Draft Breakout Session Summary, Workshop #34    (2WH)

Communities of Practice - JayPeltz, editor    (2WI)

1. CoP Definition    (2UR)

a. One of the more interesting discussions centered around how to define a Community of Practice? What are the similarities and distinctions between:    (2US)

i. A CoP and a “user group” or a Special Interest Group (SIG) [The notes rambled. This is worth doing rigorously. Commentators are encouraged to list similarities and distinctions. - Ed.]    (2UT)

ii. A CoP and Knowledge Management: KM is a process focused on outcomes.    (2UU)

iii. A CoP and Interagency Committee    (2WJ)

b. Noted distinctions are: [Do you agree with these? Are they universal or particular? -Ed.]    (2WK)

i. A CoP is participant focused    (2WU)

ii. Has a common interest, some “practice”    (2WV)

iii. Shared purpose serves as catelyst for collaboratively evolving processes and knowledge    (2WW)

iv. Is structured with roles.    (2WX)

v. Not exclusive    (2WY)

vi. Defined scope    (2WL)

c. A proposed definition: A CoP is a group of people with similar responsibilities from different organizations working together to develop best practices for their shared responsibilities.    (2UV)

2. CoP Purposes    (2WZ)

a. A means for retaining knowledge currency over time - Institutional memory.    (2X0)

b. Generates, disseminates and stewards Best Practices.    (2X1)

c. CoP becomes a natural way to devise best practices and create the conditions for consistent and repeatable results. Consistent and repeatable results elevate some practices, over time, to become best practices.    (2UW)

3. Fostering CoPs:    (2WM)

a. How to find others with similar interests? Finding "who knows what"    (2WN)

b. Good presentations to activate interest, keep players participating.    (2WO)

c. Good stories, success stories, testimonials serve to awake interest and sell idea of CoPs    (2WP)

d. Use terms understandable to decision makers    (2WQ)

e. Get CoPs on the “radar screen” of senior managers.    (2UX)

4. Candidate for a CoP Best Practice: the CIM3.NET Collaborative Work Environment    (2WR)

a. It respects how people work and communicate as a central aspect of its design; augmenting their capacity to work together;    (2WS)

b. Represents tools optimized for Communities of Practice and distributed project teams;    (2WT)

c. It supports the entire spectrum of users - from the everyday computer users to the computer gurus; and has already demonstrated efficacy in supporting workshops; remote participants, conference calls; best-of-lists; etc)    (2UY)