Archive for category Community
This post reviews progress against my 70:20:10 Certification pathway.
Coca-Cola Amatil Supply Chain is developing knowledge sharing using Communities of Practice (COP). It’s six months since our first COP was formally launched, in Maintenance and Engineering, and shortly after this for our Systems Super Users and Key Users. As we are starting to develop our 2016 business plans and budgets this is a good time to consider progress, benefits and next steps.
We set up a single Maintenance and Engineering COP and invited all maintenance and engineering team members in Australia and New Zealand to participate – around 200 people. In the Systems area we launched three COPs – one for each operational system in scope, approximately 50 people in total. In both instances we launched these communities using a five week guided social learning program (Work, Connect and Learn – WCL) to develop skills and behaviours to participate in the COP. We ran WCL initially for the entire Maintenance and Engineering community, and then separately for the Systems communities. I shall post separately on evaluation of the WCL program.
The current maturity of these COPs is shown below on the Community Maturity Model from the Community Roundtable.
The three crucial COP characteristics (as defined by Wenger-Trayner ) of domain, community and practice were used to identify factors impacting COP maturity – as shown in the table below.
Examples of value creation were identified in the Maintenance & Engineering and SAP Manufacturing COPs in particular, including:
- Streamlining of processes
- Sharing resources for troubleshooting
- Cross-site input on problem resolution
- Sharing improvements / lessons learned
Case studies and examples of successful COPs within organisations in similar industries and environments (manufacturing, engineering and technically oriented settings) were identified and reviewed (view curated articles). Lessons drawn from these case studies and our experience include:
- Carefully define the domain and purpose of COP – keep it narrow enough to be attainable
- Form strategically designed COPs aligned to business goals, set tangible outcomes, and find ways to integrate activities with work (e.g. link to projects, build activities into work flow), support and guide them closely
- Provide guidelines and a lighter touch for other COPs that form
- Provide guidance and support to help people access and interact in COPs
- Make sure that interesting content is available
- Enable Subject Matter Experts to become COP champions
- Generate active senior management support
Most importantly, it is clear that value created by COPs can take considerable time to materialise. The key insight is that to generate tangible performance improvements you need to put effort and resource into community management. Accordingly, a key review recommendation is the appointment of a dedicated Community Manager.
Next steps identified are:
- Create community strategies and road maps to build existing COPs.
- Advocate for creation of the Community Manager role
- When the Community Manager role is established (assuming it is), identify and design focused cross-functional COPs aligned with business processes with high impact on priority goals in our business strategy
This post is one in a series sharing the case study of the development of a Community of Practice for Maintenance and Engineering teams at Coca-Cola Amatil.
As discussed in the case study post on context, this initiative is expected to contribute to reducing equipment down-time and decreasing risk associated with concentration of deep process knowledge in a small number of long-tenured Engineers. A number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were identified up-front to evaluate the value created by this community. This was informed in part by the conceptual framework of value creation from online interactions from Etienne Wenger, Beverly Traynor and Maarten De Laat. See Jane Bozarth’s article for an introduction to the value creation cycles in the framework.
KPIs and Measures
Measurement Points & Methods
Three main measurement points have been identified:
- Prior to community launch – to establish a baseline
- Immediately following the Work Connect & Learn program (guided social learning program to support the development of skills and behaviours to participate in the community)
- Six months after completion of the Work Connect & Learn (WCL) program
Monitoring of some of the measures will occur on a monthly basis during this six month period to help inform community management.
Data and feedback will be gathered using the following methods:
- Surveys of all maintenance and engineering team members at the three main measurement points
- Monitoring of activity on online community spaces in SharePoint
- Interviews / discussions with Maintenance & Engineering Managers and Capability Managers (who are providing on the ground supporting to community members to participate)
- Focus groups with community members immediately following and six months after the WCL program
- Capture of value creation stories on an ongoing basis in the six months after the WCL program
Additional Thoughts on Value Creation Cycles
The careful reader may have noticed that indicators of Reframing Value have not been explicitly included in the KPIs. While we have not explicitly set objectives for value at this level, it will be surprising if this does not follow success in the other value creation cycles. Reframing Value will be identified through value creation stories.
The value creation framework has recently been expanded to include strategic value and enabling value. We’ve not yet considered whether / how to include these in our evaluation strategy.
I came across the idea of using value creation stories to assess the value of online interactions in an article by Jane Bozarth. She used a conceptual framework from Etienne Wenger, Beverly Traynor and Maarten De Laat to write the story of how her online interactions create value. Their framework thinks about value in terms of five different cycles, which Jane summarises clearly in a diagram in her article.
As Jane urges, I have read the full text of this framework, and have used their guiding questions to write a value creation story about my participation in the 702010 Forum. This is my practice run in preparation for gathering value creation stories to evaluate communities that I am helping develop in my organisation. I’ve written this post by responding directly to the guiding questions relating to each cycle of value creation. However, I would document value creation stories within my organisation by writing or recording (audio or video) a more natural narrative.
