Cultivating a Community of Practice Between Business and IT
Valerie A. Martin (Brunel University, United Kingdom), Tally Hatzakis (Brunel University, United Kingdom) and Mark Lycett (Brunel University, United Kingdom)
Copyright: © 2004
There is a perceived gap between the Information Technology (IT) and the Business function in many organizations, which can lead to poor working relationships and a loss of organizational effectiveness. In this chapter, we discuss an effort to bridge this gap through a program of Relationship Management (RM). The approach is based on the concept of cultivating a Community of Practice (CoP) and relies on facilitating relationships between people in order to share and leverage knowledge. This chapter describes a case study of a large financial services company and shows how the boundaries between Business and IT were spanned through a Relationship Management Community of Practice (RM CoP). The outcomes of the work are embodied in a maturity model that provides a framework for practice and acts as a ‘boundary object’ enabling the gap to be bridged. The chapter illustrates how cultivating a CoP between Business and IT can be a holistic way to manage the dynamics of knowledge sharing in organizations.