Metrics Sharing at a PM Community of Practice

As part of our Product Management Community of Practice, we regularly share metrics. 

We experimented with a few ways this could work. 

At one point, it was anything goes:

  • Data to help make a decision
  • Pre-shaping opportunity estimate
  • Team dashboard
  • ROI estimate
  • Ongoing project goal metric
  • Post-launch metric

They also talked about where they were having challenges and got input from the group, such as knowing what they wanted to measure for their project, but not being sure how to measure that information.

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Invite ‘Special Guests’ to Community of Practice Meetings

Continuing in the series of how to keep a community of practice engaging, for our PM Club, we’ve had a number of ‘special guests’ that have led to interesting conversations.

We were lucky enough to have Rich Mironov present to us one time, which led into an interesting conversation. We followed up that conversation by reading another one of his blog articles that related to that conversation, and continuing the conversation on our own.

Examples of other special guests have included:

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Use “Vote & Discuss” for an Engaging Meeting

To encourage engagement in a book club or a community of practice meeting, have everyone vote before you start a conversation.

It’s a lot easier for people to agree with what everyone else is saying, or just stay quiet, but if they have to vote first, then you can have more conversation about where the group has variances in how they voted. 

Depending on what tools you’re using, you can vote anonymously, or you can have team members vote in such a way that you know who voted for what. The advantage of the latter is that you can call on people to ask them why they voted the way that they did. Of course, you don’t want anyone to get defensive or dislike the workshop, so this will depend on the topic and how close-knit your group is. 

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Communities of Practice: Making it Engaging

It can be hard to keep regular meetings interesting, whether that’s a book club, or a community of practice such as the “PM Club” that I lead weekly with my team. 

Even with good questions as prompts, I found just bringing together the group to talk about an article or a chapter didn’t seem to be quite enough after a while. Particularly as the team grew, it became harder to have great discussions. And what came out of the discussions? Could I really be sure that everyone walked away with an understanding that they could apply to their work? Particularly when we did this week… after week… after week… for months. It got a little old, honestly. 

But what else is there to do? 

That’s what this series is about.

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