The 702010 Forum is a community of practice for learning and performance professionals applying the 702010 framework. Membership is subscription based, with some resources and webinars publicly available. A toolkit contains resources to support application of 702010, and members can participate in a range of events and an online discussion forum.
1. What meaningful activities did you participate in? (Cycle 1 – Immediate Value)
I have participated in a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities including:
– attending webinars or viewing recordings, especially case studies by members
– delivering two case studies on webinars
– attending face-to-face events
– initiating and replying to discussions in the forum – and extending this in one case to email and phone discussions on a solution shared in the forum (more below)
– participating in a pilot of the Forum’s 702010 Practitioner Certification
– sharing and applying resources from the Toolkit with others in my organisation to assess status and develop improvements
2. What specific insights did you gain? What access to useful information or material? (Cycle 2 – Potential Value)
Within a few months of joining the Forum I realised that while my organisation had adopted the 702010 framework a number of years ago, we had narrowly interpreted it. We were deploying blended learning where we used activities based on learning from experience (70) and others (20) within formal structured programs. However, we were not purposefully enabling people to learn as they worked or building ongoing social learning capability. From a webinar on the changing role of the learning function I saw that the skills of our capability team needed to be broadened. I gained an understanding and language to talk to key stakeholders about the opportunity to impact organisational performance more effectively if we added performance consulting, performance support, and social learning to our toolkit.
3. How did this influence your practice? What did it enable that would not have happened otherwise? (Cycle 3 – Applied Value)
These activities and insights enabled me to have different discussions about 702010, our learning strategy, and internal Capability skills, particularly with senior managers and our Capability team. The most significant shift it enabled was an update to our Capability strategy in April 2014 to include ‘Continuous Workplace Learning’ as an element. This broadened the remit of our Capability team and created the space for us to get strategic with social learning.
We revamped our Governance Board by applying the “Toolkit for Establishing a Learning Governance Board.” Consequently we get better value out of our quarterly meetings by focussing on alignment with our business strategy.
A specific initiative accelerated by a case study in a Forum webinar was setting up a knowledge sharing site on SharePoint. When a senior manager gave me 1 day to prepare a prototype of a community hub on SharePoint I recalled a webinar where Tonkin & Taylor demonstrated their Knowledge Shots solution. I incorporated this into our prototype, and went on to build a variant of this for my organisation. You can see what this looks like in the guided tour of a community hub now set up on SharePoint. (Big thank you to Tammy Waite and Mark Thomas from Tonkin & Taylor, Forum members, for the support they provided by email and phone.)
4a. What difference did it make to your performance? How did this contribute to your personal/professional development? (Cycle 4 – Realized Value)
As per the examples given above, application of ideas, tools and solutions from the 702010 Forum has enabled me to perform and contribute to my organisation in ways I may not otherwise have been able to.
The 702010 Forum was one of the first Learning & Development communities that I’ve participated in. During 2014 I got active on Twitter and started this blog. This helped me to create a Personal Learning Network (PLN) which encompasses many other communities (e.g. Third Place, OzLearn, PKMChat). Collectively my participation in a number of communities and interaction with my PLN has transformed and accelerated my professional development.
One way that the Forum has supported my development has been by increasing my confidence to work out loud publicly in order to learn and improve. In December 2013 I delivered a case study in a Forum webinar. I found the reflection and learning from delivering this webinar valuable, and saw that others could benefit from me working out loud. This was a catalyst – it gave me the motivation and confidence to continue working out loud by blogging and speaking at conferences.
4b. How did this contribute to the goal of the organisation? Qualitatively? Quantitatively? (Cycle 4 – Realized Value)
Realised value for my organisation is unfolding. It’s also difficult (and unnecessary) to unravel the influence of the 702010 Forum on my organisation’s performance versus that of other communities and networks I participate in. Our Capability strategy is better aligned to our overall business strategy as a result of applying ideas and tools from the 702010 Forum. We are using a broader range of Capability approaches and activities to achieve our goals. I think it will be another 6-9 months before we are clear on the outcome of these activities.
5. Has this changed your or some other stakeholder’s understanding of what matters? (Cycle 5 – Reframing Value)
An emphatic YES to this question. It’s shifted the perspective of two very important stakeholder groups, senior managers and the Capability community, about the importance of the 70 and 20 elements of the framework and the range of approaches we can use to build Capability. We’ve reframed our Capability strategy, launched communities of practice and embraced performance consulting.
Participate, Participate, Participate
I shall close by encouraging everyone reading this to reflect on the communities and networks they are part of and consider their current level of participation. The more you participate, interact with others, apply ideas from these groups and share back what happened, the more value you create for yourself, your organisation and other community members. So, what are you waiting for? Get in there and participate.
I’d love to hear about the value that others have found in participating in communities and networks – you can leave your thoughts below or pingback to your own blog posts.
It’s been almost twelve months since I reviewed my professional network, so it was timely to look at it again. Once again I’ve used Mark McNeilly’s article Ask These Questions About Your Professional Network Before It’s Too Late to guide my review. I also used Twitter Analytics and the free network visualisation tools TweepsMap to look at my Twitter network and socilab to look at my LinkedIn network.
