The community development lifecycle
“The ability to change fast is the single best asset for any person or organization” from small is the new big by Seth Godin
Platforms, methodologies & tools provide the framework for continuous design, development, population & operation of partnerships & collaboration:

Partnerships and collaboration tend to be driven by a collective desire to overcome societal or business barriers and challenges, or by the opportunity to create value-add and efficiencies beyond the capacity of individuals or traditional organizations. They tend to bring together people, businesses and advocacy groups with diverse interests, motivations and skill sets, including many who have not previously worked together in a community context.

But communities cannot enforce or transmit a common commitment the way traditional organizations can - they usually lack the necessary accountability and reward structures. Instead they need overarching objectives, values and a strong governance framework that members can trust and commit to, and which can be embedded in community processes that encourage and reinforce respect and compliance.

While traditional organizations use stable state infrastructures  periodically fine-tuned through separate change initiatives to achieve strategic outcomes, communities are more likely to evolve in the hands of their members through increasingly sophisticated cycles of continuous design, development, product or service delivery, and problem resolution in an experiential and evolutionary way.

Communities therefore need available and well integrated, scalable, full lifecycle platforms, methodologies and tools if they are to remain viable. Without them, the initial community focus will eventually give way to uncontrolled fragmentation or reversion to a stable state through a dominant community member; and the integrity of community governance structures and efforts will become suspect.

1.    Identifying common ground within the governance framework

Applicable infrastructure: self-organizing collaboration methodologies, social networks and communication tools.

Outcomes: a shared community vision, scope and agenda.

2.    Designing the community foundations

Applicable infrastructure:  self-organizing collaboration methodologies, social networks, diagramming and mapping tools.

Outcomes: a community definition (partnership or collaboration); a strategic framework for implementation; and an underlying roadmap for funding and acquiring applicable platforms, methodologies and tools.

3.    Architecting the Community Presence

Applicable infrastructure:  sharable tools and technologies, social networks, and reference modelling tools.

Outcomes: a community architecture that defines the member roles and interfaces that enable strong governance, development, operations, and the evolution of linkages and relationships; the definition of membership and content classes; contextual and conceptual models (preferably as refinements and extensions of generic reference models where available); identified business, information and technology standards; and registry, repository, schema and tools definitions.

4.    Design and development

Applicable infrastructure: cloud-based and integrated web service design, development and operations environments, capable of utilizing use case and reference modelling tools.

Outcome (1): a community presence that enables strong and enduring community governance including: disclosure; expressions of interest; accreditation of members; articulation of members initial and ongoing needs and target proposals; performance measures; with a capacity to evolve.

Outcome (2): a community operations capacity including: member access to publishing tools for information and business rules; member access to discovery tools for information and business rules; access to identified information; and execution of transactions derived from business rules.

5.    Publishing, discovery, use and evolution

(Potentially cloud based) Applicable infrastructure: a deployed full-lifecycle community platform.

Outcomes: a comprehensive collection of models, standards, and objects that enable this and other communities; increasingly cost effective community builds; high integrity community dialogue and interactions; applicable privacy protection; and an agility that enables the community to share and evolve.

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Page updated: 2022 06 06
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