Communities of practice - internal and external

Action learning sets and internal communities of practice

We anticipate that, at least initially, the principal use of the PIE Abacus, as for the Pizazz on paper, will be as a process for teams' self-assessment and team-led development of services.

Nevertheless, it is just as easy to create action learning sets or any similar topic-specific practice exchange Abacuses, for your own staff, as individuals. The expanded scope and flexibility in individual in-put now means that these can complement the team-based assessments and plans with additional perspectives that can span a range of teams within one agency.

(See: FAQ: Why have individuals as 'contributors' at all? : HERE)


Widening the community

But in the development process for the PIE Abacus, a range of other potential uses has emerged; and one of these is the scope for supporting communities of practice extending outside any single agency.

The iAbacus software design makes this possible, because any individual or team with an Abacus licence can be invited to participate in any Abacus designed for collaboration, anywhere.

The option to invite any individuals to collaborate means that there can now be an exchange of views and suggestions between staff of many - or any - agencies; and there could easily be some Abacuses created specifically for the purpose of inter-agency professional practice share.

So, in practical application in the world of complex needs and PIEs, any agency with a PIE Abacus licence can decide to create a community of practice Abacus, and then invite anyone else to collaborate, provided only that those they invite have a licence code - from wherever.


Staff time priorities

There is actually nothing in the software to prevent whole teams from using their licence code access to take part in such a community of practice. (Indeed, the peer review option could well take this form.)

It is simply that the greater demands on staff time in team meetings suggests that this is flexibility to liaise with others outside the services is likely to be most useful for individuals; and perhaps in particular for those for whom this ind of external liaison is part of the roles.

For more on this balance of time priorities, see  Weighing the costs and 'value added' of the PIE Abacus : HERE


'Any agency' here might mean a 'frontline' or 'provider' agency; or a capacity building agency that aims to work across many fields. (See: 'FAQs: What is meant by a Lead Agency?' HERE).

But 'an agency' here might just as well mean a research institute, for a particular research project (in which case, do see 'The PIE Abacus as a research tool' : HERE


For more explanation and exploration of the scope and potential in a PIE Abacus licence, see the (now downloadable) The PIE Abacus  - essential briefing for PIE leads  (and any others in comparable roles) : HERE 

For the PIE Abacus in a local needs analysis for inter-agency practice development, see:  'Local practice networks and service eco-systems'HERE





The simplest, most effective way to evaluate and improve your PIE from Daniel O'Brien on Vimeo.


PIElink pages

The PIE Abacus - an on-line Pizazz (summary) : HERE

What are people saying about the PIE Abacus? : HERE

Costs and sustainability : HERE

Use and terms of use : HERE

Ambition and modesty : HERE

A single framework : HERE

Customising the PIE Abacus : HERE


Essential background for PIE leads

The PIE Abacus range - an introduction for PIE leads : HERE


For applications in particular settings, see:

The PIE Abacus – in medium to large agencies HERE

The PIE Abacus – in local practice networks : HERE

The PIE Abacus – in smaller 'stand alone' services HERE

The PIE Abacus – as a research tool : HERE

The PIE Abacus – in communities of practice : HERE

The PIE Abacus – in service user-led assessments : HERE

The PIE Abacus – with services using PIEs1 : HER


All PIE Abacus FAQs : HERE