Guest post from my colleague Agnes Kolkiewicz originally posted to Open Text Online Communities Metrics community (Metrics Blog).
In my last post, we looked at the correlation between the success of collaborative systems and user adoption. Many of you struggle to obtain user adoption within your organizations for communities of practice (CoP). We mentioned that staged deployments are usually recommended by analysts and that the resultant 'success stories' can then be showcased within the company to further promote user adoption and justify the investment. But where can you find a good initial 'use case' within your company that is likely to succeed?
What might follow then is that a community of practice should not be imposed on a group of people according to organizational structures – rather, it should serve as support for unofficial networks that have already been created within the company. The value to the organization exists then because the knowledge that is already being exchanged through informal discussions, IMs, or email is now being captured and archived within a community of practice, and is then easily searchable by newcomers to the organization or people outside of the specific community that also have an interest in the subjects being discussed. This type of exchange is much more difficult to recreate when establishing a community of practice based on official organizational structures.