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Commandments for Driving a Sustainable Community

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Commandments for Driving a Sustainable Community

Dec 30, 2020   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger, Ekta Sachania

Organization’s collected knowledge is its most essential asset. The development of this intellectual knowledge from tacit to explicit, sharing and utilization forms the basis of knowledge management. Its purpose is to ensure that the relevant knowledge in people’s heads and the hard drive is captured and made available to the whole organization for the realization of an organization’s goals.

Communities of Practice (CoP) are fundamental to knowledge management (KM) framework in any organization. Their purpose is to provide to the members, flow of information, access to global peers, a platform for collaboration, innovation, reusing of ideas leading to improved business performance and delivery.

Communities are a platform for a wide variety of knowledge activities, including gathering and disseminating content, brainstorming, asking for help, solving problems, finding experts, keeping members informed of emerging trends, learning, and transferring knowledge.

Bringing to life a community can be a great first step in laying the foundation for gathering Organization’s knowledge and channelizing it for growth of employees and realizing delivery excellence. However, the real challenge is to drive these communities to success and ensuring that they adapt with the changes in business and that they do not fizzle out over a period of time.

Here are six commandments to drive successful Communities. These are not exhaustive but certainly layout the foundation stone for steering successful CoPs.

Community governance: The Community managers and stakeholders should be clear on the Community purpose, expected behavior, what they want to achieve out of it and run periodic checks to review the purpose and strategy and modify/upgrade as needed to keep the Community relevant for members. The community structure (open, close, or moderated) should directly align to its purpose/

Why should members join?:  Why will members take out time to join these communities or participate in community-related initiatives? What’s in it for them should be clearly outlined and communicated to the members. A period review of members and their activities should be conducted. Seeking feedback from them on relevancy and how you continue to keep Communities effective for them should be the key to have engaged members.

Role clarity for stewarding the community initiatives: As discussed above, there a host of activities enabled via a Community. The community manager should clearly define roles and responsibilities for everyone administering the sites including the content team, community champions, and specialists. Also, he or she needs to set up frequency for reviews, analyzing activities, seeking feedback, etc. to ensure that the Community continues to align with its business goal. If not, take a step back to review and refresh it.

Thoroughly defined content strategy: The content posted on CoP should be fresh, relevant, and reviewed regularly for taxonomy and accuracy. Policies should be in place for archiving old content, content review, and ensuring that the latest content is highlighted. Create an alert system so that members are aware when content is posted. This will ensure the regular access of content and Community by the members.

Collaboration and content harvesting activities: Collaboration and crowdsourcing are at the core of what communities. Schedule regular collaboration activities to foster knowledge sharing and innovation. See here various collaboration tools you can leverage for your communities. Also, organizing regular content harvesting campaigns leads to the gathering of content sitting on members' hard drive which could be reused by other members spanning organizational boundaries.

Performance evaluation: Regular evaluation of performance metrics helps community program managers understand what areas the community is performing well and what areas need improvement. This is essential for driving sustainable communities.

Let me know your thoughts on what other actions can help drive sustainable CoPs.


Ekta Sachania is an experienced Knowledge and Content Manager based in India.  

View Ekta's LinkedIn Profile here...
Or email Ekta here...


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