Community of practice

A community of practice is a group of people interested in the same subject for professional or non-professional reasons. They gather with the use of direct relations or electronic media. The characteristic of a community of practice is the willingness to share knowledge with other members of the group and to learn from one another through the exchange of experiences.

Worth to know

  • Community of practice is a common method among programmers and IT workers. There are a lot of publicly available internet services, which people can use to find solutions to problems such as StackOverflow and share programming code such as GitHub.
  • The community of practice is a method that allows for the exchange of experience by the employees and the building of the expert's authority in an organization.
  • The ability to share knowledge and build one’s own authority is a great motivator for the employees.
  • Activity in the community of practice allows to build a personal brand of experts and the organizations they represent. It can be a good method to promote companies that take care of consulting, training, and delivering solutions.
  • In a community of practice, there is usually a process of mutual help and exchange of practical knowledge. Anyone can play the role of a person who shares their knowledge or uses other people’s knowledge and experience.
  • In the long term, the community of practice influences an improvement in the communication in the entire organization and promotes the exchange of knowledge between experts, allowing for the transfer of know-how from a unit to the entire organization. With time a resource that is a valuable element of the knowledge base is created within the organization.
  • In a community of practice, users are usually allowed to ask questions and answer already asked ones. The answers can be rated folksonomically by how useful they were in solving the problem in question.
  • A key trait of community of practice type solutions is the ability to search because a lot of the time it turns out that someone has already asked the question concerning the same issue that the user encountered and got answers.
  • The community of practice is a measuring tool - the analysis of reported problems and contents of eventual discussions shows what the employees have problems with. The knowledge of what the employees need is perfect data for those who provide training and development. The way they approach problem-solving is also important information.
  • The community of practice will work especially in situations where practical knowledge, that is focused on dealing with specific situations and challenges, is key.
  • While the community of practice is at work it creates a shared base of knowledge, ideals, and experiences. It creates shared assets, such as tools, documents, dictionaries, and symbols, all of which sum up to be the knowledge of a community. These kinds of interactions, based on the ability to co-work in a large community connect people, stimulate and help in the creation of relations and trust. The community of practice has a great potential tied to the use of social capital.
Choose language: English French