7 critical success_factors_of_co_ps #acenetc2011


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With a combined 8 years of experience on the developing end of six multidisciplinary CoPs we share our experience, trials and errors. In this interactive workshop that covered the success strategies we’ve used to (1) Develop an infrastructure that supports syndication and mobile interaction; (2) Assess the expertise in membership; (3) Identify/close gaps in knowledge/skills (MediaWiki/Drupal); (4) Organize CoP members into workable teams; (5) Share, update, and foster connectivity; (6) Create a “call to action” that supports and motivates members; and (7) Engage the membership. So bring your questions, concerns and real world experience and together with these strategies, becoming a principal source of information in the development of knowledge and innovation in your area of expertise is only a Community of Practice away.

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7 critical success_factors_of_co_ps #acenetc2011

  1. 1. 7 Critical Success Factors for Developing Your eXtension Community of Practice <br />Presented by <br />Marissa Stone, Auburn University marissa.stone@gmail.com<br />Jerri Caldwell, Auburn University caldwjl@auburn.edu<br />ACE/NETC Ver. 2.011, Denver Colorado<br />
  2. 2. Coming together is a beginning.Keeping together is progress.Working together is success. - Henry Ford<br />
  3. 3. What is a Community of Practice?<br />According to Etienne Wenger [www.ewenger.com]: Communities of practice (CoPs) are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do. Through the CoP they interact regularly learning how to do it better.<br />Three Crucial Characteristics of CoPs:<br />The Domain (subject): an identity defined by a shared domain of interest. Membership implies a commitment to this domain.<br />The Community (people): In pursuing their interest in their domain, members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information.<br />The Practice (action): Members of a community of practice are practitioners. They develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems—in short a shared practice. This takes time and sustained interaction.<br />
  4. 4. Supporting Syndication and Mobile Interaction<br />
  5. 5.
  6. 6. Assessing the Expertise in Membership<br />
  7. 7. Assessing the Expertise in Membership<br />Becausea CoP is a group of people with a full set of complementary skills-a shared repertoire of resources- in order to fully utilize those resources we need to know what they are!<br />How? Ask!<br />Methods of Surveying<br /><ul><li>F2F meetings- ASK!
  8. 8. Observations
  9. 9. Committee/subcommittee positions
  10. 10. Member surveys
  11. 11. Conference calls
  12. 12. Webinars/trainings
  13. 13. Internal database
  14. 14. http://fcs.uga.edu/ext/jitp/register.php</li></li></ul><li>
  15. 15. Identifying Knowledge and Skills<br />
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Community of Practice Challenge<br />Please choose a jelly bean that represents your favorite color<br />(NOT YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR). <br />
  18. 18. Community of Practice Colors<br />
  19. 19. Knowing Your Community of Practice<br /><ul><li>Get to know your members- read research, profiles, websites, CVs
  20. 20. Study the results from the CoP skills evaluations conducted
  21. 21. Actively participate in CoP meetings- maintain contact by scheduling regular CoP teleconferences- talk to members- ask for referrals
  22. 22. Attend CoP F2F meetings at national conferences
  23. 23. Help develop and support CoP committees and subcommittees
  24. 24. Respond to/solicit invitations to provide feedback on tasks
  25. 25. When things work celebrate!-make sure that everyone knows!
  26. 26. Volunteer to help other CoP members often
  27. 27. Develop/attend CoP webinars/trainings</li></li></ul><li>Utilizing Diversity in Your Community of Practice<br /><ul><li>Develop mechanisms for the identification of various cultural dimensions of your CoP members (organizational, professional, disciplinary and nationalities)
  28. 28. Use social networking opportunities to facilitate communication, networking and collaboration among users outside the workings of the CoP
  29. 29. Allow all members to have a voice during meetings on projects they choose</li></li></ul><li>Fostering Connectivity in Your Community of Practice<br />According to Malcolm Gladwell author of The Tipping Point How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000)<br /><ul><li>Connectors play a vital role in groups
  30. 30. Connectors know LOTS of people.
  31. 31. Connectors develop networks regularly and often unconsciously, and use their connections to put people together, to touch lives, so to speak.
  32. 32. Connectors are important because they bring new ideas into the group.
  33. 33. Connectors keep groups from becoming inbred</li></li></ul><li>Updating and Informing the Community of Practice<br /><ul><li> Keep CoP members involved through regular updates
  34. 34. Create a CoP listserv in eXtension- send monthly updates on progress, goals, projects, celebrate accomplishments, share CoP news.
  35. 35. Social media applications such as blogs, wikis, photo, audio and video files, digital storytelling, podcasts, and 3D virtual worlds support collaborative online/ social spaces where members can connect.
  36. 36. Create a CoP online presence- not just a website- to deliver info where members are in cyberspace. </li></li></ul><li>Creating a Call to Action<br /><ul><li>Be clear on outcomes- what do you want to accomplish?
  37. 37. Approach all actions as a mediated whole- each action builds on others- this helps people feel part of something- responsible for their part
  38. 38. Establish an expectation for accomplishment- hold people accountable- ask how things are coming along or if they need help
  39. 39. Encourage members- ask for their assistance and/or offer feedback
  40. 40. Be relentless about the timeline/schedule
  41. 41. Promote interaction/working w/other CoPmembers
  42. 42. Have a clear, concise call to action- what do people need to do specifically?</li></li></ul><li>7 Tips to Engaging the Community of Practice<br />We have a CoP- how do we get everyone involved?<br />Collect more data on members than eXtension allows <br />Get to know your experts<br />Utilize the diversity in your CoP<br />Identify your connectors <br />Create a “call to action” that supports & mobilizes members<br />Share, update and inform <br />Manage and maintain your CoP membership. <br />
  43. 43. Community of Practice Membership<br />A successful CoP is only as good as the membership it attracts: <br /><ul><li>Establish a membership protocol- how will new members be recruited, accepted, retained?
  44. 44. Welcome new members personally
  45. 45. Provide mentors
  46. 46. Choose a membership “go-to” guru
  47. 47. Offer support and assistance
  48. 48. Early support leads to long-term member retention </li></li></ul><li>7 Tips to Engaging the Community of Practice<br />According to Pat Gannon-Leary, author of Communities of Practice and Virtual Learning Communities: Benefits, Barriers and Success Factors (2007)<br />CoP Critical success factors (CSFs)<br /><ul><li>Usability of technology listserv, forums, and other web technology
  49. 49. Trust- built through continued interaction developing common values and shared understanding
  50. 50. A sense of belonging among members
  51. 51. Paying attention to cross-national and cross-cultural dimensions of the CoP
  52. 52. Shared understandings
  53. 53. A common sense of purpose
  54. 54. Use of netiquette, user-friendly language</li></li></ul><li>Your Community of Practice<br />Launching and supporting a successful community of practice is one of the most effective ways to sustain your investment in knowledge generated. <br />It takes thought and effort, but with the right people, and the right steps your group can move from a “notwork” to a very successful network.<br />
  55. 55. Questions?<br />Interaction<br />Syndication<br />Challenge<br />Communication<br />Survey<br />Assessment<br />Call to Action<br />Identify<br />Membership<br />Participation<br />Your Community<br />Domain<br />Engaging<br />Community<br />