Communities of Practice

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Social and economic change made access to knowledge central to how we work. Collaborative working is constantly pushing boundaries. …

Social and economic change made access to knowledge central to how we work. Collaborative working is constantly pushing boundaries.
Tipping point in citizen behaviour, people can now create content, re-use information, co-produce services – otherwise known as web2.0.

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  • 1. Communities of Practice
  • 2. how do we fix a problem like… a range of knowledge… needs to be shared and managed a diversity of people and skills… needs to be joined up and networked
  • 3. new tools and assets… … need to be used efficiently evermore complex challenges… … require innovative solutions
  • 4. how do we use tools like…
    • Social and economic change made access to knowledge central to how we work.
    • Collaborative working is constantly pushing boundaries.
    • Tipping point in citizen behaviour, people can now create content, re-use information, co-produce services – otherwise known as web2.0
  • 5. Recommendations by government & business
    • “ Establish a mechanism for scanning for good ideas elsewhere and forums for creative discussions between staff, external stakeholders and users” (Audit Commission)
    • Publicise the lessons learned from both successful and unsuccessful innovation within the authority (Audit Commission)
    • Panels of public service workers should be used more methodically, giving staff the chance to develop ideas proactively (Cabinet Office)
    • “ Future productivity will largely come from the way people innovate, the efficiency with which they can translate innovation into value and how effectively people can work together to make timely well informed decisions” (IBM)
  • 6. what is a community of practice?
    • A network of individuals with common expertise or interests who get together to share knowledge and practices to identify collaborative solutions to solve specific issues.
    • You need knowledge to do what you need to do
    • You need people to have knowledge
    • You need practice to inform and apply knowledge
    • “ A problem shared is a problem solved”
  • 7. do you belong to any?
  • 8. what exists already? IDeA (2007) Social networks To collect and pass on information Friends and acquaintances Mutual needs As long as people have a reason to connect Purpose Project team To deliver a product or service Community of practice Formal work group Members Adhesive Duration Employees who report to the group‘s manager Job requirements and org structure Until organisational restructuring To accomplish a specific task Employees assigned by senior management Project milestones and goals Until project completion To develop smarter working, knowledge transfer and innovative practices Members selected on common interests and skills Commitment, and identification with group‘s expertise As long as there is value in sustaining the group
  • 9. what are the benefits? managing knowledge working collaboratively generating innovation value for money
  • 10. managing knowledge
    • “ There are widespread practices of people investigating specific issues. To rationalise a strategic approach to these, why not bring together the knowledge and people working or researching these to learn lessons from past experience and explore future prospects?”*
    • “ It enables the capture of knowledge, skills and contacts from members leaving”*
    • * quotes from participants of the Kent Communities of Practice pilots
  • 11.
    • Opportunities for you
    • Validate existing knowledge and co-produce new knowledge
    • Develop and archive your reflective learning and peer review
    • Opportunities for KCC
    • Facilitate knowledge continuity and flow across organisation
    • Capture learning and practice on demand & real time
    • Examples from pilots: sharing best practice & lessons learned from workshops, mapping out research & practice on specific theme, updating emergency contacts listing, creating “how to” toolkit
  • 12. working collaboratively
    • “ We will develop and improve joined up working between professionals working on a specific theme across boundaries (organisational and professional), to share information and ideas between professionals…People will learn what’s happening”*
    • “ An accessible format for people of all abilities to share knowledge, information and ideas”*
    • * quotes from participants of the Kent Communities of Practice pilots
  • 13.
    • Opportunities for you
    • Discover and network with colleagues with common needs and skills
    • Share your collective wisdom to identify and develop innovative solutions on key themes
    • Opportunities for KCC
    • Use social network analysis to map and develop thematic networks across the organisation
    • Develop collaborative learning and smarter working to achieve cross-cutting outcomes
    • Examples from pilots: Comparison of metrics, invitation for job shadowing, call for volunteers, co-design of assessment tools & major event
  • 14. generating innovation
    • “ Professionals could benefit by having a space to put down ideas before they got lost, write down things that have inspired them – say a speaker at a conference, make suggestions and get ideas”*
    • “ People who find it hard to share skills face-to-face could see their ideas and knowledge being passed on and feel they are part of a community”*
    • * quotes from participants of the Kent Communities of Practice pilots
  • 15.
    • Opportunities for you
    • Access and share innovative ideas and ways of working
    • Adapt and contextualise best practice
    • Opportunities for KCC
    • Developing new ideas and innovations to generate efficiencies, income and improve engagement
    • Wake up second wave innovations and inform next practice
    • Examples from pilots: Project for a local government glossary , video explanation of the local government budget process by a councillor, Advert on consultation techniques, open source search engine
  • 16. involving customers
    • “ We will enable users to work with other users and their workers…to develop advice, mentoring and collaborative production, enabling them to make comments in a way where they’re not being shouted down and they can contribute. In other words, getting users to contribute in a professional setting.”
