Enabling Change SIG workshop at the PMO SIG's 15th anniversary conference, 22nd Oct 2015

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Posted by APM on 10th Nov 2015

Social communities - fostering communities to enable change.

Enabling Change SIG workshop at the PMO SIG’s 15th anniversary conference

On 22nd October, Simon Williams and Elisabeth Goodman, from the Enabling Change SIG committee had the opportunity to facilitate one of the PMO SIG's 15th anniversary conference workshops.  The workshop, which ran 3 times, and attracted 30-40 people, addressed 4 questions:

  1. What is a community?
  2. Why foster a community for change?
  3. How to foster a community?
  4. What will you do next?

Workshop outputs
The individual workshop outputs are captured in the helpful mind map from Biggerplate http://www.biggerplate.com/mindmaps/rsarAUqj/social-communities-workshop-apm-pmo-sig-autumn-conference-2015 (this covered workshop group 2), and also in the slides of the photographs of our tablecloth notes.

We had also pre-prepared our own thoughts on these questions, which can be seen in our workshop slides.

Key themes and ideas
These are the key themes and interesting ideas that we gleaned from the discussions:

  1. Not all the delegates were actively engaged in PMOs, and of those that were, just a few had previous experience of using communities to support the PMO and / or change projects.
  2. Quite a number of participants had come across communities of practice or interest, to support areas of expertise, share knowledge, and for learning and development.
  3. The value of communities for groups that might otherwise feel isolated, for example for PMO people in a largely operational organisation.
  4. There was some interest in considering a project's stakeholders as a community, and in exploring what communities might already exist for a change agent to tap into.
  5. Characteristics of communities included having: a common goal, conversations and some form of output.  They could be formal or informal.
  6. There was the issue of cultural barriers to sharing knowledge in some organisations.
  7. Contributing factors for successful communities included management support, being self-driven, cultivating a culture of 'giving back' to the community, having face-to-face meetings as well as using technology.

Concluding thoughts
We ended by asking people what they might do as a result of this discussion and the other things they had heard during the day.  Some were motivated to set up communities and/or to try out some of the social media tools to support them.

We hope that some will also be joining the Enabling Change SIG, and perhaps joining in our pilot of Spark Collaboration, and our research project on enabling change.    

We found this experience of collaborating with the PMO SIG a very positive one in terms of expanding and deepening the conversation around our common areas of interest.  We are keen to collaborate with other SIGs and branches in a similar way and are starting to plan more events to do this.  Do get in touch if there are specific topics that you would like us to explore in this way.

Enabling Change SIG committee member

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