Organizational memory can be defined as many things. Most often it is defined as what is a "written record". The written record, these days, can be paper, electronic, or on a white board somewhere in a conference room (usually with a "DO NOT ERASE" warning). Organizational memory can be more than that too. As most knowledge workers have come to understand, individuals (developers, DBAs, project managers, etc.) are sources of organizational memory too.

Of course, it usually isn't until an employee is gone that you realize how much organizational memory they have taken with them. It could be really bad if that employee goes to a competitor.

I think that everyone acknowledges that's a reality. So, what does this have to do with Zimbra?

Well, Zimbra enables companies to harness some of the individual knowledge and retain some of it's organizational memory.

Ingredients:

1 - Any chat software that allows you to save transcripts
1 - Zimbra Shared Calendar
1 - Zimbra Calendar Item
1 - Zimbra Search Builder

Directions:

  • Share your calendars with your work mates (that are Zimbra users)
  • Create a calendar item.
  • Conduct your meeting as an online chat.
  • Post the transcript back to the calendar item.
  • Use Search Builder > Basic > Content = "Topic X" > Enter/Search and BOOM! you will have all the emails about Topic X, but you will also have a context-related discussion about Topic X.


This recipe will allow you to capture the X, Y, & Z of your actions, but it will also help you capture the thoughts of the people on your team. You will be able to, for lack of a better word, memorialize their thoughts and have it as a reference in the future.

Comments:

As in many technology-driven companies, my company uses web chats as a mainstay for group meetings. And, now that we are using Zimbra, we have these added capabilities.

When we schedule a meeting (through Zimbra), we post the general agenda items. We have the meeting through chat and after the meeting concludes, we save the transcript. Then, we pull up the calendar item and post the transcript right into the calendar.

As many have experienced, using chat allows you to "swerve" into some areas that might be breakthroughs. Capturing those raw thoughts and being able to reference them (easily through Search Builder) has helped our team since migrating to Zimbra.