1. Virtual KM Helpdesk
  2. Knowledge Management
  3. Creating and Iterating KM Tools and Techniques

What is a community of practice and how can it be used to facilitate knowledge exchange?

A community of practice (CoP) is a group of individuals who interact over time and are bound together by a shared interest or purpose.

A CoP can be an online and face-to-face community that has the capacity to both share and generate knowledge. The essential elements to a CoP include:

  • They are held together by "learning" of members
  • They may perform tasks, but tasks do not define the community
  • Members join in order to learn
  • Members' ability to learn together builds trust

The CoP has many advantages. It promotes collaboration, it provides the opportunity to share lessons learned, and it enables innovation and creativity. 

Learn more about the use of CoPs to facilitate knowledge exchange between community members.

Download a CoP charter template.