Home > Communities of Practice > Are you thinking about starting a Community of Practice?

Are you thinking about starting a Community of Practice?

So you’re thinking about starting a Community of Practice?  Firstly you will probably want to take a look at How to build a Community of Practice in Local Government

These questions below will help you prepare for your development of the Community of Practice and make sure that you are on the right track.

To use this, answer each question with a Yes or No.  You may find it helpful to answer these questions with help from other members of your group

A successful CoP has a clear purpose and value proposition for all involved.

  • Will you be able to show the value of belonging to and participating in the CoP for your potential members? Yes / No
  • Will you be able to show the value to managers to allow their staff time to participate? Yes / No

A successful CoP has dedicated and skilled facilitators’

  • Will the facilitators have the skills and time to facilitate the community? Yes / No
  • Will the facilitators have a vision for moving the CoP forward? Yes / No

A successful CoP has a comprehensive resource of content.

  • Will the group call on frequently used content, topics, or knowledge that should be pulled into one shared space? Yes / No
  • Will members of the community understand who the sources and recipients of the knowledge are within the community? Yes / No

A successful CoP has easy to follow knowledge sharing process.

  • Will people know how, what, and when to share? Yes / No
  • Will community members be able to access and reuse knowledge from others in the community easily? Yes / No

A successful CoP uses the appropriate technology to facilitate knowledge exchange, retrieval, and collaboration.

  • Will the technology meet the needs of the members?  In other words, did they have input into the tools that will be used? Yes / No

A successful CoP has communication plans for members and others outside the community.

  • Will existing community members (and prospective members) understand why they should participate? Are they aware of “success stories” and the way the community works? Yes / No
  • Will facilitators be able to support members on how to share and find knowledge? Yes / No

A successful CoP has constantly updated member profiles

  • Will CoP members be able to access others who share their interests quickly and easily? Yes / No

A successful CoP has several key metrics of success.

  • Will the CoP have a system to demonstrate how it is meeting its purpose? Yes / No
  • Will there be a plan for collecting, reviewing, sharing, and validating metrics Yes / No

A successful CoP has a recognition plan for participants

  • Will participants understand “what’s in it for them?”  Yes / No
  • Will there be a recognition scheme built into the community as part of the development or evaluation process? Yes / No

A successful CoP has an agenda of critical topics to cover during the first three to six months of its existence.

  • Will members have “hot problems” to solve early in the community life cycle? Yes / No
  • Will there be sufficient face-to-face or voice-to-voice meetings for members within six months of launch? Yes / No
  • Will there be enough actions and activities to familiarise the members with working together to solve problems? Yes / No

If you answered mostly No, consider getting involved with a current CoP.

If you answered mostly Yes, look to create a new community of practice

 

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