Wednesday 15 March 2017

How to hold an effective Peer Assist

Peer Assist is one of the most effective KM processes, when applied well. But what is the key to a good Peer Assist?

Peer Assist in China

Peer Assist
is one of the most popular, simplest and most effective of the KM processes, the closest we have in KM to a Killer Application.  In our 2014 KM survey, Peer Assist was judged to be the most popular and most effective of the KM processes.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of Peer Assist.

  • Run a team planning process to determine which topics require a peer assist. Try Knowledge Gap Analysis, or KM Planning
  • Research and network to determine if a possible solution to your challenge already exists, before calling for a Peer Assist. A Peer Assist is too valuable to waste on solving questions where the answer is already obvious
  • Plan the Peer Assist once you are clear on the questions to be addressed, but early enough to incorporate the feedback. You must have an open mind for a peer assist to add value.
  • Be very clear about the objectives. Fuzzy objectives is a common form of failure for peer assists.
  • Spend time on getting the questions right - neither too general nor too detailed.
  • Don’t invite only the “usual suspects”! Look for diversity and relevant experience
  • Appoint a facilitator. Although a peer assist is simple, a facilitator can add massive value.
  • Include time for socialising to build relationships and promote knowledge sharing.
  • Set the atmosphere to ensure frank and open exchange.
  • Allow the host team to describe their context and identify their issues.
  • Allow the visitors also to list issues which the host project team may have overlooked.
  • Run a quality dialogue session around each of the issues in term
  • Finish the Peer Assist with feed back from the visitors summarising their advice, and feedback from the host team summarising their actions.

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