GMDSP seeks to achieve its aims by creating support structures for programme participants. In the main the programme works by identify, creating and supporting communities.
The synchronisation relies on the horizontal communities of practice that bridge local authorities. It is assumed that roles and responsibilities within similar local government departments are roughly the same.
The diagram above illustrates how different communities of practice straddle Greater Manchester authorities. These may be explicit coordinated communities – so that practise and insight can be shared; or implicit as in they share a common function but aren’t coordinated. There are number of reasons as to why the identification of horizontal communities is so important.
- Language – The language used within that role will be shared amongst others working in that community
- Task – People working in similar roles, will generally work within a common framework whether functional, statutory or both
- Identification – People within that community will identify with others who have similar roles within other organisations.
- Efficiency – creating processes and methods that are relevant to these communities are easier to adopt due to shared objectives
- Advocacy – it is easier to create an advocate who shares similar objectives with peers
Community identification is critical to GMDSP. If the project is seeking to model and transform data so that it can be linked across GM local authorities, it needs to understand the language, the methods and the rationale behind the creation of the data. It needs to identify the custodians and understand context and this is where the programme and technical advisory groups and most importantly the Code Fellows come in.