Re-institutionalizing the practice of leaving ‘note for the successor’.
Block-IV, Old JNU Campus,
New Mehrauli Road,
New Delhi — 110067
Dated: 26th September 2014
Sub: Re-institutionalizing the practice of leaving ‘note for the successor’.
Knowledge is a key driver of organizational efficiency and effectiveness, an intangible and one of the most valuable assets of an organization. Often, it is seen as the ‘hard’ information available in files, note sheets, correspondence, documents, SOPs, MOPs, and electronic databases. It is much more than that. All employees have invaluable knowledge of their areas of responsibility, which may be much more nuanced and integrated than those mentioned earlier.
2. Such innate knowledge is at a risk of getting lost when the incumbent leaves the seat- gets transferred or demits office. New employee will take time to understand issues of current importance, appreciate urgency of actionable points, recognize strengths and weakness of different subordinates for suitable work allocation, and comprehend critical issues by trial and error. This time spent in negotiating the way in new environment, spent in trial and error, may turn out to be the critical difference between success and failure of the unit, the department or even the organization.
3. Thus, knowledge continuity in wake of employee transition needs to be recognized as a key challenge: more so in the government where rule based Personnel polices mandate a fixed tenure. Problem of knowledge continuity can be significantly tackled if incumbent employee, with overall goal of success of the organization in mind, considers the successor as a part of same team and transfers the knowledge that he/she considers critical. Such knowledge transfer can be by personal interaction and briefing. However, written notes for the successor serve the purpose more effectively and also help build institutional memory. In government, though this practice used to be in vogue, of late it is becoming rare.
4. A need for re-institutionalizing the practice of leaving ‘note for the successor’ was highlighted by Hon’ble Prime Minister during the presentation of the M/o Personnel, PG & Pensions on 12 June 2014.
5. Accordingly, it has been decided that respective Competent Authorities may impress upon officers in their organizations to cultivate the habit of leaving behind “note for the successor” when they move out. It is also emphasized that all CTIs/ATIs should include inputs on “note for the successor” in their training programs so that officers are sensitized towards this important organizational responsibility.
6. This department may be informed of the steps taken in this regard.