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Is blogging good for your professional health? Helen Nicol Capacity and Capability Programme Manager NHS Connecting for Health.

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Presentation on theme: "Is blogging good for your professional health? Helen Nicol Capacity and Capability Programme Manager NHS Connecting for Health."— Presentation transcript:

1 Is blogging good for your professional health? Helen Nicol Capacity and Capability Programme Manager NHS Connecting for Health

2 NHS Connecting for Health (NHS CFH) The NHS is changing the way it works. Modern, efficient, patient-led health service More choice and control for patients NHS Connecting for Health supports the NHS to deliver better, safer care to patients, via new computer systems and services, that link GPs and community services to hospitals. This is a huge programme of IT enabled change. Project Management methodologies are being used to effectively implement this change.

3 The Problem Know What? How to manage NHS Connecting for Health projects Know How? Knowledge sharing – knowledge and experience not being shared effectively Lessons learned – projects suffer from lessons not being shared effectively Know Who? Building a community – Project Managers geographically disparate Know Why? Capacity and capability reviews in NAO and OGC reports indicated capability gap in project management

4 The Solution Blogging is frequently referred to as a good tool for learning and knowledge sharing There is little evidence for this currently in academic research Researching blogging was a way to assess whether it would support the online element of the EBIS process for knowledge sharing called to be launched in September 07 Evidence Based Implementation Support (EBIS) MEd Training and Development Dissertation

5 The Research Project The Premise To assess whether blogging enables Project Managers to learn and share knowledge and experience The Project Managers 15 volunteers from across the country, all involved in managing NHS Connecting for Health projects The Blog An internal group blog, only accessible by anonymised username and password The Techy Bit Using a JotSpot platform – a wiki platform which can host blogs with editable posts and comments

6 Blogging - The Theory Internal Business Blogs Sometimes known as Dark Blogs as only people within the organisation can see them Enable quick and easy knowledge sharing Can elicit tacit knowledge, via narrative style of posts Encourage communication via the ability to comment Encourage reflection Can be secure for specific membership Develop community and shared vision Archive everything Can improve confidence Can help new staff understand culture quickly Enable fast updates

7 In Practice Participation * Logons only monitored from Week 4, emails sent with every post after week 7 Research findings Email sent in week 2 Email sent in week 4 Email sent in week 6

8 More research findings When interviewed, participants felt that: The blog had potential as a learning tool, a knowledge sharing tool and a community building tool They enjoyed reading but… They couldnt think of what to say They felt they shouldnt be blogging in work time They liked the anonymity as it enabled them to ask stupid questions But they also wanted to know who was who They didnt have the time to blog or read what had been posted They liked the group blog, preferring it to individual blogs They wanted to keep it specifically focused on their area – project management

9 More research findings Types of post Different people enjoyed different types of post Narrative/story based experience Reflective/pontificatory Information requests Information giving References, links, bibliographies Reasons for Commenting Because they thought they could be of help Because they knew about the subject Because they had had a similar experience

10 The Project Managers Knowledge Collaborative

11 Some examples Project Manager Knowledge Collaborative Posts The use of meetings in a project Pharmacists event Engagement techniques

12 What seems to work… If the blog is for knowledge sharing and/or learning: Keep the blog on topic – specialist blogs are the most popular Keep it voluntary – pushing people puts them off Group blogs work if there are keen, active people posting Add new posts regularly – people stop coming back if theres nothing new to see Have a coordinator to keep the buzz going off-line (in real life!) Vary the type of post – different people like different styles Use different media – learning styles vary, different media appeals to different people Keep posts short, as a rule of thumb, no more than 500 words Be Nice – the rules of work should apply to blogs. It doesnt hurt to make this explicit

13 …and what doesnt Over management Under management Infrequent posting If we build it, they will come just wont work…and youll end up with a… Going off topic/generalisation No buzz

14 Barriers to blogging… Lack of confidence Lack of trust Lack of time Lack of support Bloggers block Technology problems – firewalls etc

15 Is blogging good for your professional health? Its not for everyone, but blogging… Helps clarify thinking Can help identify experts and know how Defies geography Achives actions, discussions, progress, practice Stores electronic references, links, information Encourages reflective practice Can aid knowledge sharing and learning

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