Communities of Practice: a strategy for more effective collaboration


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A brief synopsis of the key success factors for delivering successful communities of practice.

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  • Helping needs Where members help each other to solve day-to-day issues and experts can be invited in to help . connecting people building trust creating a forum to support requests for help and assistance creating an environment to share, assess value and disseminate good ideas creating self-help functions accelerating collaboration across organisations or a specialism strengthening networks and improving employee relations facilitating professional peer learning and drawing from expert knowledge and experience Best practice needs Where developing and disseminating best practice, guidelines and procedures issued to provide instant access to validated and up to date knowledge and information increasing exchange of lessons learnt and good practice seeking new understanding of developments and implementations collaborating to develop, consult and validate practice publishing and disseminating specific practices verifying effectiveness and benefit of practice accelerating the speed of quality decision making and implementation of best practice Achieve higher standards in projects, strategies and improving outcomes enlisting leading experts Knowledge Stewarding needs Where there is a need to organise , manage and steward a body of knowledge from which members can draw. creating a shared understanding of issues providing instant access to knowledge and information in an organised and intuitive way accessing collective and vetted knowledge that is managed, summarised and up to date bring together timely and relevant knowledge and information providing quick and easy access to up to date news, publications, websites and practice in one place increasing opportunities for self-help and personal development collaborating to increase the productivity of ideas and knowledge helping with leadership issues Innovation needs Where the creation of breakthrough ideas, knowledge and practices is paramount creating a safe and trusted environment where innovation can take place supporting creative, experimental, multi-disciplinary and cross boundary working sharing and developing expert knowledge and thinkingdeveloping innovative practices accelerating the rate of innovation through sharing and testing out ideas providing opportunities to approach and work with new technologies, new business and new approaches providing channels to support the development of new ideas and ways of working sharing warnings and deciphering trends
  • Communities of Practice: a strategy for more effective collaboration

    1. 1. Steve Dale Director Collabor8now Ltd Communities of Practice: a strategy for more effective collaboration 23 June 2011
    2. 2. About Local Government <ul><li>Local government in England and Wales employs a workforce of 2.1 million people across 367 local authorities. </li></ul><ul><li>Each authority is working to deliver the same 700 services to their residents. </li></ul><ul><li>Has an annual operating budget of over £106 billion for delivering services. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Over 700 Local Gov Services
    4. 4. Why have a Community of Practice? <ul><li>CoPs can bring new knowledge into an organisation, but perhaps more importantly, they will help to grow and nurture the knowledge that is already within the organisation. </li></ul>
    5. 5. 3-Year Knowledge Management Strategy – started in 2005. People with People People with Experts People with Information
    6. 6. Project Timeline Sept 05 Business Case Apr 06 Planning Sept 06 Pilot Dec 07 Launch June 11 People Various iterations business case to get management backing for KM strategy, including CoPs Intensive work with stakeholders Produced spec for the KM team structure Management team approval Developed and run training for facilitators Developed technology spec for online platform First pilot built on Drupal failed Assisted in running focus groups with potential members of the Pilot communities Introduces a technology platform to support collaboration Official launch December 2007 Ongoing support to selected communities at the IDeA through a coaching and mentoring scheme Completion of application form to set up a community Over 85,000 people registered Over 1,500 Communities
    7. 7. Community Type <ul><li>Helping Communities provide a forum for community members to help each other with everyday work needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Best Practice Communities develop and disseminate best practices, guidelines, and procedures for their members use. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Stewarding Communities organise, manage, and steward a body of knowledge from which community members can draw. </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation Communities create breakthrough ideas, new knowledge, and new practices. </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>We are social beings who thrive from human interaction; technology is just an enabler. </li></ul><ul><li>Give the community a range of collaborative tools and let them decide which ones they want to use and how to use them. </li></ul><ul><li>Don ’ t assume everyone understands how to use social media tools. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and look after your (power) contributors. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and look after your facilitators – they are quite often the difference between successful and unsuccessful communities. </li></ul><ul><li>Condition your managers for failure – not every CoP is going to be successful. </li></ul><ul><li>Most senior managers still don ’ t get it! </li></ul><ul><li>Command and control can hamper development of a community. </li></ul>Lessons Learnt
    9. 9. The future: Knowledge Hub <ul><li>Easier to use – intuitive and guided navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Powerful semantic search and discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Greater permeability with external networks and conversations. </li></ul><ul><li>Information finds YOU. </li></ul><ul><li>New synchronous collaboration opportunities with Web Conferencing. </li></ul><ul><li>Support for mobile working </li></ul><ul><li>Access to mashup tools and Apps </li></ul>
    10. 10. Thank You! An evangelist and practitioner in the use of Web 2.0 technologies and Social Media applications to support personal self-development and knowledge sharing. Steve was the business lead and information architect for the community of practice platform currently deployed across the UK local government sector, the largest professional network of its type, and continues to play a key role in the support of virtual communities of practice for value creation in public services. Stephen Dale (Steve)