Knowledge Transfer is Critical to the Mainframe Industry
One of the most valuable assets of any mainframe computing organization is the human capital of their senior mainframers. The decades of hands-on, nuts and bolts, original code, instinctive and lived through experience that has been slowly gained, earned and absorbed by these singularly uniquely skilled people who have been ‘living mainframe’ since they wore flare jeans and tie-dye t-shirts!
Mainframe organizations need to facilitate the knowledge transfer of this human capital from the experienced mainframers to the next generation mainframers before the senior mainframers retire. This knowledge transfer needs to be done side by side, in parallel with training and work, over an extended period.
It is imperative that mainframe organizations:
- set up a coaching and mentoring program
- empower senior mainframers with coaching and mentoring skills
- support senior mainframers with tools to minimize the time spent on coaching and mentoring while maximizing the impact
In a recent interview with industry luminary Reg Harbeck, renowned author and career coach Denise Kalm said:
“I would advise people who are thinking about a mainframe career to get into it as soon as possible because those expert mainframers, once they retire, that institutional knowledge will be gone. Now maybe we can bring them back as consultants and that leads to the next step but if you want to work side by side by an expert and get a much quicker path to the 20 years or more of experience that they have, you want to get into those jobs while they’re still working there.”
Mainframe Coaching & Mentoring: a Simple, Modern Method
There is a priceless mainframe computing resource that will, if not properly treated, disappear from your mainframe organization and reduce productivity, increase error and leave you more vulnerable to disaster! It’s a critical resource that your organization relies on every day for your success, but it’s not often considered!
The priceless mainframe computing resource I refer to is the decades of wisdom, experience, context, history, community and system knowledge that exists in the heads of your senior mainframers who are nearing retirement. It’s about to walk out the door!
The good news is, there’s still time to facilitate critical ‘knowledge transfer’ but it should be done on the job and over an extended period. You need to make coaching and mentoring an integral part of your learning culture and your mainframe workforce training program to effect the knowledge transfer that will ensure your mainframe organization’s ongoing success …