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Designing & Sustaining
Communities of Practice
Eric Tsui
KMIRC
HKPolyU
Agenda
1. Knowledge Management and
Communities
2. The community concept
3. Types of communities
4. The Community Lifecycle
5. Myths about communities
6. Q&A
Nancy M. Dixon’s 3 eras of KM
(Replay Webinar at http://goo.gl/zU7aG)
Is this a community?
Is this a community?
Is a school a community?
A Community of Practice is a network of individuals with
common problems or interests who get together to explore
ways of working, identify common solutions, and share
good practice and ideas.
• puts you in touch with like-minded colleagues and peers
• allows you to share your experiences and learn from others
• allows you to collaborate and achieve common outcomes
• accelerates your learning
• validates and builds on existing knowledge and good practice
• provides the opportunity to innovate and create new ideas
Communities of Practice
Campfire – Warmth of a community
A power resource view of a Community
“Coal & Oil for a community”
A well defined domain, a passionate
group of core
members, trust, supported by an
appropriate structure and/or tools
“Water for a community”
Events/Activities, Problem
Solving, Q&A, Peer Assist, Rewards &
Recognition
A governance model
Support
Top management and
Grass-roots support
“Windmills for a community”
Leverage on what’s available
& sometimes you create a new …
Trees
Outcome of reification by the community
Major elements of a community
• Domain
• Community
(Members)
• Practice
Members in a community
occasional
transactional
peripheral
active
facilitator
core group
lurkers
leaders
outsiders
experts
beginners
What can CoPs Do?
• Facilitate collaboration
• Answer specific questions via Subject Matter Expert
• Filter out incorrect information by peer group
• Capture institutional knowledge and reuse it
• Prevent re-inventing wheels by sharing knowledge
• Share successful (best) practices
http://www.icasit.org/km/kmrt/march04/bgscott.ppt
Common purposes of a community
1. Helping communities: members help
each other solve everyday questions &
problems
2. Best-practice communities:
collate, evaluate, validate & disseminate
best practices
3. Knowledge-stewarding communities:
map, collect & organize knowledge and
information assets for use by their
members
4. Innovation communities: deliberately
combine expertise from different domains
to explore new areas & cutting edge
topics
Knowledge
Effectiveness
for various
types of
communities
Purpose Members Adhesive Duration
Formal work
group
To deliver a
product or
service
Employees who
reports to the
group’s manager
Job
requirements
and org
structure
Until
organisational
restructuring
Project team To accomplish
a task
Employees
assigned by
senior
management
Project
milestones and
goals
Until project
completion
Social
networks
To collect and
pass on
information
Friends and
acquaintances
Mutual needs
and interests
As long as
people have a
reason to
connect
Community of
Practice
To develop
members’
capabilities;
to build and
exchange
knowledge
Members who
select
themselves
Passion,
commitment
and
identification
with the
group’s
expertise
As long as
there is
interest in
maintaining
the group
Work group descriptions
Community barriers
• Entrance barrier
• Exit barrier
CoPs communications update &
COP Wave by MTR
Site visits organised by CoPs in MTR
Badge of Honor for community members
Designing & Sustaining
Communities of Practice
Eric Tsui
KMIRC
HKPolyU
Designing & Sustaining
Communities of Practice
Ways to sustain a community
• Analyse the community
ecosystem
• Know how to measure the sense
of a community
• Avoid competition and maintain
a niche for your community
• Develop a community strategy
and know your community
lifecycle
• Facilitate/Moderate your
community discussions
• …
Myths of communities
• CoPs are always virtual
• Establish them and people will join and
share
• Closely align the community with
organizational structure
• CoPs do not need corporate sponsorship
• CoPs always need substantial investments
• CoPs are “unofficial” networks in an
organization
• CoPs should always continue with the
chosen/original “domain”
• Idled discussions, hence the CoP is useless
• Everyone is a contributor in a CoP
• …
Designing & Sustaining
Communities of Practice
Eric Tsui
KMIRC
HKPolyU

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Developing & sustaining communities of practice

  • 1. Designing & Sustaining Communities of Practice Eric Tsui KMIRC HKPolyU
  • 2. Agenda 1. Knowledge Management and Communities 2. The community concept 3. Types of communities 4. The Community Lifecycle 5. Myths about communities 6. Q&A
  • 3. Nancy M. Dixon’s 3 eras of KM (Replay Webinar at http://goo.gl/zU7aG)
  • 4.
