Project Management

Community of Practice Stages of Development

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of the Microsoft Project Made Easy series. For more project management advice, visit the website TacticalProjectManagement.com.

A community of practice will go through several stages of development as it moves from concept through development. It is important to understand the stages a project management community of practice can follow to plan goals and events accordingly. When a PM COP is emerging in the organization, the focus should be on growth and promoting a brand around project management learning, networking and collaboration. It is also important to understand when a project management community of practice is waning as additional energy, new ideas and revitalization may be required to reactivate the community of practice.
 
According to Etienne Wenger’s Communities of Practice article in June 1988’s Systems Thinker magazine, a community of practice evolves through the following stages:
 
Stages
Description
Key Activities
Potential
People face similar situations with the benefit of a shared practice
Finding each other and discovering commonalities
Coalescing
Members come together and recognize their …

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