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Copy of SIKM Boston Charter

Page history last edited by Katrina Pugh 4 years ago

SI KM Leaders Boston Charter

Strawman for Discussion

updated 6/14/10


  1. Background: SI KM Leaders 
  2. Mission of the SI KM Leaders-Boston: Practice, Lead 
  3. Community of Practice: Shared Fate 
  4. Practical Goals of the SI KM Leaders-Boston 
  5. Platform: Simple, Relevant, Transparent 
  6. Structure of the SI KM Leaders-Boston and the Core Team
  7. Meeting Facilitation and hosting
  8. CoP Critical Success Factors
  9. Wiki Guidelines 


Background: SI KM Leaders

SI KM Leaders is an international body of distributed practitioners founded in 2004 by Stan Garfield and a number of KM managers from systems integrators. It has grown to almost 500 members, and has an active virtual presence of monthly meetings and threaded discussions.  In January, 2009, the Boston chapter formed, with the goal of complementing the larger group’s activities with small, local, in-person interaction and practice-sharing.


Mission of the SI KM Leaders-Boston: Practice, Lead

At inception, the SI KM Leaders’ central goal was to be a mutual resource: A sounding board and creative presence in each others’ KM practices. This we would accomplish through workshopping, sharing best practices, and sharing our respective networks.

A second objective has emerged as our profile and stature have increased. We are also thought leaders, In the spirit of the term “leaders” in our title. As longstanding practitioners and researchers of KM practices, technology, and evolution, we are also a market presence. Ultimately, we become the go-to Boston-area KM “practice field,” and a forum for anticipating new concepts and technologies that will impact our effectiveness and profession. To accomplish this we will spawn "working groups," with the intention of doing work on behalf of the community.  Working groups are targeted, finite efforts to accomplish a measurable outcome, such as a tech review (e.g., our own platform), conference participation (e.g., Gilbane Group, Enterprise 2.0), guru interview (e.g., Andy McAfee).


Community of Practice: Shared Fate

Communities of practice can be defined by three practical elements:


1.       Cross organizational boundaries,

2.       Want to be in a network

3.       Want to build out a shared body of knowledge.


But this definition alone does not provide sustainability. That comes from a sense of common fate.  What is our shared Fate?  It is the tremendous changes in our KM customers' needs, and our responsibility meet those needs -- by drawing from all of KM's dimensions.  We are at a critical point in society and technology.  On the positive side, society is becoming more integrative and transparent.  Technology is becoming more ubiquitous, usable, and adaptive.  On the negative side, some parts of society are becoming more combative, and technology is becoming too invasive and cluttered. Today we have an unprecedented opportunity to offer our KM experience to the emerging Web/Enterprise 2.0 user community, and to respond to their calls for transparency and ease of use.  If we are open-minded and resilient, KM (whether we call it that or not) can remain relevant and "hip," and we can be out in front, connecting the dots between what we've learned over the last decade, and what is emerging spontaneously among our KM customers. 


But, we can't do it alone.  The changes in society and technology are too dispersed and too fast. We need each other to sense, reflect, invent. We are coming to see that responding to a common fate as a community means believing that the SI KM Boston community is essential to our shared success (e.g., market insight, market presence, reputation). And as we are all in this as individuals, we come to sense that our individual fate is tied to the community -- success depends on the wholeness of the community (e.g., one members’ departure represents a loss of insight or perspective).  Consider the analogy: If I am rowing in the same boat as my community, and I say, “it’s a free country!” and choose drill a hole through my seat, we all go down.  If I sense our mutual fate (or opportunity), I think about reinforcing the boat’s seaworthiness for all. In a nutshell, we sense that SI KM Boston has to be an effective player, and we recognize we are, individually, more effective when we participate in a community that is whole.


Practical Goals of the SI KM Leaders-Boston

In keeping with our two goals, “Practice” and “Lead,” The SI KM Leaders Boston’s primary activities are:

1.       Monthly real-time workshop (Discussion of a community member’s thorny problem, a recent project, a conceptual model  - submitted in advance of meetings?)

2.       Thought-leadership (Sharing our blogs, recent articles, opinions, developments, and practice models)

3.       Networking (connecting people to people, organizations, conferences, ideas)

4.       SI KM Leaders Boston does not replicate the Global SI KM Leaders format (monthly presentation, forum), or the KM Forum.  We participate in those and help our members take advantage of (and contribute) to them.

