People can use a peer assist to gather knowledge and insight from other teams before embarking on a project or activity. It partners those seeking assistance – ‘receivers’ –with a peer or group of peers who have expertise in a desired area.
A peer assist can last from an hour to a full day depending on the size of the project.
Advantages of using a peer assist?
Talking to experienced peers about the best way to approach new projects saves time and money and avoids repetition of mistakes. It also creates strong links across teams and relationships between people.
How to run a peer assist?
A simple method that works well involves of the following steps:
- Appoint a facilitator
- Appoint someone from outside the team who will ensure the participants achieve their outcomes.
- Select the participants
- Choose participants who have diverse knowledge, skills, and experience. There is no hard and fast rule about minimum or maximum numbers but the right participants are particularly important.
This is done by dividing the meeting time into four parts:
- Clarify purpose –The receivers present the background and objectives of the project or task they are about to begin. They should also say what they hope to achieve in the peer assist.
- Encourage the peers to ask questions and give feedback – The peers discuss the receiver’s situation and share ideas and experiences. The receivers should simply listen.
- Analyse what’s been heard – This part is for the receivers to analyse and reflect on what they have learned and to examine options. The peers should take a back seat.
- Present the feedback and agree actions – The peers present their feedback to the receivers’ analysis and answer any further questions.
Collison C. and Parcell G., 2001, Learning to Fly: Practical Knowledge Management From Leading and Learning Organizations, Oxford: Capstone. 2004.
ISBN: 1841125091 2nd Edition
The Community Charter clarifies for its members the general framework necessary for a successful launch, cultivation, and growth of the group. The charter includes the group’s purpose, benefits, guidelines, and resource commitments.
Describes why the group exists. It is short and designed to capture both hearts and minds and encourages ownership within the community.
Explains the group benefits and is key is assisting member to make time to participate in the group but also in allowing them to explain to their managers the reasons why they are participating. You also need to show “what success looks like”, and any appropriate impact measures
Explain what your Code of conduct is. Will there be strong and defined rules or more casual guidelines and agreements? Do you expect any confidentiality issues? Do members have to agree to a “Terms of Service” or other form of agreement before becoming members?
What type of role do you need in the community these can be based on the type of community you are looking to develop e.g. Helping, Best Practice, Knowledge Stewarding or Innovation
|Roles||Helping Community||Best Practice||Knowledge Stewarding||Innovation|
|Subject Matter Experts||X||X||X|
Thank to Erica Hurley at http://www.ki-network.org/jm/index.php
This is something that I have been thinking about for a while and has a great overlap with the concept of Personal Knowledge Management which has been discussed and talked about for a while from people such as Patrick Lamb from Straits Knowledge and Harold Jarche
As you all know the role of the online community facilitator is quiet diverse as you can see via Dion Hinchcliffe’s Jack of all trades, who says that, you will play these roles as a community facilitator.
Project Management, Customer Management, Professional Development, Brand Management, Advertising and Marketing, Staff development, Business Planning, Community Management and Content Management.
But what tools are there out there that can help you fulfil some of these roles?
One term that has started to come about is Content Curation, which covers quiet a few of the topics that Dion mentions
Sumeet Moghe uses a great image to show how you would content curate if it was dealing with Personal Knowledge Management and I have taking his concept to share what I do.
|From August 2, 2012|
But as we are looking to support and feed the community I believe there is one bit missing for us and that is Share
Making the list
- Collect – What tools do you use to collect content?
- Process – What tools do you use to highlight content to go back to?
- Organise – What tools do you use organise the content?
- Review and Retrieve – What tools do you use to review and retrieve content?
- Share – What tools do you use to share the content?
So what personal online tools do you use to help, collect, process, organise, review and share content with your community?
Well I asked this question to the Online Facilitators Community on the Knowledge Hub where we organised an online round table for 90 minutes.
Below is a summary of what tools we discussed broken down into each of the five categories.
Try to keep your mechanism for collection automated as this can save a huge amount of time rather than manually collection. It can also mean that you have the info collected in advance, so you can get to processing.
- Google Reader to collect and aggregate all of my information from news sites and blogs;
- Twitter Hash Tags to collect and aggregate all of the information that my social network wants to throw my way;
- Newsletters, Webinar’s and other communities.
- Sticky Notes – Google chrome
- To do – Outlook
- Google Alerts
- Slick RSS
- Other community sites
You all know that you will never be able to keep up with everything just dip your foot in when it’s convenient. If you miss something really important, your networks will bring it to the surface again at some point
Try to skim through all the information that has comes your way, while resisting the need to read through each of them. And highlight the ones to come back to.
