News & Media

Project community kicks off

  • Project staff gathered at Burwood East to share ideas and resources on 2 August 2013
  • Project staff gathered at Burwood East last Friday to share ideas and resources
  • Volunteer Support Program staff at the first Community of Practice session

By: Sonia Maclean

Category: People, Other

  10.50 AM 7 August, 2013

Location: CFA HQ News

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CFA project staff who weren’t able to attend last Friday’s Project Community of Practice session are encouraged to have a say on the topics they would like to see explored.

The quick online survey can be accessed by clicking on the link:

The Community of Practice idea stemmed from a need seen by many ‘project people’ for an informal platform to exchange knowledge and expertise.  The concept drew a positive response from the staff who attended a gathering last Friday at Burwood East, who were keen to see further meetings in future.

Advice on overcoming hurdles, mentoring for project 'rookies' and a central list of projects and skills, were all topic ideas floated during the initial lunchtime session at Burwood East, which drew representatives from some of CFA’s 120 different projects.

Those who weren’t able to attend the initial Community of Practice session are encouraged to attend the next one, which attendees agree should be held in about a month’s time.

Because they tend to focus on innovation, projects play an important part in shaping the way CFA will do things in the future according to Deb Parkin, one of the advocates behind the concept.

“There are a whole set of skills and challenges that are unique to working within a project format where you are taking something right through from the genesis of an idea to the delivery phase and closure,” said Deb. 

Louise Salter, IMTTP Project Manager said that because people in the project community tend to be temporary, it can be hard to know who holds particular expertise. 

“Many of us have an expertise in one way or the other, and it would be great to promote that through this kind of group, and also to get a better sense of where knowledge lies in the wider organisation,” she said.

Barrie Gray, also of the Volunteer Support Program, added that this kind of group would be great to avoid double up. “If someone’s already done the work, I’m not going to do it again,” he said. “I’m
quite happy to tap into other people’s knowledge and identify the pitfalls that have already been encountered so I can avoid them.”

Eva So (Project 2016) said that although she was relatively new to this area, she felt there was a lot to learn. “It doesn’t matter what position you are,” she said. "I’m most interested to learn what problems you went through and how you overcame them, so I can learn from that."

Bernie Marshall (Research and Evaluation) agreed that the greatest benefit of a Community of Practice would be the insights and skilled and experienced project managers could bring to the

Following on from last Friday’s session, Deb emphasised that the whole idea of a project COP was still very open.

“Even if you weren’t able to attend last week, we’re interested to hear more about your thoughts and what you’d like to get out of it,” she said.

Last Updated: 09 August 2013