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It happens to all of us – we get that false sense of productivity as we throw ourselves into meetings, internal blogs and enthusiastic cross-functional conversations with the newest messaging app. It's all good and great until it suddenly hits you in the middle of yet another meeting - didn't we already have this conversation? It’s like a stationary bike where you’re pedaling frantically but you aren’t really going anywhere. You have the tools you need to be more efficient and yet you end up being even less productive.


In my article on CMSwire, I take the late baseball catcher Yogi Berra’s words of wisdom and draw a parallel with how most of us tend to work: “It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking to much.”


Within the article I dive into how talking is the stationary bike of the workplace when what we really need is conversation and decision-making to take us to the places we have only talked about. A new Deloitte survey found that while there may be a lot of communication and document sharing going on in today’s digital workplace, often times there isn’t much decision making happening in those places.


I touch on why there is such a serious disconnect between these tools and desired results such as:

  • Messaging tools end up more addictive and less productive because it’s easy to feel productive without accomplishing anything of value.
  • Document sharing can easily become siloed and fragmented when using a variety of solutions, which results in a distinct lack of actual collaboration.


To remedy this concerning chasm between talk and conversation, I introduce the solution of a collaboration hub. This is notably different than other collaboration platforms in that it provides a single platform for enterprise search, advanced analytics and reporting, as well as capturing corporate memory.


Read the full article to find out more about what the digital workplace struggles with, why they are stuck on the stationary bike and how a collaboration hub can bring everything together to keep the company pedaling forward.

I know Jive is primarily a collaboration tool, but many employees at my company want to use it as a document repository.  I've argued with them for the five years we've been a Jive customer that it's not really suited for that, but I've been mostly banging my head against the wall.  So recently I decided that if they are really wanting to use it to store documents, then at least they should have some good practices around it.


In the interest of working out loud, I've attached some of the things I've created and am in the middle of working on in case any of you find yourselves in a similar situation and want to either use what I've done or chip in and help make them better.  (Wherever you happen to see the word "Innovate," just be aware that it's the name of our Jive instance).  The attachments are:


  • "Content Management in Innovate" (Word doc) -- the outline of a series of training sessions I wanted to put together to focus specifically on good content management in Jive.  You'll see that there's a lot of Jive functionality I don't touch on because I'm just focusing on the parts I think are relevant to document management.


We have a clean-up initiative going on in several of our business areas so I've already created some material to help users with that effort:

  • Business areas have been assigning specific people to manage clean-up of particular sets of spaces, so "Innovate Space Clean-Up" is a presentation to help them find and remove obsolete places (mostly spaces) and content.  It's Section 4 of the outline I mentioned above.  In the first few slides, I used the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA as a metaphor and have screen shots of some of the more ridiculous spaces I found that mirror aspects of that building.
  • Some people asked for help deciding what to get rid of.  I couldn't help with specifics because I can't possibly know what's important in each business area, but I was able to come up with a couple of generic decision trees to help them think their way logically through identifying the the content and spaces with the highest probability of being worth considering for deletion.
  • "Content Management in Innovate" (Powerpoint) -- the presentation I actually used for training based on the outline.  Consider "Innovate Space Clean-Up" to be part 1 of the training (get rid of the stuff you don't want) and this file to be part 2 (organize what's left).


Feel free to steal anything you might find useful, and also feel free to comment if you think of anything that can make what I already have better.

Let's say you're on the IT Team for Big Rock Trading Company and you're looking for ways to improve case deflection for your company. You want to implement a Help Desk that will allow employees to ask questions, receive answers in a timely manner, and get technical guidance. In our latest "Tips and Tricks" video, we walk you through the basics to set up a thriving Help Desk with Jive.



Building a Help Desk


Step 1:

Plan. What are the main use cases for your Help Desk? These could be anything from Q&A spaces with IT experts to a knowledge base of "How-to" documents for employees to find answers to technical questions.


After deciding on these use cases, you can develop a content calendar and start creating content. For Big Rock's needs, they may want to consider things like:

  • Q&A Forums = Feature "Ask a Question" tile on Help Desk landing page, allows employees to ask/answer questions and access previously-answered questions
  • Application Training Webinars = Monthly webinar tailored on specific topic, announced within Jive
  • "How to" Series = Knowledge base of documents, created by IT experts to walk through popular questions like changing one's password, requesting a program, connecting to a printer, etc.
  • Top 10 Helpful Tips of the Week = Weekly blog run by IT experts


Step 2:

Designing your Help Desk.

Keeping in mind the key calls to action that we decided on in Step 1, here's how that might play out in Big Rock's overall design for their Help Desk. Notice they included:

                        1. Ask a Question tile (main use case, featured at the top to ensure easy access)

                        2. Unanswered/Answered Questions

                        3. Key Dates (for upcoming Webinars)

                        4. Knowledge Base (For How-to documents)

                        5. Help Desk Experts (Featured IT Experts as main contacts for the place)



Step 3:

Launching your Help Desk, spreading awareness.

