The creation of a community of practice consisting of makers, coaches, and other App Factory stakeholders is a great way to provide support for makers, and to help makers support each other. Several elements can help to establish an active community.
The Pega Platform provides a rich set of collaboration tools that can help to create and foster an active community of practice. Central to these tools is the collaboration space. A space is a place where people interested in a topic can converse and maintain related content.
Spaces enhance collaboration in several different ways.
- An activity feed enables all members of a space to carry on a discussion. It includes the ability to post messages, reply to messages, mention other members of the space directly, and so on.
- A board allows members to pin content related to the space. Several content types can be pinned to the board, including images, URLs, and documents. Links to application cases and other spaces can also be pinned.
- A section containing subspaces allows members to focus on more detailed areas of a large topic, or group related topics under a single space.
- A task board allows space members to create and track tasks for the space members. The task board uses a Kanban style for tracking tasks.
- A notification system allows members to opt-in to receive notifications about events occurring in the spaces to which they belong. For example, members can receive email notifications of events immediately or in the form of a daily or weekly digest. Notification events that a user can subscribe to include replies to the user’s post or direct mentions of the user in the space’s activity feed.
Documents are another collaboration tool in the Pega Platform. Documents include content that is either uploaded or is directly entered by using a Rich Text Editor. Documents provide a Pulse activity feed to allow users to directly collaborate on the document content. Users can also subscribe to event notifications for documents.
Examples of useful spaces for an App Factory program include the following scenarios:
- A general coaching space for coaches to share experiences, strategies, and resources
- A general maker space for makers to ask questions, share solutions, and support each other
- A coach/maker space for a maker application where a coach and the makers for a particular application can converse about the app and share content, such as useful documents, links, screenshots, and so on
- A maker/user space for a maker application that enables a maker to get feedback directly from users of their application and to answer user questions in a forum where all users can benefit
An invaluable resource for makers is a well-maintained Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document regarding all aspects of the program. Coaches create, organize, and enhance FAQ content because they directly receive questions and feedback from makers on a regular basis. An organized and comprehensive FAQ provides immediate answers to common questions, enabling makers to work independently, which frees up coaches and makers to make the most of their time together by focusing on application-specific issues. Using a Pega document to host the FAQ allows makers to provide feedback and make requests directly on the document itself and helps to improve the quality of the FAQ over time.