Knowledge Capture and the Retirement of the Director of Finance: Succession Planning in the San Mateo County Human Services Agency


Concern over the impending retirement of several top-level managers led a county agency to engage in efforts aimed at more efficient succession management. Administrators developed plans to prevent the loss of invaluable knowledge and wisdom accompanying retirement of experienced agency leaders. The agency's Director of Finance (DoF) was one of the first key figures projected to retire, and a succession plan was implemented to transfer his knowledge for use after his departure. The knowledge transfer process involved three stages, including: (1) employing the DoF as teacher, having him develop curricula and conduct trainings; (2) engaging the DoF as mentor, allowing an existing staff member and the DoF's successor to shadow and be coached by the DoF; and (3) developing a knowledge management system that could be used after the DoF departed. This case study describes the knowledge transfer process and experiences shared by the DoF and this agency.

Winship, K.
Austin, M.J.
Publication date: 
March 12, 2012
Publication type: 
Journal Article