FITT Toolbox: Cluster Manual


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Cluster Managers have expressed their interest in innovative tools that bundle knowledge and is continuously updated. To meet their demands, MFG has implemented an interactive Cluster Manual based on the Wiki principle. The Cluster Manual gives cluster newbies a ‘basic’ guideline and offers cluster managers an in-depth source for every aspect of cluster issues. Additionally, it documents success stories and best practice examples to build up a repository of internal generated knowledge (‘learn from the best’), gives an overview of the most important literature in the area of Cluster Management and combines all this with the knowledge of experts.

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FITT Toolbox: Cluster Manual

  1. 1. Cluster Manual FITT– Fostering Interregional Exchange in ICT Technology Transfer – www.FITT-for-Innovation.euExcept where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
  2. 2. Cluster Manual - Guidelines for Cluster ManagersRegional cluster managers have expressed their interest in innovative tools thatbundle knowledge and is continuously updated. To meet their demands, MFG hasimplemented an interactive Cluster Manual based on the Wiki principle(everybody can document personal knowledge, exchange with other membersand edit the content).The purpose of the cluster management guide is to: give cluster newbies a ‘basic’ guideline and offer cluster managers an in-depthsource for every aspect of cluster issues collect information brought by external experts on a central platform document success stories and best practise examples to build up a repositoryof internal generated knowledge (‘learn from the best’) give an overview of the most important literature in the area of clustermanagement2 | 06.04.2010 Cluster Manual
  3. 3. Structure of the Cluster ManualCluster Manual: Summary of News, events and Audio contributions:Help for cluster instruments for literature from the interviews withmanagers cluster managers cluster world cluster experts 3 | 06.04.2010 Cluster Manual
  4. 4. Approach (I)In the forefront of the creation and implementation of the cluster guide, a certainprocess was set up to fit the demands of cluster ‘stakeholders’ precisely: Content of Cluster Manual:• A survey/questionnaire was distributed to cluster managers and experts to define the most important issues  MFG knew on which topics to focus• Based on the feedback, the development of content for the manual started.• The content was set up by an external expert in cluster management in close cooperation with MFG.• Result: current version of the cluster wiki which is open for discussions and contributions4 | 06.04.2010 Cluster Manual
  5. 5. Approach (II)  Audio contributions (interview with cluster experts): • Based on the feedback, the development of a questionnaire for the audio interviews was developed. • The questionnaire was sent to the interview partners  they were able to decide which aspect they wanted to cover, depending on their experience and expertise. • Interviews were as well carried out by the external expert via Skype, phone or personal meetings. • Close coordination process between MFG and the external expert: the manual content and the interviews were finalized by MFG.5 | 06.04.2010 Cluster Manual
  6. 6. Who? Stakeholders • Cluster mangers of German speaking area (Platform is currently only available in German) • Facts & Figures - Number of registered members: 120 - 6 months planning and implementation - External agency for platform design - External expert for content and audio interviews involved - 1 person part-time (40%) responsible for community support and animation6 | 06.04.2010 Cluster Manual
  7. 7. Cluster Guide – Pro and Con PRO’s CON’s  First version of the Cluster Manual has to be  Provides guidelines for cluster managers set up by an expert – to start from scratch  Sharpens MFG’s profile as a professional would not work, as barriers are too high cluster services provider  Continuous costs of support as well as  Valuable source of knowledge for cluster professional surveillance and guidance in community the long-run is necessary by the employers of MFG  Content is editable, adoptable and open for contribution  Members have to first learn how to use the Cluster Manual  Promotional tool for cluster services, information and events  Guidelines need to be developed  Leads to new relevant contacts for the MFG  User acceptance level can be unsatisfying. There is the risk that there will be no  Is available 24/7 and from remote sites interactive exchange.7 | 06.04.2010 Cluster Manual
  8. 8. Why has the Cluster Guide been started? There was no central pool of information for regional cluster managers with this specific focus Cluster beginners have access to the experience of experts and can exchange easily Manual offers an interactive tool with a lot of information, an overview of important literature as well as best practise examples in form of interviews of cluster experts. Wiki-based Cluster Manual is not a static document like traditional handbooks, ongoing update about new trends are possible. Emerging topics can be involved, commented and discussed.8 | 06.04.2010 Cluster Manual
  9. 9. Outcome A long-term study of the acceptance and the usage of the manual will be setup (planned for 2010) Activity can be monitored via internet indexes: if the data deteriorates, measures can be taken More new content will be included and new discussions can be started to support the community.Example: Page Impressions were increasing since the start of the collaboration platform: Jun 09: 3.709 Okt 09: 11.3849 | 06.04.2010 Cluster Manual
  10. 10. Lessons LearnedAs it is quite early to give outcomes, it is also difficult to list lessons learnt. However, MFG can recommend to take into account the following points. Recommendations  Have one person for the content/editorial/user interaction  Reserve some time for community management  Be aware of the 90/10 principle in social media context: 90 per cent of the users are passively consuming the content, only about 10 per cent contribute actively.  Do take into account that further developments, updates (technical and content-wise) and maintenance are time-consuming and costly.10 | 06.04.2010 Cluster Manual
  11. 11. Suggested Readings Link to bibliography: C Ketels, O Solvell, and G Lindqvist: The cluster initiative Green book, 2005. O Solvell: Clusters - Balancing Evolutionary and Constructive Forces, 2008. Link to relevant websites – collection of cluster literature11 | 06.04.2010 Cluster Manual