Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Survey on CoP resources

A few weeks ago I posted a question in several of the Linked-In KM workgroups, asking for data on community of practice size v the number of full time support resources (facilitator, coordinator, leader) for that community of practice.

Several things surprised me.

Firstly, there were very few answers, and in many groups, no answers at all. Either people are shy about sharing real data online, or there are actually few practising community of practice leaders in the Linked-In KM groups. Many thanks to those of you who did reply though, your data are much appreciated.

Secondly the data, published here, seems at first sight to make no sense. Although you would expect the larger communities of practice to have a larger administration workload, there is no relationship in the data presented here. There are communities of practice of 45 members that have the same admin FTE resource as communities of 1000 members.

However diving deeper into the data, there are some points which are perhaps unusual.

  • Point A seems to represent starter communities, or core teams, with the intention to grow to 500 members or more. These communities of practice are not fully formed.
  • Point B represents communities of practice that meet only face to face, for cultural reasons.
  • Point C is an academic research network, and it's not clear to me whether this is a community of practice or a some other form of collaborative endeavour.
  • Point D also may be a research network.

Once we remove these points, then there looks to be more of a relationship, and the red line in the diagram shows the general trend (not that there needs to be a linear trend) of about 1.5 FTE support per 1000 members.

I think the final thing which this reminded me of, was that "Community" is a very elastic term which means many things to many people, so perhaps I should expect a lot of scatter in the data!

What about your community of practice? How many members does it have, and what FTE coordination resource does it need? Please let me know in the Comments section below

1 comment:

Robert Lakin said...

Sorry, but never saw the original question. Perhaps look at a couple of "model" organizations (vs. best practice, which has become hackneyed). e.g. McKinsey, where some of admin resource is assigned to CoP, while others to specific offices, and still others to sub-CoP's, depending on the industry/area/etc. Also, may be helpful to look at how organizational processes support or hinder admin costs.

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