Community of Practice

What is a Community of Practice?

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common concern, craft or profession. Through the regular sharing of information and experiences, participants deepen their knowledge, make connections, and contribute to the advancement of their area.

The self-governed group determines the focus of its CoP, which can be broad or specific in its intent. CoPs usually have principal organizers, though leadership can rotate. Many meetings feature guest speakers from within or outside of the Yale community.

Membership and meeting attendance is voluntary. Organizers usually maintain a mailing list, which is used to distribute announcements, meeting minutes, and information of interest to the group.

To learn more, attend one of the existing communities of practice listed below, or read this article.

How Do I Start a Community of Practice?

There is no formal request process, however, most groups have followed these steps:

  1. Interested parties decide to create a CoP and choose a topic and name.
  2. A mailing list is created, usually managed through the Message system. Request an email subscription group in ServiceNow (IT Strategy and Management > ITS Communications > Communications and Marketing).
  3. The group is promoted through Monday Morning News, posters, other CoPs, newsletters, and other communications channels.
  4. A planning meeting is scheduled in which participants brainstorm topics and set future agendas.
  5. Meetings continue on a regular basis, usually monthly. Meetings are listed on the IT Events Calendar and announced in Monday Morning News and on flyers.

Existing Communities of Practice

Related Links