RDECOM Communities of Practice

Tuesday September 9, 2014

What is it?

The U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM) has established a Community of Practice (CoP) construct to deliver science and technology (S&T) and engineering services as an enterprise for critical, complex and enduring technology challenges of the Army. CoPs are a collaborative mechanism that works to efficiently and effectively coordinate complex activities through the appropriate enterprise experts and decision makers.

Why is this important to the Army?

CoPs enable these complex areas of S&T to be engaged holistically, leveraging the best knowledge and expertise, and retaining knowledge, successes and lessons learned. CoPs streamline this complex collaboration and inform decision makers so that strategic planning and investments are supported by the combined value of Army S&T. Most importantly, CoPs emphasize the duty of the S&T community to not only grow the body of knowledge, but also to deliver services and innovative capabilities that will enable the Army to dominate the battlespace of the future.

What has the the Army done?

To date, RDECOM has established eight CoPs to address specific S&T challenges of great interest to Army leadership:

  • (1) Counter-Explosive Hazards
  • (2) Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • (3) Cyber
  • (4) Energy and Power
  • (5) Long Range Fires
  • (6) Robotics
  • (7) Self-Sustaining Forward Operating Base
  • (8) Vulnerability Analysis and Assessment

Each of these CoPs is led by a senior executive service chairperson for its technical and organizational complexity and challenge.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

RDECOM CoPs are currently drafting operating charters, which will define clear scopes of practice that they will serve, and the governance processes for how they will fulfill their missions. Each CoP charter is developed through a bottom-up approach, drawing from the subject-matter expert workforce and those who directly engage customers and stakeholders within their scope.


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