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Communities of Practice (CoPs)

When the IT governance process delivers a priority to us, the IT community, or identifies a topic or problem for exploration, the IT Leadership Community of Practice charges a new formal CoP (fCoP) to do that work, or an informal CoP (iCoP) forms.

Formal CoPs (fCoPs)

When the the IT Leadership Community of Practice (ITLCoP) charges a new formal CoP to do work, they select a leader to bring together the community and by provide the community with a clear and specific charge and a clear point at which the community's work is complete.

Anyone at the University who wants to be a part of that community and work on that initiative can join that fCoP. The fCoP will be self governing in that it will write its own formal CoP charter and figure out how it will operate. We have created a fCoP Support Site to help onboard fCoP leads and their steering committees. 

Informal CoPs (iCoPs)

When a person or a group of people has a topic or a problem that they wish to explore, they may choose to form their own informal CoP. Members of informal CoPs are also responsible for writing their own informal CoP charter, but they do not have a charge and corresponding end date from the IT Leadership CoP. 

Informal CoPs may exist for any length of time and work on multiple topics or problems concurrently or sequentially as determined by their members. 

Examples of Informal CoPs that already exist at the University include:

Website Template

The IT Leadership Community of Practice Community Task Force has created an IT Communities of Practice Template and that the communities of practice may use to communicate with their members and the larger University of Minnesota community.

It is modeled after the IT Leadership Community of Practice site and contains different page templates that each community of practice might find useful. It is not meant to be prescriptive; CoPs may elect to use or adapt any part to fit their own needs.

For information about how to use the template, see:


Formal CoPs for FY15

Formal CoPs that have been spun up in response to the FY15 governance process include:

Current Priorities 

Fall 2014 fCoPs will include:
  • Improve the usability, reliability, and effectiveness of the UMN video and conferencing ecosystem
  • Inform and mobilize the IT@UMN community to help end users and colleagues navigate changes resulting from The Upgrade
  • Help IT@UMN community understand and operationalize security requirements