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Organization Management Rhythm (part 6.7): Tools – Information Exchange Requirement (IER)

This article is part 6.7 of a series of articles on Organization Management Rhythm.

Information Exchange Requirements (IERs) identify the need for information to pass from one entity to another entity or multiple other entities. These are the products that the staff produce from meetings, products they deliver or use internally, or information they gain from outside the organization. These are all products that can be assigned to one office: when they produced it, and where it is located. Table 1 shows an initial IER matrix based off just 7-Minute Drills.

Information Exchange Requirements From 7 Minute Drill
Table 1. Information Exchange Requirements From 7 Minute Drill1.
This particular IER is produced from sales but is used by many different departments. It is very simple, and gives the number of the report (this is to keep track of products), the name of the product, notes about it, who is responsible to produce it, and the consumer(s). This is a good product but can be made better. There is more than just the information from the meetings – staff elements get information from different sources.

Primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency (PACE) is important for the delivery of the products the organization and staff consume. It has its roots in the military’s Signal Corp where they provide communication to military leaders. “Primary” is the normal way to get something. “Alternate” is a backup, for example maybe instead of using your email you have to go to a website. “Contingency” may be walking down to sales to get the information. Hopefully you will never have to go to “emergency.” That means you are on the last operational leg of your organization. This will be a text, phone call, or anything else to get the information to you. The most important part of the PACE is practice it at least on a yearly basis. It is better to incorporate this into the disaster preparedness guidelines.

Table 2 is an example of an improved IER. It shows the digital requirements of what is needed as input into the IER along with how it is to be delivered during retrograded operations. This is important to note because the location and the delivery of the information will change depending on what resources are available. A report that is easily accessible on the organization’s portal may not be usable in an emergency operation such as the power being down to a server farm. Along with the outages of the cloud, there can be many emergencies in which a PACE Plan could be used.  A physical copy of the calling tree is one such item that would be needed in an emergency type situation. It may have contacts for whom to call if the cloud is down or if the power is out. The IER is a foundational guideline for where the information is stored and how to collect it.

Improved Information Flow
Table 2. Improved Information Flow2.
Next part (part 6.8): Tools – Cost Per Event.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to Tomi Antill, Keith Davis, Elise Keith from Lucid Meetings, JFHQ-C Leadership, and Kendra Albright from Kent State University, without whose support this series would not have been possible.

Header image source: U.S. National Archives, Public Domain.


  1. Turner, J. A., & Williams, D. E. (2020, October 1). JECC KM Practitioners Training.
  2. Turner, J. A., & Williams, D. E. (2020, October 1). JECC KM Practitioners Training.
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John Antill

John Antill is currently a Knowledge Manager at US Army Expeditionary Workforce. With over 14 years of progressively responsible knowledge management experience in complex technical roles – both military and civilian – requiring exceptional project coordination, problem solving, and management skills, John has established a track record of success by leveraging a collaborative leadership style to accomplish all short- and long-range objectives. An engaging and articulate communicator, he is able to clearly convey complex technical information and propose novel solutions to build consensus with key project stakeholders, including high-value clients and executive leadership. Furthermore, his consistent focus on remaining at the forefront of rapidly evolving technology allows him to drive enterprise-wide innovation and maintain a competitive advantage.JOhn is on the Board of Minority Empowerment Through Technology which provides underserved college STEM students to get the technology they need to be successful in their courware and projects.John Holds a Master of Science in Knowledge Management from Kent State university and a Master of Certified Knowledge Management from the KMInstitute.

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