Our team is working to scale our current team through cross training and upskilling but we have legacy tech through the IBMi with extreme towers of knowledge. Can anyone share advice for success unraveling towers of knowledge on legacy tech and RPG? Scaling your tech dept to move faster as you work towards modernization? 

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CIO in Services (non-Government), 201 - 500 employees
That's a tough one.  We went through a similar situation, going from an entirely in-house data center, to a fully Cloud based environment, and we had a massive amount of combined knowledge and experience in our legacy systems, but not as much in the newer Cloud infrastructure and apps.

What we did was to have round-table discussions with incoming IT staff to see where their knowledge of legacy tech stood, and tried to pair each incoming new IT employee with a legacy "guru" to try and get that knowledge imparted.  Part of the process was to have the "gurus" lead the new employee through actual real-world tasks, to make sure the knowledge wasn't theoretical and was in fact actual working knowledge.
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VP of IT & CISPO in Finance (non-banking), 201 - 500 employees

Graham how did that work?

I tried the same before and had inconsistent (not great) results.  The new employees felt they were being held back with "legacy tech" and that there was no career benefit for them to learn it. 

We backed off that approach and instead recognized that we needed to keep the older guru's in place longer with tech retention bonus and by reducing their workload where possible by not cycling them to newer tech as fast. The combination meant a bit less work for more money which freed up time for them to learn a bit of the new tech on the side.  

CIO in Services (non-Government), 201 - 500 employees

It worked fairly well; if I were to di it again, I'd lengthen the amount of time we had for the project, that way the two sides would have had more time to assimilate the other's knowledge; I'd also put together a test lab, and have some of the "gurus" in essence give lessons and answer questions in that controlled environment and in front of the entire assembled team.

CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
We haven't had to do this; I'm trying to get rid of the technical debt. My best guidance would be to see how much of the legacy info that's still relevant to share, try and digitize it, and continue training everyone with new skills and the most relevant knowledge as you go.
India Administrative Fellowship in Software, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
It's great to hear that your company is prioritizing training and upskilling existing employees rather than simply firing and hiring new ones. It's true that the business knowledge and relationships with business users that existing employees bring to the table are incredibly valuable and should be harnessed.

Engaging SI/contract workers to support the legacy system while employees partner with implementation partners to transform the systems is a good approach. This allows employees to focus on managing the legacy systems while still being actively involved in the transformation process.

It's also important to recognise that technology is just one part of the solution. Business processes and integrations are critical components that existing employees are likely better equipped to handle than outside consultants. Holding an open house to share the roadmap and people plan is an effective way to keep everyone on the same page and engaged in the process.

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