Just say your business unit uses a CoP for all it’s documents, and discussions (blogs, forums, Q&A).
NOTE: Community software doesn’t have to be used by a naturally occuring community (a space for people with like interests), there’s no reason why a business unit (BU) can’t use a CoP. It would be the exact same tool, but you may change the name to Business of Practice.
Some BU’s use a bunch of folders in the Document Management System (DMS), there’s nothing wrong with adding social tools to this environment.
Anyway, a few posts ago I briefly alluded to the question…
Are Communities of Practice (CoPs) good for on-the-fly discussions with non-Members?|
A quick scenario…
You are on a conference call with a few people from various business units, the topic or purpose is something to do with your business unit.
Usually, if this conference call was just with your business unit, you could later on pursue the conversation as a forum topic. CoPs (blogs, forums, etc…) are great as an asynchronous way to update and discuss with each other about what’s happening.
In fact the last team call I was on I found that everything that was said could of been discussed in a forum, or announced in a blog. I’m not saying you don’t need conference calls, but I am saying that in-between conference calls, we can still be announcing, sharing, discussing stuff.
NOTE: if you want to keep the conversation going in a synchronus way, everyone can go back to their desks, and have an IM conversation open. This IM conversation can also be archived or moreso stay intact so it could be resumed the next day or more.
Not sure if some CoP services have inbuilt IM, but it would be a good idea to copy that chat in a document and stick it in the CoP, or at least be able to link to the chat archive.
Anyway, back to my question…what about non-members of your CoP…
Since the conference call with other business units was about happenings in your BU, the minutes would be kept in your CoP. The participants from the other BU’s have read access to your CoP, but not write access.
If you want to continue the conversation once the conference call has ended, it can’t really be done in a CoP forum, as these people from other BU’s would have to become members…and it’s not right having to become a member for just that reason, these guys may not want to be members at all.
But your BU would want this conversation to be archived in your CoP, next to the minutes, so what then…
The alternative is to use some sort of external forum or email collaboration like 9cays, and then be able to put a link to this external conversation in your CoP.
Even though the content is not in your CoP, at least you can link to it.
What do others do to collaborate with non-members?
Do some CoP services allow for this type of situation?