  • 5. Is this a community?
  • 6. Is this a community?
  • 7. Is a school a community?
  • 8. A Community of Practice is a network of individuals with common problems or interests who get together to explore ways of working, identify common solutions, and share good practice and ideas. • puts you in touch with like-minded colleagues and peers • allows you to share your experiences and learn from others • allows you to collaborate and achieve common outcomes • accelerates your learning • validates and builds on existing knowledge and good practice • provides the opportunity to innovate and create new ideas Communities of Practice
  • 9. Campfire – Warmth of a community
  • 10. A power resource view of a Community “Coal & Oil for a community” A well defined domain, a passionate group of core members, trust, supported by an appropriate structure and/or tools “Water for a community” Events/Activities, Problem Solving, Q&A, Peer Assist, Rewards & Recognition A governance model Support Top management and Grass-roots support “Windmills for a community” Leverage on what’s available & sometimes you create a new … Trees Outcome of reification by the community
  • 11. Major elements of a community • Domain • Community (Members) • Practice
  • 12. Members in a community occasional transactional peripheral active facilitator core group lurkers leaders outsiders experts beginners
  • 13. What can CoPs Do? • Facilitate collaboration • Answer specific questions via Subject Matter Expert • Filter out incorrect information by peer group • Capture institutional knowledge and reuse it • Prevent re-inventing wheels by sharing knowledge • Share successful (best) practices http://www.icasit.org/km/kmrt/march04/bgscott.ppt
  • 14. Common purposes of a community 1. Helping communities: members help each other solve everyday questions & problems 2. Best-practice communities: collate, evaluate, validate & disseminate best practices 3. Knowledge-stewarding communities: map, collect & organize knowledge and information assets for use by their members 4. Innovation communities: deliberately combine expertise from different domains to explore new areas & cutting edge topics
  • 16. Purpose Members Adhesive Duration Formal work group To deliver a product or service Employees who reports to the group’s manager Job requirements and org structure Until organisational restructuring Project team To accomplish a task Employees assigned by senior management Project milestones and goals Until project completion Social networks To collect and pass on information Friends and acquaintances Mutual needs and interests As long as people have a reason to connect Community of Practice To develop members’ capabilities; to build and exchange knowledge Members who select themselves Passion, commitment and identification with the group’s expertise As long as there is interest in maintaining the group Work group descriptions
  • 17.
  • 18. Community barriers • Entrance barrier • Exit barrier
  • 19. CoPs communications update & COP Wave by MTR
  • 20. Site visits organised by CoPs in MTR
  • 21. Badge of Honor for community members
  • 22. Designing & Sustaining Communities of Practice Eric Tsui KMIRC HKPolyU Designing & Sustaining Communities of Practice
  • 23. Ways to sustain a community • Analyse the community ecosystem • Know how to measure the sense of a community • Avoid competition and maintain a niche for your community • Develop a community strategy and know your community lifecycle • Facilitate/Moderate your community discussions • …
  • 24.
  • 25.
  • 26.
  • 27.
  • 28. Myths of communities • CoPs are always virtual • Establish them and people will join and share • Closely align the community with organizational structure • CoPs do not need corporate sponsorship • CoPs always need substantial investments • CoPs are “unofficial” networks in an organization • CoPs should always continue with the chosen/original “domain” • Idled discussions, hence the CoP is useless • Everyone is a contributor in a CoP • …
  • 29. Designing & Sustaining Communities of Practice Eric Tsui KMIRC HKPolyU