Monday, September 11, 2006

First Workshop: Melbourne VPS CIN

My friend and colleauge Shawn Callahan of Anecdote and I will be offering a workshop on 11 October in Melbourne for the Victoria Public Sector Continuous Improvement Network. We'll be talking about some of the issues around the adoption of new social computing software, from adoption issues to competencies of online interaction. Shawn and I have had a number of very interesting conversations via Skype, so it is going to be fun to take this face to face and public. If you are planning to attend, please post a note here introducing yourself and any questions or issues you think we should raise. This will help our workshop be more interactive and locally relevant!

Details here.


Michael said...

Just sent an email off to register. Look forward to seeing you on the 11th in Melbourne.

Anonymous said...

Michael, terrific! I look forward to meeting you next month. And thanks for being the first person to comment!


Frank Connolly said...

A number of the participants who will be attending this workshop have posted preliminary comments beneath the post "Getting the most from your online toolsets" at

Nancy White said...

Frank, thanks for pointing those out to me. - Nancy

Here are the comments:

1. Nicole Fahey Says:
September 22nd, 2006 at 9:40 am

I work on the Funded Agency Channel (FAC) website (DHS). FAC has links to online discussion forums and communities for use by DHS and agencies.

The discussion forums and communities are set up by FAC but must be maintained and moderated by their members.

We keen to ensure that these tools are well used by DHS and agencies for a number of purposes including:

To facilitate user groups communication
To conduct planning
To gain input on new DHS initiatives
To discuss once off or time limited DHS initiatives

At the moment we have some really successful and not so successful discussion forums and communities.
2. Leah Cioccio Says:
September 25th, 2006 at 2:57 pm

Hi, I am part of Tourism Victoria’s Strategic Planning team and we are currently in the throws of developing a ‘planning site’to support the consultation and information sharing requirements of the development of our next Strategic Plan. Primarily the site will be utilised as an information platform, however a key driver behind establishing the site is the additional capability to communicate with stakeholders across the industry via online forms/feedback.

We have gone through a cycle of thought re the degree of interaction required online - from blogs, discussion boards, emails to forms, and have gained an understanding of the pros and cons of each. Having undertaken a benchmarking process, it is evident that online consultation is emerging as a key mechanism for Governments to communicate with communities with regard to policy making and planning. I am keen to learn more about this environment.
3. Terry Hoffman Says:
September 25th, 2006 at 4:32 pm

We have thousands of people who are located in rural Victoria that we need to get training to.

Bandwidth limitations, equipment outlay, and training users how to GET to the training make this very hard to achieve.

Besides that, being able to connect with our counterparts in other agencies could save a lot of redundant work and point us all in the same general direction, but finding who they are and accurate details to contact with is onerous, to say the least. Blogs are too open, even if we had them, but perhaps something more focused and professionally engaging is possible.

I am certainly looking forward to this session!
4. Michael Specht Says:
September 25th, 2006 at 4:37 pm

While not in government I am very interested in thoughts on the best ways to introduce wikis within organisations (and use them ongoing). Do people feel they are best via a bottom up approach or top down, or does it matter? Do you need a specific project or does the “if you build it they will come” process work. Finally what are the cultural indicators that show an organisation is ready for such collaborative tools?
5. Karen Best Says:
September 25th, 2006 at 5:31 pm

We have established a ‘resource kit’ of a range of tools to suit the needs within DPI. Like others, we have some success stories but also some failures.

One of the challenges that we find is managing staff inappropriate use of email instead of the collaborative environment.
6. Brent from DOJ Says:
September 26th, 2006 at 7:41 am

I am about to establish a Whole of Victorian government community of practice. I have surveyed 50 potential users and received feedback from them as to how they would like to see the COP operate.

The majority of those who gave feedback want to see electonic tools (forms, policies etc), problem solving activities, case studies & training materials. 5 people have agreed to be part of a steering committee to drive the community of practice.

I have a few questions:

- How should I approach my vision of creating a collabartive community of practice? Central Station is the WOVG intra/internet site but what might be some other ways to establish a successful COP?

-What hurdles should I prepare for?

-How important are in-person activities to the success of online activities? Should they compliment online acitivities or is it truly possible to do everything online?

- what are some common rules which all COPS can live by?

- How best do you manage the information posted online? Is it important to archive?

- How frequently should you e-mail members to announce new materials?

- What are some of the early warning signs that your COP is loosing momentum?

- Finally, how often should you survey members needs in the initial set up of a COP and what formula should you follow to report on successes?
7. Dennis Wollersheim Says:
September 26th, 2006 at 9:35 am

I am an academic at La Trobe university; I saw Nancy’s presentation on Flickr and I thought, “I _have_ to meet this person”. I am using online collaboration tools to enhance student learning, by creating better relationships between students, and between students and staff. I am also interested in seeing what other people are doing with this stuff in Victoria.
8. Julie Jensen Says:
September 27th, 2006 at 2:53 pm

My interest arises from working on complex change projects and formation of new groups to work on these issues. Particularly in strategies to enable teams across different business units to use technology to share knowledge especially as the process is evolving. I would be interested in understanding more about some successful approaches and not so successful approaches as well as how other areas use tools to work across organisations. I also have an interest in the COP that Brent is setting up.
9. Workshop participant Says:
September 28th, 2006 at 10:17 am

Hi Nancy & Shawn,
As requested, some brief comments for the workshop preparation.
I have no direct experience with online tools, but will have to learn about them in my new role. Probably the greatest impediment to using such tools in my specific work area is that we deal almost exclusively with confidential material which may only be transmitted electronically to nominated staff using a secure server. Protection against unauthorised copying or printing is a related issue.
In some other work areas we could do with good online tools where we are currently using Track-changes and Insert-comment facilities in MS Word.
Hope this helps a bit and I’m looking forward to the workshop!