We all only have a limited amount of time when it comes to facilitating our group. From previous research the average was around 4 hours per week for some of the most active groups.
And The State of Community Management report backs up that the correct types of action by the facilitator can really increase participation rate.
So what are those tasks that you need to do and have to do to maintain and active and thriving online group?
Well that’s why we had an Online Chat all about.
It’s been mentioned many times that as a group facilitator we have to wear many hats to get the job done.
Get Satisfaction has a great infographic called Inside the mind of a community manager to demonstrate this.
But what is the secret to balancing such a variety of activities and roles and what are our hacks for productive task management?
During the discussion we tackled three questions. For group members you can access the full discussion here.
Here’s a quick summary of the discussion
What does your average week look like? Do you have a routine of facilitation tasks to manage your group?
- Some facilitators didn’t realise that they had a routine. Until they thought about it.
- The routine changes slightly depending on how busy the group is
- Tasks range from accepting and declining members, keeping an eye on conversation and helping them flow, uploading new content and creating activities for members to participate in and keeping in touch with key members and connecting with new ones.
- Highlighted how to manage your group on 10 minutes a day.
How do you prioritise your tasks and what ones are the important ones?
- Anything that helps members engage
- Accepting members (you don’t them waiting at the door)
- Responding to questions (24 hour rule) even if it’s a holding message
Do you delegate tasks to other members of the facilitation team and how do you go about it?
- Take it in turns to respond to acceptance messages.
- Take it in turn to send a welcome message
- Have an agreement between the facilitation team who will do what and when so no one feels too pressured.
- You don’t have to limit the facilitation team just to one organisation
If you are a facilitator of a group on the Knowledge Hub and would like to join our next chat you can join at https://knowledgehub.local.gov.uk/group/facilitatorscommunity
It has been suggested that more and more large projects are failing and that we maybe designing in project failure by mistake.
How do we change this approach? How do we improve or innovate in projects with such a rigid project management approach?
Judy Payne discuss these issues in this great video.
We all love an acronym. So it’s always nice when you get to areas of work who love to use them together and have a chat.
I attended a joint APM SIG yesterday between the Knowledge SIG and The Project/Programme/Portfolio Management Office SIG.
We had four topics to discuss as groups. Covering
- 21st Century Joy – Old-fashioned Knowledge Management – how can we move it from the 1990s to the 21st Century?
- Knowledge Opportunity Knocks- PMOs and Knowledge Management – what are the biggest opportunities?
- K to the M to the PMO – Knowledge Management in the PMO – what it is and what it isn’t
- Lessons Recorded – Lessons learnt – the BIG knowledge management myth
There was a great buzz and lots of conversation.
These are just some of the highlights that came out of the discussions
21st Century Joy
- Little differences makes a big difference when knowledge sharing
- How to find quality in the volume
- KM needs to follow the organisations evolution
Knowledge Opportunity Knocks
- New skills in content curation and knowledge marketing
- Better to live of peoples experiences rather than peoples paper
- Quantifying the benefits of knowledge sharing
K to the M to the PMO
- PMO is the network, try and avoid the silos
- A PMO’s role is to facilitate between departments
- Disseminator of process lessons
- The power of positive stories (including what went wrong)
- True learning takes time
- Keep technology simple to help
Using two simple questions.
- What they want from the community
- What can they offer the community
This normally helps identify the topics of interest to the group and what they already know. Allowing you to create some quick wins and match people and the knowledge up and share this to the wider community. Giving the group a great kick-start.
So taking this idea to a more established community I combined the marketplace exercise with an Ideas factory tool. (A tool that allows members to vote and comment on the idea)
At the end of 2013 I sat down and asked the members of the community what they would like to do for the next 12 months. Using the Knowledge Marketplace technique originally in a forum I asked members what they could offer and what they wanted from the community.
This resulted in a considerable number of want and offers which we then took into a wiki and started to theme them. This gave us 9 activities to work towards from the year. And importantly members who would like to help out.
These 9 activities where added to the Ideas factory and members were asked to vote on the priority of these activities.
We have only completed 3 activities out of the 9 so far. But each one of these has been led by members of the community.
Two webinars sharing their experience on a particular topic and the other the creation of an editable flyer that everyone can use.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the other 6 activities come together.
Another great Courageous conversation hosted by Judy Payne.
Judy talks about Knowledge Management today can mean anything from information management through to crowdsourcing
But project management knowledge management still focuses on collecting knowledge, writing it down and adding it to lessons learn databases.
Judy asks is project management KM stuck in the 1990s?
I would have to agree. You can join the discussion on the video on Linkedin
Will the community survive? Probably not.
Most online communities have one real driving force behind it. And you have missed the opportunity to hand the baton over to other people.
It’s the conversation that is normally missed out and it makes such a big difference and identifies so much more than you can write down.
This happens a lot in organisations when someone moves jobs, it’s only an afterthought.
There becomes a Knowledge Gap. I heard that it normally takes 18 months for a new employee to become profitable to the organisation and for them to be fully integrated with the way of work.
Can you afford that time delay in an online community? And would the members be happy with someone new just turning up without an introduction?
If you get a chance just do a search on Knowledge Retention and Transfer. There’s some great stuff out there that will help you start the conversation if your community manager is about to move on.
One of the things that there are an abundance of material on is the creating of an online community or community of practice. But there’s not so much on how to really facilitate the activity in the community and help it thrive.
What techniques, what tactics can use you to help move your community forward?
For me the word Playbook goes back to the days of playing John Madden on my Sega Mega Drive.
And the three key elements
- Special Teams
Can you take those elements in to Community Management and create techniques to help your community?
If you did, what techniques or tactics would you use for the below?
Offensive plays would be all about breaking down the boundaries of the community and moving it forward. You will be looking to increase the number of discussions and participating members.
Improve the quality of the conversations and content, and encourage better relationships between the members.
Defensive plays – Most online communities are happy as they are. Help them hold onto that position of contentment, but they will still need a consistent flow of activities to keep them happy.
Special Teams – would be activities that have the ability to cause momentum shifts, increasing participation as well as building a stronger sense of community.