A community of practice is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or interest in a topic and who come together to fulfil both individual and group goals. CoPs often focus on sharing best practices and creating new knowledge to advance a domain of professional practice. Interaction on an ongoing basis is an important part of this. A community’s specific purpose and goals inform the appropriate activities and technologies that should support it.
Many virtual communities of practice rely on face-to-face meetings as well as Web-based collaborative environments to communicate, connect, and conduct community activities.
Today, organizations, workgroups, teams, and individuals must work together in new ways. Inter-organizational collaboration is increasingly important. Communities of practice provide a new model for connecting people in the spirit of learning, knowledge sharing, and collaboration as well as individual, group, and organizational development.