In this time my Twitter network has grown substantially, with an increase in followers from 45 to 615, and I am now following 450 people. I have been looking for a Twitter analytics tools that will help me to look at who I FOLLOW, rather than my followers. I haven’t yet found a tool that does summary level data aggregation on this. Knowing about who follows me and what people find valuable in what I share is useful. However, I also need to know about those I have selected to learn from and seek to create possibilities with – the people I follow. So, by default I’ve looked at the analytics about my followers (approximately 2/3 of whom i follow) to consider this question, along with scrolling through my Following list.
My Twitter network has grown largely as a consequence of my Personal Knowledge Management and professional development activities, which use a number of online tools and communities plus face-to-face conferences and real-world work activities. As such, there are a lot of people in this part of my network from the Learning & Development profession, plus others who have an interest in social learning and communities. Geographically, my international network is predominantly in Australia, USA and UK as shown on the TweepsMap below. Given Australia’s business ties with Asia this is an area where I would like to grow my network. In Australia my network is concentrated in Sydney; I would like to grow my network in other areas, especially Melbourne and Brisbane.
A year ago I said I would start sharing and learning through LinkedIn. I haven’t done this often, nor purposefully. I have found blogging, Twitter Chats, conference presenting, MeetUps, and using Feedly to aggregate blog posts and Google Alerts powerful ways to learn. I’m unsure whether actively using LinkedIn would create adequate incremental learning value. Having said that, I have recently noticed an increase in posts on topics relevant to me on LinkedIn so am not completely closed to the notion.
My number of LinkedIn connections has increased by approximately 25% to 630 in the past year. Mostly others have invited me to connect. I’ve accepted those connections where either I knew the person or felt based on their profile there was some common interest. Socilab generated the visual image of my LinkedIn network shown below (I selected ‘hide names’ so I could share the map, but did look at names on the image to understand the clusters and identify ‘bridges’ and outliers).
The map shows data for 499 of my 1st and 2nd degree connections. It includes links between those who are connected to each other. The clusters represent groups of people I know through roles in specific organisations (4 clusters), Learning & Development (L&D) professionals (1 cluster), and a non-work club (1 cluster). With the exception of the L&D cluster and the club, the bulk of my LinkedIn connections are people I have worked with in the past. As such they are concentrated in a small number of industries and professions, and mostly in Australia. My LinkedIn network is thus relatively ‘closed’ and lacking in diversity. The outliers represent potential diversity opportunities and warrant exploration, as do the bridges between clusters who are people who are potentially good connectors.
“Real World” Network
My ‘real world’ network are those people I spend time with face to face or currently work with in my job. Outside my organisational boundaries the people in my real world network tend to also be in my online network, but are located in, or have visited, Sydney or Melbourne. Within my organisation my network within my business unit is strong, and includes most of the managers and Subject Matter Experts around Australia, who are key stakeholders. It also includes a small group of people in our Indonesian operations, whom we supported to implement technical training in 2014. With the exception of people in Human Resources and Information Systems whom I have worked with on specific initiatives, my network outside of my business unit is small and weak.
Depth and Quality of Relationships
My network is deepest with those who I have had to collaborate most closely to deliver specific outcomes, and with those who share common interests that are related to my goals. This is a much smaller number than the total size of my network. I am comfortable to have differing degrees of intimacy and connection with those in my network. However, I have not been deliberate in identifying relationships with the most potential to create possibilities and opportunity for both myself and others. I’ve recently been participating in a Working Out Loud Circle. In the Circle Kits and his soon to be published book, John Stepper suggests the use of a relationship list – a short list of people who could support you to achieve a goal and to whom you could contribute. My experience using this approach is that it helps me to deepen key relationships within my network in a genuine and purposeful way.
I shall PURPOSEFULLY and CONSCIOUSLY develop my network. My goal is to build a network which accelerates my learning, helps me achieve my goals, and creates opportunities in areas that I am most interested in for myself and those with whom I am connected. I intend to act with a spirit of contribution within my network.
In the coming year I will:
– Increase connections and sharing with those with an interest in Community building, especially Communities of Practice (COP), and those in industries where COPs are most commonly used (am thinking Professional Services and Consulting)
– Expand and deepen connections with people in Supply Chain roles and FMCG
– Prune some of my online connections to help me focus on those which create higher mutual value
– Maintain relationship lists to help me achieve goals by deepening relationships with relevant people
– Rebalance my Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) and networking activities in my routine so that networking is purposeful and not just a consequence of my learning activities
– Broaden my organisational network (e.g. through cross-functional projects and voluntary activities such as the ’employee engagement’ committee)
– Do a review at least once a fortnight of my networking and PKM activities and conduct network maintenance activities. I shall find useful tools for this purpose – will try MentionMapp, socilab and Commun.it initially
Blog post coming soon on my PKM, Networking and maintenance routine.
Please reply to this post below to share any tips you have for people seeking to improve their professional network.