Building a Community of Practice

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					Building a Community of
        Practice
   Learning From Our Own Experience


        •Context
        •What we did
        •Lessons learnt
        •Where to from here



                   Paul Dowling       1
            Context
           ACT KM Forum


• Multi-organisation structure
• Resources available
• Purpose




                  Paul Dowling   2
      What We Did
                  1



Research members needs
  •   Learning focus
      – Public sector perspective
      – Problem solving
      – Practical emphasis
  •   Networking



              Paul Dowling          3
       What We Did
                   2


Define purpose
  • Community & practice
Leverage existing organisational
  activities
  • Monthly meetings
  • Electronic mediums



               Paul Dowling        4
      What We Did
                 3

Monthly Meetings
  •   Identify suitable venue
  •   Facilitate meetings
  •   Ensure meetings are publicised
  •   Engage membership to provide presenters
  •   Link with the electronic medium




                 Paul Dowling                   5
        What We Did
                     4

EGroups
• Identify suitable electronic platform
   – Tool for sharing information &
     discussion
   – Customised interaction
   – Archive information
• Publicise and provide initial impetus



                 Paul Dowling             6
                   Outcomes
                   Monthly Meetings

                                       Membership April 2000
Membership of ACT KM forum
  has grown
Meetings attendance growing
                                   46%
Positive anecdotal feedback on                                 54%

  meeting format


                                       Public Sector   Private Sector


                        Paul Dowling                                 7
             Outcomes
                  Egroups


–   200 messages in 4 months
–   25 % of members participated
–   Core group (10) use frequently
–   > 100 different bits of information forwarded
–   One way flow of information
–   Some positive feedback on using information
    provided



                   Paul Dowling                     8
          Lessons Learnt
                     1


Focus on knowledge important to both
       the business and the people

    • Results in competitive advantage
    • Individual fulfillment




                 Paul Dowling            9
        Lessons Learnt
                   2



Find a well-respected community
   member to act as coordinator
• Key roles
   – Champion/Networker /Communicator
   – Administrator
   – Leaders =senior practitioners
• Energy

               Paul Dowling             10
         Lessons Learnt
                     3



 Make sure people have time and
  encouragement to participate

• Time can be a serious limiting factor




                 Paul Dowling             11
     Lessons Learnt
                4


Build on a core value of the
        organisation
• Match core cultural values rather than
  change them
• Use KM to enable your people to pursue
  something that they already value




            Paul Dowling                   12
       Lessons Learnt
                  5


         Involve leaders

• Use networks that already exist
• Typically these networks have thought
  leaders and influential members




              Paul Dowling                13
          Lessons Learnt
                      6


Build energy through community
              contact

• Live contact is key
• Create a sense of history
   – Physical events




                  Paul Dowling   14
         Lessons Learnt
                    7

Maintain personal contact among
      community members

     • Human connection lies at the core
     • One-to-one relationships




                Paul Dowling               15
         Lessons Learnt
                    8


Develop an active passionate core
              group

• Participation in communities vary
   – High contributors
   – Observers
   – Peripheral members
• Strategy: build an active core

                Paul Dowling          16
             Lessons Learnt
                        9


Make it easy to connect, contribute to
      and access the community

  • Ensure software integrates with peoples daily
    work
  • Familiar software reduces friction
  • Community space needs to be organised
    according to principles intuitive to the
    community

                    Paul Dowling                    17
               Lessons Learnt
                         10

 Create real dialogue about issues in
          community forums

Relationships happen in true discussion not reports on
  best practices




                      Paul Dowling                       18
 Building a Community of
         Practice
                                 Identify
                                 Common
                                 Interest

Trust
Others



                                            Make Real
                                            Connections



         Care For The
         Thinking Of
                  Paul Dowling                            19
         Others
      Where To From Here?


1.   Are people finding solutions?
2.   How could we improve our CoP?
3.   Seminar
4.   Executive changes



                Paul Dowling         20

				
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