Every person you work with at the client has knowledge that needs to be applied in the solution you’re building. Folks will guard that knowledge, angrily at times, if they feel it’s the only value they bring to the table. That’s why you need to go deeper.
When you’re working with the client to learn about their current processes and solutions, look beyond the knowledge itself to understand the strengths of the people that built and manage them. Here, you can do two things:
- Compliment and draw attention to people’s intrinsic strengths, and
- Start thinking about how people can leverage their strengths in the new solution you’re building.
What you’re doing here is shifting the perceived value from the knowledge to the individual. The old knowledge will become obsolete, but talented individuals can apply their skills towards any solution.