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IT@UMN Community

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) may form.

Formal CoPs (fCoPs) are charged by the IT Leadership to do work related to a specific priority, topic, or problem. Informal Cops (iCoPs), can be formed by anyone in the community to explore a topic or problem. 

fCoPs are formed each fiscal year for that year only. iCoPs can be formed at any time, and last as long as they are needed.

Anyone can participate in fCoPs or iCoPs. Levels of participation can range from signing up to get Google Group updates to volunteering to lead an Affinity Group or even an iCoP or fCoP.

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 providing the community with a clear and specific charge and a clear end date.

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: it will write its own charter and figure out how it will operate. 

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 iCoP. Members of informal CoPs are 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: