Using Wiki Technology to build Communites of Practice

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Using Wiki Technology to build Communities of Practice presentation delivered by Donna Dickson and Steve Boese of RIT at the AHRD Americas Conference 2009

Using Wiki Technology to build Communities of Practice presentation delivered by Donna Dickson and Steve Boese of RIT at the AHRD Americas Conference 2009

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  • 1. Using Wiki Technology to Create Communities of Practice Donna A. Dickson and Steve Boese
  • 2. Introductions
    • Donna A. Dickson
    • Assistant Professor and Program Chair
      • Rochester Institute of Technology, M.S. in Human Resource Development
    • President, WorkSmart Learning Systems Inc.
      • Full service consulting company, supporting performance improvement initiatives in global companies of all types and sizes
      • Headquartered in the U.S. with partners in South Africa and Australia
  • 3. Introductions
    • Steve Boese
    • Masters Degree Candidate
      • Human Resource Development, Rochester Institute of Technology
    • ERP Analyst, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • 4. Agenda
    • On the Same Page
    • Trends
    • Communities of Practice (CoP)
    • Use of Wiki Technology for CoPs
    • Benefits of Wiki-based CoPs for HRD faculty
  • 5. On the Same Page
    • Phrases:
    • Professional Association
    • Workgroup
    • Community of Practice
    • Social Network
  • 6. On the Same Page Professional Association A body that exists to further a particular line of work Members elect to participate and are drawn together by their common career Workgroup A body that exists to fulfill an organizational role/need Members participate as a condition of employment Community of Practice A body that forms based on what matters to its members Members choose to participate based on the perceived value of the interaction with other members Social Network A body that forms based on all manner of relationships, physical proximity, and/or commonalities Members are drawn in based on their relationships to others, and may also choose to participate based on common interests and needs
  • 7. Trends 76 million Baby Boomers (1/3 of U.S. workforce) may retire in large numbers by end of the decade, potentially taking with them an immense volume of business-critical knowledge (Foster, 2005)
  • 8. Trends Organizations that fail to understand the risks of this imminent knowledge drain to their competitiveness, in a marketplace that requires innovation and responsiveness, will suffer significant consequences (Foster, 2005)
  • 9. Trends A growing number of organizations rely on their employee’s knowledge-related capabilities versus their physical labor to achieve business goals Capturing and sharing that knowledge becomes key to business success
  • 10. Communities of Practice A collection of individuals drawn together by what matters to them (what they are passionate about) and, through interactions with one another, develop knowledge that not only enhances their individual capabilities, but consequently enhances the capabilities of the larger organization (Knapp, 2008)
  • 11. Communities of Practice CoP is a social structure focused on knowledge and enabling the management of that knowledge by the practitioners themselves (Wenger, 2004)
  • 12. Communities of Practice Research at IBM Institute for Knowledge Management finds as organizations grow in geographical scope and technical complexity, CoPs can have a positive impact on performance (Lesser & Storck, 2001)
  • 13. Communities of Practice
    • Organizational benefits of CoPs:
    • Potential to overcome inherent problems of a slow-moving hierarchy in a fast-moving economy
    • Effectiveness in handling unstructured problems and sharing knowledge outside of the traditional structural boundaries
    • Provide a means of developing and maintaining long-term organizational memory
    • (Lesser & Storck, 2001)
  • 14. Communities of Practice (Lesser & Storck, 2001, pg 3)
  • 15. Communities of Practice (Ambrozek & Bundsen, 2002)
  • 16. Communities of Practice Xerox has a software-supported CoP for its more than 20,000 field service engineers (Laird, 1999)
  • 17. Communities of Practice BP Global uses InTouch, a software-based tool created for the oil and gas industry, to connect its staff of 25,000 technical people (Smith, 2001)
  • 18. Use of Wiki Technology for CoPs Wiki is a type of server software that allows users to easily create and edit Web page content using any Web browser (Cunningham, 2008)
  • 19. Use of Wiki Technology for CoPs
    • Why Wiki?
    • It allows users to edit both the organization of contributions and the content itself
    • It is easy to use
    • (Cunningham, 2008)
  • 20. Use of Wiki Technology for CoPs (Young, 2008, pg 4)
  • 21. Use of Wiki Technology for CoPs (Murphy, 2008, pg 1)
  • 22. Use of Wiki Technology for CoPs From a human resources standpoint <communities of practice are> the first serious chance HR has to be strategic, by creating communities of practice in areas tactical to the business. (Ambrozek & Bundsen, 2002)
  • 23. Benefits of CoPs for HRD faculty HRD educators who are experienced in the use of wiki software can guide their students to adopt the same in their own organizations
  • 24. Benefits of CoPs for HRD faculty
    • Additionally, HRD educators can benefit from developing their own wiki-based CoPs:
    • Reduced need for meetings
    • Decreased number of e-mails
    • Ease of knowledge transfer to new faculty
    • Improved problem solving
  • 25. Our own CoPs
    • Ground rules
    • Whoever joins are the right people
    • Whatever happens is the right outcome
    • When its over, its over
  • 26. Questions?