Blue Heron design
Page updated: 2014 02 17

Governance and platform innovation for partnerships and collaboration: five principles and design practices

Effective and continuing peer community governance and platform innovation enables users to undertake effective exchanges with each other over time. These exchanges will include providers and requestors periodically and interactively sharing general narrative, and also the establishment of parameters that facilitate general and user specific interoperability. All information and transaction exchanges in peer communities need to be undertaken with appropriate integrity and security, and with the desired level of privacy.

Five principles:

1. The governance of communities and their members must include their culture, vision, objectives and process frameworks, and mandate the platforms necessary to enable community purpose, direction and evolution, integrity and agility, security and privacy and be able to identify and resolve deficiencies speedily and progressively: the governance of communities must design and architect all aspects of the embedded processes that enable its purpose, membership, population, operation and evolution;

2. Community information and services must be capable of being discovered, acquired and used in support of members present and evolving needs: platform innovation includes the evolution of information and services in the direction of expressed needs by scaling and extending viable community frameworks on a continuous and incremental basis;

3. Community members with varying needs, preferences, motivation and capacity to engage in information or service exchanges must be both respected and capable of evolution: communities must operate within frameworks that enable both highly sophisticated participants and the provision of education and bridging strategies to others;

4. The publishing, use and evolution of community services must respond to best practice guidelines and to members expressed needs if a community is to support an appropriate array of dialogues and high integrity information and transactions exchanges in a cost effective and timely way: all interactions between requestors and providers, as facilitated by the community, must be based on agreed and accepted frameworks and through platforms that include acceptable language, vocabulary, models, business and technical standards, information and transaction systems, as well as publishing, discovery, transaction and performance management tools based on best practices from the highest available sources

5. Members of a community are also likely to be members of other communities. A commonality or convergence of their frameworks and platforms enables their collective viability: ideally, platform innovation will build and deploy reference models that enable the federation and interoperability of communities.

Five design practices:

1. The governance and definition of a community must be comprehensive and cover: its information and service ambitions; the terms and conditions of membership; its roles; architecture, standards and infrastructure; how it will develop and evolve; its day-to-day operations; and applicable integrity, privacy and performance criteria. Because this describes a potentially complex situation, the definition and governance of a community should be based on available and tested reference models. Where a community builds new models, these should be made available to other follow-on communities wherever possible to accelerate their establishment;

2. As a subset of governance: the obligations of community participants to each other needs to be well defined and clear, especially the roles of any infrastructure or process intermediaries or agencies, including whether their obligation are to the community, or to members;

3. As a subset of the definition and operation: transactions between a provider and a requestor that are populated with specific information related to their obligations and relationships should be direct, and not be intermediated within a community unless it has been clearly disclosed that the intermediary is an agent of one of the participating parties acceptable to all other parties;

4. An accepted information- or service-provider membership proposal (including framework and platform acceptance, the nature of participation, content, applicable performance standards and implementation timelines) needs to be the basis on which each member directly populates their presence within a community infrastructure, and the interactions of that infrastructure with requestors need to be the basis for verifiable performance commitments: there must be no gaps in the community governance ‘spectrum’;

5. Within a community, sophisticated requestors must be able to utilize their advanced tools and resources to manage their engagements with providers; basic requestors must be able to invoke an agent to act on their behalf; and to enhance their own capacity by utilizing education strategies from the hosting community: member choice, in addition to time and channel options must include the option of direct engagement, the appointment of an agent to deliver outcomes, and the ability to migrate to a higher service state.