Our performance measures are participation (member attendance or input to our key topics/working groups), insight contribution (volume/quality of content or concepts or tacit-knowledge sharing), and network strength (not sure how to measure this?).  We will [poll members informally to assess these?] . . .


Platform: Simple, Relevant, Transparent

The community began with a Googledoc interface for keeping members’ information in one place, for describing upcoming agendas, and proposing future meeting topics.  Members expressed concern about Googledoc’s being disconnected from their personal and professional web-habits, and insufficient for storing and making sense of shared knowledge.  Platform objectives appear (rated by members) in the GoogleDoc SIKM Leaders Boston Platform Requirements.xls and use cases will complement these ratings.  Key themes: 

  • Light touch (easy to learn, use, with few clicks)
  • Functionally integrated (into/out from members’ browsers, blogs, chosen email, calendars, or other relevant social presence, e.g., LinkedIn)
  • Relevant (doesn’t get old – makes the attractive, recent, relevant come to the top)
  • Secure (safe place to explore and challenge, not exposed to non-members)
  • Content transparency (easy to store and find workshop docs, links or other shared content) 

After several discussions and reviews of approximately 6 tools, including Googlewave, CubeTree, SocialText, HandShake and others, we selected PBWorks.  The final decision was based on the need for flexibility, cost-effectiveness, access, and ease of use.  Special thanks to all participants, and, especially, Paula Cohen for driving much of the analysis.


Structure of the SI KM Leaders-Boston and The Core Team

All CoP Best Practices references [see example below] call for leadership that is intentional, but not heavy-handed.  Our “Core Team” model intends to achieve this.  Core team are servant leaders: Their 6 month tour of duty supports the mission of the CoP.  For example:

1.       Meeting planning and invitations

2.       Onboarding new members

3.       Managing the online experience

4.       Intentionally strengthening relationships among members

5.       Recognizing community and members’ accomplishments

 They are not thought-leaders by design – rather, they are facilitators and synthesizers. (Where they are thought leaders, they step out of core team role.) Neither are they grunts.  Core team members coordinate and inspire others.  We are all in this boat.  The provisional Core Team through 2009 is Joe Wehr, Kate Pugh, Sadie Van Buren, and Glynys Thomas.  The first core team tour starts Jan 1, and the "changing of the guard" will be sometime in July 2010.


Meeting Facilitation and Hosting

Meetings are monthly (4th Thursday, 9-11), at a member’s office (alternatively suburb and Boston).  Logistics include conference  room, speaker phone, dial-in, and flip chart, and access to the internet to type notes into our googledoc and share other links or documents.

[Dial-in provided by host. Could put permanent dial-in here?]


Meeting facilitators/hosts

Meeting hosts are identified at the end of the previous meeting.  They schedule the meeting (as of 12/10/09: Using TimeBridge, after this we've used the wiki).  Core team collects inputs on the agenda, encourages people to come, and facilitates.  Bagels (or whatever) are optionally provided by members.


Typical Meeting Agenda [approximate– 120 mins]:

  • Round robin / updates / inspirations or insights                                                                       [20 mins]  

             [Record list of inspirations or insights for later – see #3]

  • Workshopping member’s topic                                                                                               [45 mins]
  • Inspirations or insights (participants select from list accumulated in #1)                                      [30 mins]
  • Upcoming events                                                                                                                    [15 mins]
  • Next meeting Logistics                                                                                                            [10 mins]


CoP Critical Success Factors

CoP CSFs developed with input from Intel, IBM, and Richard McDermott. These are not ordered; we, as a community may choose to do that:

1.       Regular real-time meeting

2.       Role/charter clarity

3.       Leadership and facilitation (inside a corp: includes sponsorship/resources)

4.       Practitioner-led

5.       Establish rapport explicitly

6.       Ground rules

7.       New member on-boarding

8.       Measure and continuously improve

9.       Use Technology effectively

10.     Get recognition / give recognition


Guidelines for Using the Wiki

(Borrowed gratefully from Rawn Shah, Social Softward Practices Lead, IBM 6/14/10)

1. Be who you are

2. Don't pick fights

3. Use a disclaimer

4. Add value

5. Respect your audience

6. Speak in the first person

7. Use your best judgment

8. Be the first to respond to your own mistakes

9. Don't forget your day job 



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