Structure + Processes
Establish clear metrics for success and embed mechanism for participant feedback. Provide clear rules, getting started guides, codes of conduct, etc. while also allowing for flexibility and adaptability where appropriate.
Build mechanisms to connect.
We can’t possibly have all of the expertise within our organization or campus, so it’s important to have processes in place to help you reach out (Lisa Stephens).
Provide a place for engagement.
You have to provide a mechanism where conversations can happen and be stored, a digital platform for networking (for example, http://cotecommunity.open.suny.edu/), places for people to talk and engage, for both those contributing to and consuming content. Part of this is incorporating ways to showcase and recognize those who are contributing (Alex Pickett).
Find the right place/platform for your community.
We tried for years to get people to continue the conversations online. It really only took off when we started using WhatsApp . But then the challenge was organizing the conversation and maintaining focus. At least now the community is very active online (Cristiana Assumpcao).
Develop an iterative improvement process.
Come up with a process so the community can evolve, change, grow, and continue to be relevant (Alex Pickett).
Provide technical, budgetary, and logistical support and service.
Identify who will provide these support mechanisms (Alex Pickett).
Create feedback mechanisms, and remember that survey fatigue is real (Rachel Sullivan).
We sometimes fall into a mode where feedback is viewed as an attack, and then therefor not provided (Erica Williams).
Within the ID2ID Program, we implement two surveys per year then the Advisory Committee reviews the feedback and actively integrates change or at least communicates out what we heard to the members taking the survey (Angela Dick).
Include members in the running of meetings.
Have people take notes, chair, set reminders, use tools to maximize inclusion in meetings. Keep documents “open” so that folks can submit additional items at a later time. Make a rough (agreed upon) plan about where to keep documents, but ensure that there are back up copies (Elan Paulson)!
Clearly define licensing expectations for work.
Licensing of creative work should be articulated up front. People should make it clear when they wish for attributions for their contributions (Elan Paulson).
When in doubt, attribute all contributions (Jenna Olsen).
Set expectations for decision-making.
Communities of Practice need a process for decision making, and need to define what happens when there isn't consensus (Lisa Koster).
Formalize the capture of community work.
The problem as I see it is that we lack Dynamic Knowledge Repositories and instead rely heavily on informal or heavily edited mechanisms for capturing the work of Communities of Practice or, as Engelbart calls them, "Networked Improvement Communities” (Tom Haymes).
Set expectations for community members.
It is important to publicize “rules of the road” for the community (Nancy Rubin).
Here is an example - rules and information about how to use the network : http://cotecommunity.open.suny.edu/notes/new_member_guide (Angela Dick)
Related Case Studies + Examples:
Many of the case studies reflect multiple, intersecting best practice categories. See the Examples/Case Studies section for additional examples.