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The IBIS Community of Practice. Lois M. Haggard, PhD Office of Public Health Assessment Utah Department of Health Phone: 801-538-9455 Email: October 18, 2007 O. Problem.

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The IBIS Community of Practice

Lois M. Haggard, PhD

Office of Public Health Assessment

Utah Department of Health

Phone: 801-538-9455


October 18, 2007


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  • Software is expensive to develop. The industry changes so quickly. Utah cannot maintain IBIS into the future without the generous federal funding we have been so fortunate to have received.

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Proposed Solution

  • Systems that were supported by federal $$ are essentially “open source,” although not technically part of the Open Source Initiative.

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Partial Definition of Open Source:

  • Free Redistribution

    No royalties or fees

  • Source Code

    Must include source code

  • Derived Works

    Allow modifications, derived works, and distribution of such

  • . . .

From Open Source Initiative website:

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Community of Practice

  • “The current environment for organizations is one that is characterized by uncertainty and continuous change. This rapid and dynamic pace of change is forcing organizations that were accustomed to structure and routine to become ones that must improvise solutions quickly and correctly…

Knowledge Networks: Innovation through Communities of Practice. Paul Hildreth and Chris Kimble (Eds.) (2004) <>

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Community of Practice

  • “…To respond to this changed environment organizations are moving away from the structures of the past that are based on hierarchies, discrete groups and teams and moving towards those based on more fluid and emergent organizational forms such as networks and communities.”

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Community of Practice

  • How does it function?

    • People become members of a CoP through shared practices; they are linked to each other through their involvement in certain common activities. It is mutual engagement that binds members of a CoP together as a social entity (Wenger, 1998).

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Community of Practice

  • Common Purpose / Motivation

    • The CoP members will have some sort of common goal or common purpose and it is often the case that the CoP is internally motivated i.e. driven by the members themselves as opposed to some external driver.

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Community of Practice

  • Relationships

    • Relationships are a key part of a CoP and is what makes it possible for a team to become a CoP - as the informal relationships develop the source of legitimation in the group shifts in emphasis. These relationships are key to the issues of trust and identity in a CoP.

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Community of Practice

  • Formal or Informal?

    • In many cases, a CoP is not a formally constituted group and membership is entirely voluntary. In some cases, the organization might not even be aware of its existence.

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Community of Practice

  • What is produced?

    • The members of a CoP build up an agreed set of communal resources over time. This "shared repertoire" of resources represents the material traces of the community. Written files can constitute a more explicit aspect of this common repository although more intangible aspects such as procedures, policies, and specific idioms may also be included (Wenger, 1998).

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IBIS Community of Practice

  • Share ideas, developments

  • Share contractual talent

  • Provide mutual technical assistance