Three easy tests

Much of putting institutional memory into practice involves documentation, which oftentimes seems either too labor-intensive to do or not valuable enough to implement. After all, we remember lots of things, don't we?

If we're so good at remembering things, answer these questions:

  • What was your junior high school locker combination?
  • What is your license plate number?
  • What color is your next-door neighbor's house? 
If you can answer all three questions without having to think about them, then you probably don't need a program for institutional memory. And, after all, you might think these to be three things you would otherwise remember spontaneously: You used the locker combination almost every day, probably for two straight years; you see your license plate almost every time you get into your car; and you almost certainly see your neighbor's house as often as you see your own.

But we don't remember things like these nearly as well as we think we do. And these are just the personal things -- imagine how much memory we lose of the things that are work-related that we don't see or act upon as often.

Recognizing how frail our personal memories are is a good way to start recognizing just how much help our institutional memories need.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Brian Gongol published on September 8, 2009 2:34 PM.

Eyewitness memory is never enough was the previous entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.261