Core Principles for User Engagement – a must read …er… explore!

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I listened to Steve Smith talk about user engagement on the SharePoint Pod Show today and found myself nodding in strong agreement with many points that he made. So while in that mood of stakeholder engagement and how to achieve it, twitter made me aware of a really terrific Debategraph map on the topic of “Core Principles of Public Engagements” and think it is mandatory learning material for any SharePoint architect/collaboration consultant/business analyst/business improvement specialists/<insert title here>.

The map above, came from a collaborative effort called the “Public Engagement Principals Project”. This is a recent project (February 2009) and the aim was to “create clarity in our field about what we consider to be the fundamental components of quality public engagement”. The outcome of this project are seven recommendations that reflect the common beliefs and understandings of those working in the fields of public engagement, conflict resolution, and collaboration.

1. Careful Planning and Preparation
Through adequate and inclusive planning, ensure that the design, organization, and convening of the process serve both a clearly defined purpose and the needs of the participants.

2. Inclusion and Demographic Diversity
Equitably incorporate diverse people, voices, ideas, and information to lay the groundwork for quality outcomes and democratic legitimacy.

3. Collaboration and Shared Purpose
Support and encourage participants, government and community institutions, and others to work together to advance the common good.

4. Openness and Learning
Help all involved listen to each other, explore new ideas unconstrained by predetermined outcomes, learn and apply information in ways that generate new options, and rigorously evaluate public engagement activities for effectiveness.

5. Transparency and Trust
Be clear and open about the process, and provide a public record of the organizers, sponsors, outcomes, and range of views and ideas expressed.

6. Impact and Action
Ensure each participatory effort has real potential to make a difference, and that participants are aware of that potential.

7. Sustained Engagement and Participatory Culture
Promote a culture of participation with programs and institutions that support ongoing quality public engagement.

Despite the fact this map is all about public engagement, this material is absolutely the best advice you could ever get for dealing with user engagement in your SharePoint endeavours. If you have any interest whatsoever in the mystical arts of getting true understanding and buy-in among your organisational stakeholder group, then this map (and its underlying documents), is for you.

Also, be sure to use the Debategraph toolbar to explore the detailed information in the root node. There is a lot of supplementary information in this map that you can easily access by clicking on the “Show detailed text and comments” icon (highlighted below).


If you are using the Seven Sigma Web Part for Debategraph, the Map ID is 16220 and you can incorporate this map into your broader governance site. I’ll be linking this map into my SharePoint governance map later as I think it complements, and expands upon the information contained there.

I think these seven principles make a terrific starting point for developing your own guiding principles around user-engagement as part of your governance efforts.

Finally, if you want more detailed information about how this map came to be, then consult the links below


Thanks for reading

Paul Culmsee

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2 Responses to Core Principles for User Engagement – a must read …er… explore!

  1. Pingback: Core Principles for User Engagement – a must read …er… explore!

  2. Pingback: Mapping the Core Principles for Public Engagement : Open to persuasion…

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