11 - 13 May 2016

thestudio, Manchester, UK

Building Successful Communities of Practice

Emily Webber Tacit

Session type: Case Study
Session duration: 45 minutes

About this Case Study

I have experience of building different types of communities both in my personal and professional life. I've used my experience of bringing people together to form professional communities of practice in my work places and I've come to see them as vital for organisations because they:

  • support ongoing learning and professional development
  • help break down silos
  • support knowledge sharing
  • create better practices
  • result in happier staff

Although communities of practice is a concept that has been around since the 90s, there is an increased interest in the area and this can be attributed to the change in culture that agile is bringing to organisations. These communities echo continuous learning, communication, transparency and flatter structures - all things that help agile transformations succeed.

In this session, I will pull from my own experiences of building and growing communities of practice at the Government Digital Service and other organisations as well as case studies from other people.

Participants will come away understanding the benefits of a community of practice. I'll also provide practical advice to those who are thinking about setting one up or looking to reinvigorate one that already exists.

The content for this session is from a book that I have written, so comes from extensive research and experience.

About the Speaker

Emily Webber is a London-based independent agile and lean consultant. She works with organisations in both the private and public sectors to help with their agile transformations and to develop their agile capability for sustainable change.

She was previously at the Government Digital Service, where she was the Head of Agile Delivery, leading the team of agile delivery professionals that deliver services for citizens.

Emily is passionate about agile, communities, organisational learning and skills development. She co-runs a meet-up called Agile on the Bench, blogs at emilywebber.co.uk and has a weak spot for vintage scooters.


To buy tickets to see this fantastic talk, and many others like it head over to our ticket page.

Session Types

Need help planning which sessions to attend? We've provided a breakdown of our various session types below.

Case Study/Experience Report

A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of Agile and Lean practices. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


A session focused around some specific tool, technique or issue. Primarily led by the speaker, tutorials usually include some elements of interactivity or individual / group exercise.


An in-depth working session on a specific topic. May include paper presentations.