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Professional communities (community of practice)

Each practice has agents who possess the mastery of performing work for that practice. All of these agents together are called a "professional community." These communities have their textbooks on practice, their universities (master's programs in a university, to be precise), their conferences, exhibitions, media, forums, and chats, they have their celebrities as role models.

Despite having one name, practices can differ significantly in their disciplines and technologies. Different organizations often claim the right to speak on behalf of a certain professional community, but one must be extremely cautious in believing them. For example, "systems engineering" mainly of cyber-physical systems as a practice is developed by two communities of systems engineers:

  • IEEE Systems Council, which includes conducting the IEEE International Systems Conference and publishing the IEEE Systems Journal on systems engineering issues
  • INCOSE, the International Council of Systems Engineering, which also conducts international conferences on systems engineering and publishes the journal Systems Engineering.

In the field of project management, the competition among organizations representing "professional project managers" is even tougher, with many completely different practice options, mastery in working with these practices is certified, and certification programs are all different. Here is a comparison of several such organizations supporting different versions of project management practice:

So one must be attentive: completely different practices may be hiding under the same name, and vice versa - the same practice may be hidden under different names. Do not argue about words, look at the content. The content in the case of professional organizations is the relevance and actuality of their methodologies, not the developed administrative apparatus, good organizational and marketing skills of the organization's personnel.