 days and find a thinking pattern that needs adjustment.

Team improvement

Evaluate team activities in a 10 minute break-out:

  1. What went well
  2. What could be done smarter
  3. What could be done differently

Focus on:

  • lead time
  • flow
  • quality or rework

Use the answers to define easy to implement improvements.

Other interventions
  • Evaluate with customers, management, support staff and other stakeholders;
  • Find out what factors contributed to success and stimulate these factors;
  • Evaluation as a standard agenda item in meetings.
Anticipate by learning
We learn continuously so we better anticipate future events
anticiperen door leren
The survey shows a differentiated picture. vIt shows that teams differ in the level active learning and reactiveness. The need for continuous learning is increasing due to disruptions in our environment. The ability to anticipate and become more agile is largely depending on the learning capacity of a team.
Individual improvement

Active learning requires a combined focus on the present and the future in order to anticipate. Most people need a time-out or reflection moment for this state of mind. Others seem to integrate this forward-thinking in their daily work. Some tips:

  • Find natural reflection moments, such as during travel, during breaks or in the interaction with others;
  • Visualize the near future using an imaginary timeline from now to the future;
  • Use scenario thinking (what if….);

Translate the answers in behavior or actions with which you prepare yourself for the future.

Team improvement

Stimulate a group focus on external factors and information.

Discusss what-if scenario’s.

Encourage feedback on ‘group think’ in case team members seem to loose their ability to adapt to new information.

Other interventions
  • Risk analysis
  • SWOT analysis
  • Evaluate issues and find the root cause
Root cause
We understand the root cause of problems
Onderliggende oorzaken
Many teams seem to be unable to analyze the root cause of problems. Problems often reoccur and the list of important issues is never empty. This increases the workload and influences individual priorities.
Individual improvement

Most people struggle to find the underlying cause of their behavior. Often implicit beliefs and values trigger the way we feel, think and behave.

One way method to reflect on your own logic is the SCORE method (by Robert Dilts)

  1. What are the SYMPTOMS of my problem
  2. What is the CAUSE (my thinking) that feeds the problem?
  3. What OUTCOME do I need or want?
  4. What RESOURCES (other values/beliefs) will help me?
  5. What will be the EFFECT when the problem is gone?
Team improvement

An issue is a difference between expectations and reality.

  1. For a month keep record of all issues that arise in the team;
  2. Analyze whether issues originate from explicit (clearly defined) or implicit (unclear or not shared) expectations;
  3. Weekly categorize issues (e.g. type of expectation, cause or stakeholder);
  4. Monthly analyze all issues and search for common patterns or causes;
  5. Brainstorm to find the answers to this question: What (e.g. knowledge, information, approach) do we need to anticipate and decrease the number of issues?


Other interventions

Analyze causes by asking the WHY question and repeat the why question for the four consecutive answers.

Knowledge transfer
We use the knowledge and experience of others
kennis hergebruiken

36% of the team members feels that that knowledge transfer is effective. Especially in complex or dynamic environments this seems insufficient. Team members do not understand eachother and a shared meaning is lacking.


Individual improvement

Knowledge transfer starts with framing the required knowledge in a given situation and linking this to your previous reference experiences.Questions to trigger this awareness are:

  • Which previous experiences resemble the situation that I am in right now?
  • What approach did I use then?
  • What knowledge do I need now?
  • At this moment: what specific experience or knowledge do I need?
  • How or via who will I acquire that knowledge?
Team improvement

Implement knowledge transfer as a daily practice in team interactions by asking the following questions:

  • Who has relevant reference experience in relation to this issue or problem?
  • What knowledge or expertise to we need to solve ‘this’?
  • What is your specific core expertise in relation to his problem?
  • What could we learn from each other?
Other interventions

Create a ‘knowlegde map’: who knows what in relation to the short term results or objective?

Share knowledge when team members experience challenging situations.

Learn together
We learn together regularly to find dependencies and root causes
Samen leren

36% of the team members feels that that knowledge transfer is effective. Especially in complex or dynamic environments this seems insufficient. Team members do not understand eachother and a shared meaning is lacking.


Individual improvement

An external focus, on other team members and on the collectieve objective, is a prerequisite for learning together. High stess levels create a narrow focus, so carefully pick the moments to learn together. For instance at the start of a meeting or during a ‘time-out’ with others. Use simple ‘trigger questions’ during meetings:

  • What do we leran from ‘this’?
  • What could we learn from each other in this situation?


Team improvement

Major ‘blockers’ for collective learning experiences are:

  • Insufficient openness among team members;
  • No personal gain;
  • High workload or time pressure.


Other interventions

Intervision meetings

Agile settings: Plan a sprint retrospective including the use of the a2Results® Team app.

Prince2 settings: Lessons learned session