Communities of Practice 101 | Asian Development Bank

Communities of Practice 101

Publication | November 2011
Communities of Practice 101

The potential for communities of practice in an organization is enormous. But their success hinges on a wide range of factors - from readiness to structure, champions to members.

 Find out the basic ingredients needed in setting up productive and sustainable communities of practice.


  • CoPs are groups of like-minded, interacting people defined by what their community is about, how it functions, and what capabilities it produces.
  • The establishment of CoPs requires readiness in their host organization, sound structure, and the delivery of quick steps. Their management can usefully follow the 5D model: discover, dream, design, document, and disseminate.
  • To succeed, CoPs should monitor relevance and peformance in their domain, membership, norms and rules, structure and processes, flow of energy, results, resources, and values.