We all talk about encouraging collaboration as a way of working in our organisation and across organisations.
It’s a difficult task. In a recent APM Knowledge SIG that I took part in we looked at Collaboration, co-operation and competition – project environments through a knowledge lens.
With some great example of how different organisations are encouraging collaboration.
But the fun started when we asked the audience how do you kill collaboration in an organisation?
And how do you do it at different levels in the organisation?
We asked for them to come up with silly, crazy, insane and a few sensible answers to this question.
And here is a summary of some of the responses:
1.Refuse to use common systems
2.Hide behind rules
3.Be unwilling to share experience/knowledge
4.Be unwilling to stay informed
5.Lack of communication / commitment
6.Claim responsibility for other work
8.Allow no time to collaborate
9.Insist on email only for communication
10.Have no team meetings or briefings
11.Be a mood hover
12.Have a lack of emotional intelligence
14.Constant Team restructure
15.Have no strategy
16.Create a blame culture
17.Using unhelpful metrics
18.Reward wrong behaviours
20.Discourage social interaction between colleagues
21.Create the fear of failure
One thing we did note is that there will be a lot of cross-over between the levels. But the impact of the behaviour by people at the different levels will make or break collaboration in the organisation.
What other ways could you suggest would kill collaboration in an organisation?
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
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
Yesterday we were luckily enough to have Steve Dale, voted number 25 in the most influential knowledge management bloggers. Run a webinar on Content Curation for the Online Facilitators Community.
Content curation is an up and coming skill and is seen as part of the new digital literacy.
It probably has more relevance to people who are knowledge workers, working in social media and collaboration. But can be useful to anyone. I suppose most of us are really knowledge workers now.
It also has very strong links to Personal Knowledge Management which Harold Jarche talks about.
So here is Steve’s presentation from slideshare.
What is knowledge management (KM) like at different levels in a project environment? How is knowledge managed at a personal level? In an individual project? In programmes and portfolios? Across organisations? And how does it all fit together?