Tuesday, 25 November 2008

LtF Chapter 12 - Leveraging what we know

Generously Blogger has attributed the last post to the day I wrote the first line of it. My apologies for the long break in the scheduled posts. This post will now appear late also to add to the confusion.

This longer chapter looks at how we can capture knowledge. More specifically it considers the benefit of distilling experience into Knowledge Assets. This reflects the fact that often the same thing will happen in many places so a core message can be defined.

A good area for a Knowledge Asset for most NHS organisations (and their librarians) at present would be around bid processes. While bids are always important the current organisational environment makes successful bidding key. The potential is there to share learning across the organisation around this topic.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Learning to Fly Chapter 11 - Networking and communities of practice

Back to the book after some much needed recovery time.

The chapter considers how people network and the establishment of communities of practice. I like the definition of different types of communities:

  • C of Interest - linked through hobbies, sports etc
  • C of Practice - working together around an area of knowledge and competence (enabling)
  • C of Commitment - networks accountable for acheiving a clear goal (delivering)
The importance of the coordinator role is interesting when again we consider the proposed Team Knowledge Officer role for NHS organisations. Might these people be the ones charged with coordinatoring CoP/C?

The importance of face to face meeting very much chimes with my experience. You just need to meet people from time to time.

I have been involved a few times of late with attempts to create documents collectively. Thus far my conclusion is that (at least in my networks) people are not comfortable with Wikis - people will read but very few will edit.

Generally I think the chapter has some good tips on working in networks and in particular how to keep these running.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Failing to Post - Chapter 1

Apologies for my failure to post this week. I have been severely afflicted by the dreaded lurgy. I honestly cannot imagine I am going to feel up to completing my LtF posting for a few days. Normal service will hopefully be resumed in the middle of next week.

(C) Image Creative Commons

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

LtF Chapter 10 - Finding the right people

A chapter describing the benefits of having a corporate yellow pages. There is some sound advice about how to encourage participation (include the personal, build organically through champions etc) and some nice examples of how these have been used.

I find it hard to get excited about this. I think this is in great part due to seeing the technical issues that would be involved and the degree of challenge of getting people on board. I would want something that built onto a system that had to exist anyway - the email directory for example.

I think for a lot of areas the people they really need to know are their direct teams and they will know them through constant contact. I am not sure that within the organisation there is the degree of changing project work where people would not know each other. This would obviously be different for specific parts of the NHS.

The NHS Health Informatics Espace might support some of this functionality for health informatics staff but it feels clunky. You can search peoples profiles but have to click into each one to see any detail for example. Equally there are barriers to participation - despite being registered I cannot access one of the areas listed in the top navigation of the site (Sharing Experiences) - not very conducive to sharing!

Quote for the day (found through unrelated reading) "Try again. Fail again. Fail better." Samuel Beckett.

Monday, 3 November 2008

LtF Chapter 9 - Learning after doing

A weekend at UEA for the annual Pirates versus Old Boys knowledge sharing exercise (ahem). Once again the current students learnt a great deal about how to play American Football through the invaluable method of actually having a go. Best of luck to the Pirates for the season ahead.

Not much to say about this chapter. It is a fairly detailed framework for a larger end of project learning event described as a "retrospect". The key thing I would pull out of it is the importance of linking it in so the information gathered is available to future projects. One place I could see this usefully applied would be in work around Map of Medicine. As pathways are refined and localised there is the potential for speeding up the process by capturing learning after each one is completed.