Community of Practice Lead

05 May 2018
02 Jun 2018
Contract Type
Sainsbury's, one of the UK's largest retailers is investing heavily in digital innovation - its aim being to build a centre of excellence where digital output is crafted using industry-leading best practice frameworks and methodologies to produce the world class apps and services. The team is growing rapidly and looking for talented colleagues to help deliver well-crafted and technologically advanced capabilities that support Sainsbury's reputation for great customer service.

We are looking for a colleague to take on a leadership role delivering, developing and enhancing our Communities of Practice. Our structure, ways of working and organisational ethos are evolving to support the concepts of Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose. Autonomy and Purpose are served by our team structures in the organisation. Communities of Practice are being developed to allow our colleagues to demonstrate their existing mastery and to grow their mastery both in terms of the maturity of existing knowledge and skills, and by gaining new knowledge and skills. From an organisational viewpoint this makes colleagues even more valuable to the organisation. Each colleague can continuously develop their career - in established or in new directions.

Communities of Practice are open structures designed to encourage interaction and collaboration within a community and with members of other communities. The whole community, or interest groups within and across the communities, can collaborate to identify topics and areas of interest and understanding, to share knowledge and skills and to experiment with new techniques and tools. The community can inform the strategic direction of the organisation by recommending how the community should develop and by demonstrating the value of new, innovative ideas and ways of working across the division.

What I need to do
  • Be a true servant-leader to the Communities of Practice
  • Assist Practice Leads to ensure they are covering everyone who should be engaged in the Community of Practice
  • Ensure that appropriate Community of Practice events are opened out to support interested colleagues in other communities
  • Act as a point of contact to assist the establishment of communities of interest to address specific topics
  • Establish well-structured, regularly maintained hubs of information where all colleagues can discover what is happening across the communities
  • Craft clear channels of communication to foster information sharing and collaboration
  • Enable and encourage communication, and shared work on common interests across the communities of practice
  • Collaborate with all colleagues to encourage participation in communities of practice
  • Help Practice Leads to identify key colleagues who will play a key supporting role in the development of the community
  • Encourage sharing, openness and transparency across all communities of practice
  • Measure and monitor the level of engagement in the different communities
  • Share best practice across the different communities to increase their effectiveness
  • Work with and provide feedback to the Strategy and Planning team to support actions to improve communities of practice
  • Provide insight to the SLT about the development of Communities of Practice
  • Remove impediments to the successful development and improvement of the Communities of Practice

How I will succeed

  • Be a self-starting, self-motivated, confident person with good organisational and communication skills and strong attention to detail.
  • Be a capable networker who can build and sustain strong relationships with many colleagues
  • Have diverse interests across the range of the communities of practice so that you can engage effectively
  • Focus on getting tasks done to deliver targeted value, quickly
  • Understand, elaborate and embed the characteristics of good communities of practice across the organisation
  • Work effectively with colleagues both remotely and by visiting different locations
  • What I need to know
  • Experience of effectively running a community of practice in a divisionally structured organisation or in a consultancy
  • Experience of coaching / mentoring others
  • Strong understanding of Lean/Agile practices and how they can be applied
  • Experience of developing a learning and development offering in a large organisation
  • Excellent communication skills in written and spoken form

What I need to show

  • Affinity with our business - The ability to understand business challenges and opportunities, and to always seek to understand the business objectives first.
  • Influence - The ability to accomplish goals through influence across the enterprise, rather than direct line management control.
  • Proactive attitude - you should who seek out and drive solutions to issues without waiting to be told.
  • Facilitation and collaboration skills - The ability to bring together individuals with different perspectives and opinions, and drive toward a common goal.
  • Articulate communications - Able to convey messages that can be understood across all levels of the organisation.
  • Developing others - Successfully able to promote other people's learning and development to help them achieve their potential

Resources available to me

  • Support from the Strategy & Planning team to help inspire / coach change
  • Support from the Senior Leadership Team (including Community Sponsors) to remove impediments and support each community
  • Support from each community's Practice Lead to give context from each community and to champion and implement improvements
  • Support from HR Learning & Development team
  • Support from Community of Practice membership

What decisions I can make

  • Recommendations on improvements to our Communities of Practice
  • Shape choices and standards across the Communities
  • Recommendations on coordination and improvements to hiring, training, development processes, including budgetary allocation