Who is your pinch hitter?

Do you have a pinch hitter
Pinch hitter: a person who does another’s work, especially in an emergency.
First, I apologise for my absent post last week. I was visiting ICU daily to see an immediate family member who had heart surgery. According to statistics, 10% of patients will contract a hospital-associated infection. I don’t know what that means for visitors, but I’m pretty certain I’m now a statistic.
I am a reluctant patient. My resolution to be a good patient today only lasted until my first call. A client needed a document urgently. And that task wasn’t even on my “must-do” list for the day.

In a painful pinch

The term pinch hitter comes from baseball. A pinch hitter is a substitute who bats for a team mate, often at a critical moment of the game.
I know very little about sport, and even less about baseball. But I guess the name has something to do with being in a pinch.
Unfortunately, I don’t always have a pinch hitter. A small company generally doesn’t have the extra resources. And a family doesn’t have pinch hitters either. So I’m a little bruised from all the pinching.

It takes more than documentation

I’m a believer in knowledge management. But I’m also a bit skeptical about its implementation. So many corporate “restructures” seem more about profit than knowledge security.
Unlike most people, I like writing documentation. Those were always my favourite projects for clients. My personal experience suggests companies have more documents now than ever before. I have to read a ton of policies for supplier registration. Not to mention the endless – and often meaningless – list of documents required by MICT. (Nope, not going there. I already feel sick.)
But there’s more to knowledge management than documentation. There’s the shared experience of why we do certain things in a certain way. That’s not as easy to write down.

Do you have a pinch hitter?

The ethics survey I ran in 2020/2021 contained this question:
“A developer in your team
is booked off sick for a month. How easy will it be for another team member to take over the work?”
I was surprised that as many as 34% said it would be quite easy.
But in a separate question, I asked about factors that impact the quality of systems. And then 52% of respondents said that their company didn’t have enough people to do the job.
That was before the full impact of the pandemic. And the Great Resignation.
So I’m curious. Do you have a pinch hitter? Scroll down and leave a comment.
And remember: there is no pinch hitter for your family, so take care.

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