Anyone remember the days when desk files were common? They may have been more common in the government sector than private sector, but they were such useful documents. They were developed for every role, were literally the “beginner’s guide to this job” and crucial for when people had to step into another’s role for a limited period of time i.e. sickness, bereavement or just as part of work experience. Position descriptions only go so far yet desk files set out details in such a way that key information is easily accessible. The desk files were and still are a great system yet they’re not in common use today. I often talk to managers who deal with the effects of their organisation not having such a system in place…staff not knowing what to do, when to do tasks or where to find things. It’s time and energy wasting in the extreme. I always urge managers to develop desk files for every role because they are part of good time management and risk management practices. As far as systems go, it’s an oldie, but a goodie.