An interesting item in Joitske Hulsebosch’s blog today about community facilitation. It refers to a research study undertaken by Halbana Tarmizi and Gert-Jan de Vreede on two key questions:
1. What are the most difficult tasks in CoP facilitation?
2. What are the most important tasks in CoP facilitation?
The results are based on 45 people who took an online survey. The most difficult tasks were (according to facilitators with more than 5 years experience):
1. Encouraging new members to participate in the community’s activities
2. Creating and maintaining an open, positive and participative environment
3. Creating comfort with and promoting understanding of the tools and tool outputs
The most important tasks (facilitator with >5 years experience):
1. Building cooperative relationships among members
2. Keeping community focus on its purpose; creating and maintaining an open, positive and participative environment; mediating conflicts and managing community through guidelines and rules (all equally important)
Encouraging participation is still the most difficult task, and is recognised as important too.
The full research article is here: Download identifying_challenges_for_facilitation_of_cops.pdf
Stephen is Director and founder of Collabor8now Ltd, an organization focussed on developing collaborative environments (e.g. Communities of Practice) and the integration of knowledge management tools and processes to support business improvement. He is a certified knowledge manager with the Knowledge Management Institute (KMI) and the author of several published research papers on collaborative behaviours and information technology.