Community of Practice - Explained
What is a Community of Practice?
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What is a Community of Practice
A community of practice is a work-group structure that functions as an alternative structure to a formal committee. Generally, involvement with a community of practice is voluntary in nature. The members share a common interest or objective.
Elements of a Community of Practice
Components common to a community of practice are:
- PEOPLE: This component can be divided into three main types:
- FACE-TO-FACE INTERACTION
- ONLINE INTERACTION: Useful in spontaneous collaboration and rapid information diffusion among numerous participants.
- KNOWLEDGE BASE: A central repository of collective information related to the purpose of the group.
What is a Formal Committee?
Formal Committees are functional groups of individuals designated to serve on the committee by the organization. Generally, these individuals are chosen based upon their functions or positions in the organization.
The functions of committees vary widely within business organization. Examples of formal committees might include hiring committee, audit committee, event planning committee, etc.
Similarities between Formal Committees and Communities of Practice?
Formal committees and communities of practice are similar groups in an organization. They are both made of delegates who collaborate in a transversal way. People from similar functions, but situated in different parts of the organization, are collectively organized to help make decisions on certain issues or serve certain purposes.