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I need to ask someone to provide knowledge and insight around autoscaling in AWS. I am unsure of the best way to ask for this help.

The goal is to get enough information about this process so that I can build some documentation for the team and teach them how to do this.

She is the only person who knows how our company does this and she has not yet developed any documentation around her process.

I don't really know the person I'm asking for help from. I am new to the company and she is in a remote office.

I wrote this email, but haven't sent it yet:

Hi Barbara,

I’ve been asked to do some KT for the team regarding the autoscaling process in AWS. I need to build some documentation around that process and help get the team up to speed on that process.

Anything you can share that will help us build some knowledge about how we are implementing autoscaling in AWS would be extremely helpful!

Thanks,
Ken 

I'd appreciate any advice anyone would have on the best way to phrase this.

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I’ve been asked to do some KT for the team regarding the autoscaling process in AWS. I need to build some documentation around that process and help get the team up to speed on that process.

Asked by whom? Why? What "team" are you talking about ? How important is this and how does that stack up against her other priorities. And what is KT?

Anything you can share that will help us build some knowledge about how we are implementing autoscaling in AWS would be extremely helpful!

"Anything" is really NOT what you want here. You want information to be right-sized, so it's enough to get the job done. It actually makes her life harder by being so unspecific. It's not actionable and can't easily be scoped.

Alternative: it's perfectly ok to ask something from a colleague. Typically you get the best response if you make it specific and clear what you need and why it's needed (so it can be prioritized accordingly)

Hi. The XYZ team is also moving to AWS and need to implement auto scaling because of ABC. You are the resident expert in this area and the team has asked me to work with you on a knowledge transfer. Would you have a few minutes to chat (slack, zoom, phone, meeting, whatever works in your company) so I can explain what specifically we need and we can brainstorm how to do this most efficiently? Thanks for your help.

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  • Thanks. By 'team' I am referring to my own team. I thought that was implied. KT is how our company refers to knowledge transfer. As to why, it's because my boss asked me to build some documentation around the process that she didn't. It's sort of important but not urgent. Thanks for the advice I realize that 'anything' is too imprecise which is why I needed the help. I like your example and I'll adapt it to my purposes. Thanks again! Really appreciate the input. – user99201 Jan 20 at 19:01
  • As to why this knowledge transfer is happening it's because the person I'm asking wants to hand off this responsibility to my team, but she's already aware of that. So I left the part of why this is happening out of the message, because she already knows that. – user99201 Jan 20 at 19:04
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Alongside asking the person for information (which should be quite a short meeting for AWS Autoscaling), get yourself a login to the AWS accounts. You'll need that anyway to do any AWS work. Do some rooting around, and once you've seen a youtube video or two, you'll understand how it works. Then the meeting with your colleague will be more along the lines of how and why your company does it in their particular way, rather than how it works at all.

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  • Thanks, I already have the access. But not all of the 100 or so AWS accounts we use have autoscaling implemented. I have some knowledge of it, but not of how it specifically applies to our company and our clients. That is why I need to ask her for the info. Thanks! – user99201 Jan 20 at 18:58

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