    • “ People who run public services don’t always know to engage with certain customer groups or communities and they could learn a lot by coming into contact with these groups through the community of practice.”
  • 17.
    • Opportunities for residents
    • Access and share advice and guidance in real time to identify and develop common solutions to everyday challenges, such as parenting, money managing, etc.
    • Provide feedback to KCC when and where they want to
    • Share their collective wisdom
    • Opportunities for KCC
    • Participate in capturing existing customer insight and behaviours
    • Develop a wide range of research and practical activities for real time and continuous feedback
    • Map and optimise relating themes to community networks
  • 18. value for money
    • Collaborative knowledge base that encourages consistency in the diffusion of knowledge and innovation focused on specific business or customer needs
    • A cost-effective and integrated approach to introducing tools such as blogs, podcasts and wikis
    • Low cost of participating and contributing in relation to high return on investment
    • A more informed and innovative way of delivering service transformation and value for money, particularly on flexible working
  • 19. what are the challenges? Michael Norton, IDeA Involve members in the design of the community and understanding how it works, who does what and what the value is for them and KCC Defining the relevance Streamline the balance between online and offline activities Selecting the tools Facilitate, empower and value activity to community Building interest Allow different levels of participation from users to contributors Allowing time Invite influencers, early adopters and observers to create critical mass Building trust
  • 20. communities and projects
    • Projects develop bodies of “practice” but start dating as soon as they have been completed…until we need to develop a project to revamp the body of practice.
    • Communities of practice provide the cross-organisational structures that can help maintain the changes introduced by projects. 
    • Community acts as the core supporting the project’s activities in preparation for, during and after the project. It can also be the other way around: where projects are undertaken by the community of practice, which ensures the projects are of direct relevance to practice.
    Communities of Practice Questions/Problems Answers/Innovations Projects
  • 21. the platform
    • Hosted by an integrated and user-friendly online platform using a variety of collaborative tools
    • Provides Code of conduct and access control
    • Technical support provided by IDeA
    • Owned by and for local government (LGA)
    • KCC is leading authority in membership and participation
  • 22. the tools
    • The Blog, Forum and Calendar
    • generate and share innovative ideas and practices
    • discuss the opportunities and risks around agreed themes
    • collaborate with colleagues with a blend of skills and experiences
    • The Library, Newsfeed, Search, Bookmarking and Wiki
    • access and submit ideas, links and knowledge resources
    • aggregate just-in-time expertise and insight from a variety of perspectives to inform next practice
  • 23. always online?
    • A healthy and effective balance of online participation and face-to-face involvement
    • Share experience and learning quickly and continuously shared between the participants through bespoke learning resources and face-to-face activities
    • Risk analysis and “how to” guides to collaborative tools
    • Self improvement tools for knowledge management and collaborative working, supported by IDeA
    • From facilitation workshops to after action reviews
  • 24. user generated analysis
    • Social network analysis and long tail feedback
    • Assess, demand and identify bottlenecks and hubs for collaboration & innovation, allow decision-makers to identify innovations and activities that are needed to support local goals and the networks driving innovation.
    • “ If you liked this, you may like that”
    • Recommendation systems enable you to match innovative ideas or solutions and potentially “wake up” shelved innovations, since innovation is often at the interface of two service areas or disciplines
    • “ Other people who used/did this, also used these services”
    • Collaborative filtering involves making automatic predictions about the behaviours/needs of a user by collecting information from many users - those who agreed in the past tend to agree again in the future.
  • 25. managing the community
    • Members: Selected by Coordinator and can access and participate in community
    • Facilitator: Responsible for member development and facilitation of face-to-face community of practice activities
    • Coordinator: Responsible for developing and managing designated Community
  • 26. user generated toolkit
    • As a result of pilot, toolkit produced generated by user feedback and includes:
      • “ how to” guides to tools & techniques
      • developing a CoP strategy
      • engaging stakeholders & involving members
      • managing risks
      • self improvement tools for managing knowledge
    • Opportunities for piloting other knowledge management tools & techniques in association with IDeA
  • 27. would this benefit you?
    • Project or flexible working teams: particularly if you are thinking or already working flexibly
    • Training cohorts: trainees, apprentices, participants in diplomas & courses
    • Customer/user groups : user groups, citizen panels & customer communities
    • Partnerships: multi agency project teams, local strategic partnerships & local trusts
    • Thematic groups: focused on corporate outcomes that impact across the organisation, i.e. corporate units and staff boards
  • 28. Innovations in Kent
    • Join our Innovations in Kent Community of Practice
    • A platform for staff to generate and share innovative ideas & practices which can feed into existing and future mechanisms for staff to exploit opportunities for better knowledge sharing, collaboration & idea generation.
    • “ you did it, we shared it, you solved it”
    • Inform: Provide access to 100 case studies of innovative practice that people can submit & feedback in real-time
    • Engage: Available for all staff to join and access to innovation activities
    • Involve: Pilot tools & techniques to support innovation and connecting people, skills & knowledge
  • 29. Get in touch!
    • Noel Hatch
    • Projects & Research Lead for Innovation
    • [email_address]
    • 01622 696 830
    • 07515 992 174