- Google Reader – Starred
- Google Reader – +1
- Google +
- Scoop It
- If this then that
- Get Pocket
Organising is really a direct follow on to the processing. As you are processing the content you will probably be tagging the content in a way to easily find it. Or adding it to a tool for later use.
- Scoop It
- Google Drive
- Outlook Folders
When your content is organised hopefully you can find it easily, all you should be doing is searching for it.
- Scoop It
- Google Docs
- Sticky Notes
- Google Analytics
That’s the finally stage you have collected, organised and are ready to share the content, but what is the best way to get the content to the correct audience. You know how they communicate so pick the appropriate channel.
I have been facilitating an online facilitator’s community for a number of years on the Communities of Practice for Public Service, which is some to close as we are moving to a new platform called the Knowledge Hub
But before we left one platform I remembered a great little survey from KM4Dev and thought I would ask the question.
The template consists of 4 simple questions
- What is your name, organisation and title?
- Where is your organization based?
- What “brought” you to CoP facilitators CoP
- Has being a member of this community assisted you in any way?
So I asked a few of them and this was their response
So what brought you to the Facilitator’s Community?
- A desire to learn from other facilitators
- I wanted to share experiences with other facilitators
- I had no idea how it worked, what it was, or even that there were experts in it!
- A desire to ask technical questions, communicate faults, and contribute to the improvement of the CoP
- I was quite new to the Community of Practice way of doing things, so it was very useful to have a back up support system in the form of someone who will help answer queries and ideas about doing things as efficiently as possible.
- I joined another community but saw the possibility/need for one in my area. I somehow found the facilitators community and managed, nervously, to post something in the forum
- I was sort of told to join!! I was made a facilitator as part of my role and advised to join the Facilitators CoP, which I did. Great advice.
- I joined the Facilitators community because this new role felt a bit bewildering
How has the community assisted you?
- Being able to share ideas on how to organise and promote communities. Also knowing there were several people I could ask if I got stuck!
- Taking part in on-line discussions and conferences has been a valuable learning experience as has using the platform to search for new ideas, concepts and approaches to community knowledge sharing across the country
- I feel it is an essential platform to learn how best to make the most out of such a resource
- It built my confidence, made we feel welcomed and I could ask any daft questions I wanted.
- Really helped me understand what the role is all about. The analogy of a party host has stuck with me about the role and having a space for all party hosts to share ideas and discuss approaches has been invaluable
- It has really opened my eyes to how powerful it can be and how useful it is in creating and storing information in one place for all of the community to use/discuss/enjoy.
- I got some very useful information about embedding Twitter feed into one of COP groups. This was achieved relatively painlessly and it was good to have a forum to go back-to to iron out any problems.
- Being a member of the facilitators community gave me some ideas for developing the CoP
- Very useful wikis on setting up and maintaining an effective community.
- One of our first tasks was to produce a guide to how to use the Forum – Made much easier by the powerpoint presentations already present on the FC
Some nice answers and more to work on for the new community.
This is a bit of a follow on from the Community Manager Appreciation Day #cmad
If you would like to find out a bit more check out the posts below
I just wanted to say a big thank you to all those great people out there that have the tireless task of being a community facilitator and try all different ways to turn a stranger in to a participant within an online community?
The role of the facilitator is tough, they have a multiply roles and sometimes called can be classed as Jack of all trades and if you had the chance to look inside the mind of a community facilitator that’s what it would look like.
With most communities the facilitator only has 21 days to hook a member and there a many ways you can cheat in building your community. But sometimes in just a bit of fun that gets the party started as a facilitator.
You could lead a community by force, by making them make a post or else they will be sorry but is that really the way to do it, people are the life blood of the community mangers cannot create a community
Otherwise you could be back to square one and have to spend time trying to bring back one community member every day, and if the community and the people around the facilitator fail to appreciate what the facilitator does, the facilitator may leave and the community may come crashing down as in the case of Tom Hambarger
So who are these mad people that facilitate your communities? And is it a game of Guess who? Blaise Grimes – Viort’s survey with over 180 Community Managers across Spanish, German, British, French, American and other nations’ seemed to suggest that your star sign may have some influence over the role. With Virgo and Libra topping the charts.
I have posed the question is it’s down to the year of your birth and your Chinese Zodiac sign. I very much doubt it but it has got people talking and the key role of an online community facilitator is to get people talking. This is where the introductions happen and the serendipity moments.
So is there any real point to this blog post. Not really. But I hope that you found some of it interesting and maybe had a bit of fun and now have some ideas of your own to try out with your community as you know them the best.
And as Derek Powazek says “Community Management is the process of making decisions with good intentions & then cleaning up after the explosion”