Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Your Job to Edit GCPEDIA: Add It to Your PLA

[ Listen to the netcast version ]

I consider editing (and administrating) GCPEDIA a part of my job, and I always have.  If you read the wording of your job description, there's probably some significant wiggle room for creative interpretation, provided that your primary product or goal continues to be produced or achieved on time.

For example, do your duties specify that you must:
  • Work as part of a team that provides advice, recommendations, and information to project officers and middle and senior management.
Can you use GCPEDIA as a development platform to draft advice or recommendations?  Are you part of a working group that shares discussions, suggestions and findings?  Do you produce reports that could be of interest to public servants across the country if you published them on a wiki?  Could your division benefit from a GCPEDIA presence in order to share information about its purpose, and provide the answers to common questions?  Mention GCPEDIA in your Performance and Learning Agreement.

If you can't justify it as a tool that helps you to accomplish a primary work objective, or a supporting technology that you need to fulfil performance expectations, add it as a required or developmental learning objective.  You've got support in high places.  The Clerk of the Privy Council has repeatedly spoken and written about the importance of GCPEDIA:
"GCPEDIA and similar wikis are vital to the public service of today and tomorrow."—Wayne G. Wouters
If it's vital to the public service, it's a vital component of your learning.  Add GCPEDIA to your Performance and Learning Agreement.  It isn't taking time away from your work, it is your work.  It isn't cutting into your value and productivity, it's adding to it.  It's an important component of the future public service, but it also provides increased  value to the Government—and ultimately, the taxpayer—here and now.

Let's face it: few of us (if any) are completely consumed by our prescribed duties 100% of the time.  That said, the Government of Canada is paying for my time and my skills whether I am in the midst of high stress and high volume workload, or in a period of relative calm.  At minimum, donating my spare minutes to GCPEDIA gives the Government more value for their money.  I'm not playing solitaire, doing my banking, or making personal phone calls.  I'm working for Canadians and for my fellow public servants... and on those occasions that I am daydreaming, it's about "How can I make this work even better for everyone affected?" 

Which brings me to the last benefit of editing GCPEDIA: engagement—to purpose, and to people.  GCPEDIA keeps me productive, while allowing me enormous personal satisfaction, creativity, and choice.  "What can I fix today?  Who can I help?"

I've said it before and I'll say it again: GCPEDIA's value includes but extends far beyond merely storing the knowledge of those employees that the Government has lost (or will lose). Its hidden value is in capturing and retaining the knowledge, involvement and interest of current and future employees.  In the inventory of qualities that make for an attractive workplace, money isn't the highest consideration on the list.  In terms of long-term retention, ranking higher is the quality of the workplace, satisfaction with the work, and highest of all, satisfying relationships with co-workers—a perception of connectedness and belonging.

GCPEDIA.  People & Knowledge.  Gens & Savoir.  It's all right there, under the logo.

Your PLA Homework:

Developmental learning (career path: 1 to 3 year outlook)
Objective:
(1.) To increase my knowledge of Web 2.0 and social media, and their emerging application to the Public Service Renewal initiative.
Learning Resources / Activities:
- Learn and use GCPEDIA, the Government of Canada’s Web 2.0 document collaboration platform.
- Learn and use GCconnex, the Government of Canada’s professional networking platform.
- Attend relevant workshops, Armchair Discussions, meetings, etc. whenever possible.