Email: KM killer or KM salvation?

Right then.

We know these things:

  • In an emergency, critical roles can be held by a series of staff, all involved for a short period. They might be on site and involved for a couple of months, a couple of weeks, or even a handful of days.
  • In emergencies — and at other times – a lot of the core discussions and decisions are chiefly documented in, or at least circulated by, email.
  • When staff leave a job a or country, their email repositories go with them. They’re not available as a source of knowledge or narrative about what’s gone on for the team, even if they stay working for your agency elsewhere.

We know these things cause this problem:

  • When institutional knowledge about even recent day to day decisions is unavailable or difficult to obtain for new staff, it has a detrimental impact on our ability to work coherently internally, as well as with external actors like partners and donors. In short, it contributes to institutional idiocy and is a barrier to getting on with good programme delivery across the phases of a response. Read the rest of this entry »