The pipeline sector is facing a multi-faceted challenge regarding its workforce. Valuable knowledge is being lost as increasing numbers of technical experts and long-term employees exit the industry (due to retirement). Concurrently, the public spotlight is focused on the environmental impact of the pipeline industry. Therefore, robust construction of new pipelines and effective maintenance of aging infrastructure is increasingly important. Herein lies the challenge — How does the industry transfer the knowledge required to ensure that personnel have suitable competency to maintain the integrity of the pipeline system? A scenario where new personnel efficiently gain knowledge through experience is critical.

An important aspect of achieving this is a more systematic and thoughtful approach to knowledge transfer. As part of its fundamental methodology for developing training and alternate methods for knowledge transfer, the team launched an initiative to review the literature and current industry approaches. This was done as a key input to developing a “Knowledge Taxonomy.” This tool simplifies the process for selecting the optimal method for effectively transferring key technical knowledge based on the desired level of competency (e.g., awareness building vs. mastery).

Specifically, the team identified a number of consistent themes and combined them with both sound educational theory and industry experience to develop a tool in the form of a practical framework. This Knowledge Transfer Taxonomy was then applied to a specific knowledge gap in industry as a case study. This paper will

1. Summarize, at a high level, the results of the literature review and current approaches;

2. Describe the framework (i.e., Knowledge Taxonomy) developed by the team;

3. Discuss a case study involving the application of this framework to a specific and real challenge; and

Through this work, the team identified and developed specific strategies and tactics to effectively overcome some of the barriers to knowledge transfer. These experiences will be shared in the context of a specific situation that typifies the current challenges industry is facing in effective knowledge transfer.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.