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Posts Tagged ‘CoPs’

Who is Top of the CoPs for 2011?

April 12, 2011 Leave a comment

TV Shows We Used To Watch - 1964-2006 BBC Top of the PopsIn 2009 we started an internal ToP of the CoPs scheme where each month we would look at a particular topic and at the end of the year we asked for a written nomination from each community why they should be the CoP of the Year.

This went down really well, and when other communities from across Communities of Practice for Public Service heard about it they asked “can we enter it next year”.

So 2011 see’s the second CoP of the Year Awards.  And what a fight that went on. 

We broke it down into three award categories again

  • innovation and creativity
  • efficiency through collaboration
  • effective facilitation team

And the overall winner was selected from the winners of three categories.

The votes for CoP of the Year went down to the wire with split decisions from our esteemed panel of judges.   This was no X-Factor but still the excitement was there.

So the winners for 2011 are:

Innovation and creativity

Winner: Child Poverty

Efficiency through collaboration

Winner: Workforce Matters

Effective facilitation team

Winner: Project and Programme Management (PPM)

Overall CoP of the Year Award

Winner: Workforce Matters

If you would like to see the winning application you can view them here (sign in required)

Can online communities be used for knowledge retention?

February 22, 2011 2 comments

Given the austerity measure starting to take place across the UK public sector – 500Extracting knowledge,000 posts in five years – those charged with maintaining services need to take action now on capturing the knowledge of those who will be lost in the cuts. If they do not, as has been seen with many previous “restructures” in the sector, former employees may need to be brought back on at expensive consultancy rates to provide advice and counsel.

So could online communities be used in supporting the knowledge capture and transfer in the future?

I suppose the answer is Yes but it needs to be part of something bigger.  My feeling when it comes knowledge sharing and transfer within organizations is that there is still a focus on

  • Technology,
  • Process and
  • People. 

Bring in some technology and everything works.  But we all know this is not the case.

APQC’s research document on Retaining Valuable Knowledge: Proactive Strategies to Deal with a Shifting Work Force conducted with the Oil and Gas industry found that the best way to retain valuable knowledge in the face of attrition or downsizing is to build and sustain systemic KM approaches; one of theses approaches is establishing communities of practice.  Companies like Chevron Texaco, Schlumberger, and ExxonMobil have improved their efficiency by institutionalising a knowledge-sharing culture through communities of practice

“By helping to build these communities, we are not only realising huge improvements in business processes and performance, but also providing employees with greater access to one of the most valuable learning resources: interaction with peers,” said Michael Behounek, director of knowledge management at Halliburton.

Schlumberger have designed their knowledge ecology around collaborative working, with a knowledge retention and transition strategy integrated into to their ways of working.  Schlumberger Hub (“The Hub”) is an intranet and Internet enterprise information portal that provides employees and customers uniform access to information, providing access to:

  • knowledge repositories,
  • project management and collaboration spaces,
  • real-time news a help desk, and
  • Support for multiple internal and external audiences through threaded discussions, community repositories, and collaboration technology.

A key feature of the Schlumberger Hub is the seamless view it provides to the end user, whether it is an employee or a customer. All information is stored in one repository, and the portal posts only the appropriate information for each customer type.

So technology can be part of the solution but as with Schlumberger is need to be part of something bigger, the

  • People,
  • Process and
  • Technology

And there are many examples of the people and process techniques such as the Knowledge Exchange that we use but there are many more.

Also in the APQC report it suggested vendors such as Oracle have labelled a technology solution to the issue of Knowledge Loss as Enterprise 2.0 – a combination of content management, enterprise search, and portal technology, linking with 2.0 tools such as wikis and blogs.

We have done some great groundwork on some of these with Communities of Practice for Public Service

And with the upcoming Knowledge Hub we will be hitting all the areas that Oracle mention and a lot more.

So maybe there is a chance for the sector to hold onto its knowledge.  I just hope that we are not too late, and that by using the simple things to start the process the technology can support it in the future.

Communities of Practice: Batteries Not Included

August 17, 2010 2 comments

Battery Recycling

It seems the term “community of practice” is getting thrown around more and more as a solution to everything.

Jon Harman from Syngenta has a great quote “Communities of Practically Everything.”  And this really explains it.

But the question is why do some communities succeed where others fail?

If you take the Knowledge Management way of looking at things e.g. People, Process, Technology, this might help explain it.

The main problem is that when a Community of Practice is set up it’s normally done in the reverse order.

Technology, Process, People.

We already have the technology with the Communities of Practice for Public Service.

We already have the process, with the Help function and the Facilitators Community

But we lack in the People side.  It’s not just about attracting numbers of people to join the community, it’s about encouraging interaction and making them want to come back for more.

And this is all about good facilitation.

So if the Batteries are Not included.  What battery would describe the Facilitation Team in your Community?

Home brand –Lot of effort at the start to bring the community together but fades away quickly after

Alkaline – Able to bring the community together, but just as its starting to go somewhere the energy runs out.

Energiser –  Consistent power over a prolonged period of time. Encourages the group dynamics, interactions and progress with objectives of the community.  Also plans to replace the batteries when the power is starting to wain.

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