Responsibilities Within CoPs

Introduction to CoPs

Although CoP membership is voluntary and CoPs function based on community input, there are several leadership responsibilities necessary for a CoP to be successful. Two primary roles should be filled at the initial kickoff of a community: the Community Leader and the Community Sponsor. The Community Leader guides the community and helps keep the focus on the goals, while the Community Sponsor serves as the group’s champion, internally and externally. Note that these roles may be filled by a small group of people working as a team rather than by a single individual. Similarly, a single person may perform multiple roles within the community.

Other responsibilities are also important to a CoP’s success.

  • Knowledge Management — managing the CoP’s repository of information, ensuring all members have access to information created or referenced by the community.

  • Meeting Facilitation — ensuring meetings stay on track, each member has an opportunity to speak, and the group is working toward meeting the goals of the community.

  • Relationship Management — building relationships among the CoP’s members to strengthen the group’s membership.

  • Subject Matter Expertise — conducting research and providing expertise to ensure the group doesn’t get stalled or stray from its focus and the community continues to seek out new and innovative solutions.

  • Technology Management — selecting, managing, and maintaining the right technology to ensure that members, regardless of geographical location, have the opportunity to interact, participate, and benefit from the community.

For more details about how to select members to fill these roles, refer to the Launch a Community of Practice section.