Center of Excellence (CoE)

A Center of Excellence (CoE) refers to a team or department that develops specialized expertise and resources in a particular area, then shares that knowledge across the organization. CoEs serve as collaborative hubs for overseeing best practices, benchmarking performance, tackling problems, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. 


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Types of centers of excellence

CoEs can take many forms based on an organization's needs and structure.

Some common types of CoEs include:

  • Enterprise CoE: An enterprise CoE focuses on optimizing processes, governance, and strategic alignment across the organization. It acts as a unifying force and oversees the establishment and integration of other CoEs within the organization.
  • CoE for organization processes: An organization process CoE streamlines and improves critical workflows and operations. It analyzes end-to-end processes, bolsters efficiency through automation, ensures consistency in execution, and implements continuous process improvement frameworks like Lean Six Sigma.
  • Data CoE: A data CoE enables an organization to leverage data analytics and insights fully. It institutes frameworks for collecting quality data, builds analytics tools and infrastructure, performs sophisticated analysis, and develops actionable insights. The Data CoE also helps democratize data access and educate staff on becoming data-driven.
  • Design CoE: A design CoE is a repository for design assets and best practices. It allows for a uniform visual identity across the organization while giving other teams insight into creative processes and user interfaces. Organizations with a robust DesignOps system will almost always include a design CoE.
  • Technology CoE: A technology CoE drives innovation and excellence in engineering, IT systems, and technical infrastructure. It sets technology standards and strategies, oversees solution implementation, optimizes architectures, and incubates new technologies like AI and automation. The CoE also facilitates knowledge sharing between technical and non-technical staff.
  • Research CoE: A research CoE serves as an organization's center for research and development. It sets research strategies and agendas, oversees projects, programs, and collaboration between research teams, and aligns research efforts with the organization's goals.
  • Security CoE: A security CoE oversees and enforces information and cybersecurity policies, procedures, and technologies. It performs risk assessments, puts preventative controls in place, monitors for threats, and responds to incidents. The CoE also regularly trains employees on security best practices.
  • Innovation CoE: An innovation CoE spearheads creative thinking and transformation across the organization. It provides frameworks for ideation, runs pilots of new concepts, and scales viable innovations. This type of CoE is a common component of a robust ResearchOps system.

You can learn more about CoEs here