Before launching your new Help Desk, designate specific people to maintain the Q&A, making sure questions are answered in a timely manner and new resources are created based on the agreed editorial calendar. When you are ready to launch your Help Desk, spread awareness across several different channels in your community.


To create a system announcement as shown in the video:

  • Click on your profile picture in the top navigation header and select System Announcements under "Manage."
  • Select a title and picture (optional) to include with your announcement
  • Choose the timeframe for how long your announcement will be displayed in the community
  • You can also select Send Inbox notifications for the announcement to be sent to everyone's Inbox in the community


Step 4:

Manage and grow, review your metrics.

Maintaining and tracking the progress of your Help Desk is crucial for continuing its success. Make sure you:

  • Meet with stakeholders periodically to discuss metrics, create benchmarks, and continue to refine your engagement plan
  • Continually develop your editorial calendar, staying consistent with creating resources, scheduling programming, answering questions, etc.
  • Cultivate popular questions in the FAQ; ensure correct answers are marked accordingly (Marked as Correct, Marked as Final, etc.) so results can be measured


Consider creating metrics from the topics in the video to measure your growth and plan improvements to your Help Desk over time.


Have other suggestions about best practices when setting up a Help Desk in Jive? Tell us in the comments below!

Welcome to the latest installment of the How I Work series for the month of August! I am excited to present as our next guest, Tracy Maurer, a Jive guru with several years of Community Management experience under her belt. Tracy is an integral part of the JiveWorks community and always asks great questions in addition to helpful recommendations on how we can do better. Thank you for taking the time to help us out, Tracy! Keep reading to find out more about the wonderful, passionate Tracy Maurer and how she works!


Where do you work?

Right now, I'm working for Commvault as a temp. I work from home, which is in Solon, OH. I have a basement office. Lots of people ask me if it is hard to work from home. I actually find it easier to stay focused when working from home, because I don't have the typical office distractions. And it also allows me to work odd hours to support global employees.

How would you describe your current job?

I'm working as a Community and Knowledge Manager. As other CMs know, much of what we do supporting community is about capturing and sharing knowledge. Helping people understand how to do that can help keep your community from drowning in disorganized content. I also do a lot of troubleshooting, documentation, videos and enablement. It's funny - when I first started doing troubleshooting, like running, I hated it. Now I love both running and troubleshooting - go figure!

How did you get into Community Management?

We added a Jive community at work, which at first I was very unexcited about. I was a product manager, and we decided to move all of our content into Jive (from a Lotus Notes DB) to help employees find it and it make it more useful. In the process, I found that I loved community, and kept looking for an opportunity to "join the dark side." Ted Hopton gave me that opportunity in 2010, and I've never looked back!


How do you use Jive at work (internal community, external community, etc.); what use cases does it serve for your company?

Internal community; sales and sales engineering enablement and internal communications are currently the primary use cases, and as we begin our second year of having a community, we are expanding beyond these initial use cases.


What about your community/communities are you most proud of?

The amount of employee engagement we've got in the community; and how Keeley and the team still manage roll-outs of spaces and groups to ensure less overlap and confusion. I think these two things go hand in hand.


What's your computer situation... Do you use a Mac or PC (or something else)?

PC all the way. I'd be too sad without my Jive for Office and Jive for Outlook.


My HP laptop and extra screen


Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

Apple iPhone. I also couldn't live without my iPad. This is me reading on my iPad, with my constant companions Bella (foreground) and Blaze


Pick one word that best describes how you work.

Thoughtful. I struggled to come down to one word. I don't mean "thoughtful" only in the sense of helping others, although there is that as well. More broadly, I mean thinking about what is being asked instead of responding off the cuff. This is a skill I've had to continue to hone over time. For example, when someone says, "I can't edit documents." I don't assume that Jive has suddenly stopped working for people. I ask for clarification - is there an error message; what happens when you click the Edit link at the top of the page; what is the link to the document you are having trouble with. Sometimes it is user error (they didn't see the Edit link and thought they should just start typing on the page); sometimes the author has restricted editing; sometimes it is a bug with a specific browser. Understanding more about the problem they are having helps me provide a quicker and better answer for them. And reminds me to provide more detail when I'm reporting problems to others. 


Besides Jive, what apps/software/tools can't you live without?

For software I use Snagit, Camtasia, Chrome (or FireFox), Gmail. For apps: NPR One, Starbucks, Garmin, Words with Friends


Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

Does my Garmin 230 running watch count? It tracks steps, sleep and running, so is a constant companion of mine. Here's a collage of running photos while wearing my watch There are just so many beautiful places to run in Cleveland that it is hard to choose where to run, let alone what picture to show. This doesn't begin to scratch the surface!



Or how about my new SkyBell? I work from home in my basement, so knowing someone is at the door and whether or not I need to answer it is great!


Outside as seen from my SkyBell


What you surround yourself with is important, what's your work space like?

I'm an "outta sight, outta mind" person, so many would refer to it as cluttered. Don't judge! I also have lots of photos of friends and family, my running medals, and books.


Some photos and about half of my running medal collection

What do you listen to while you work?

The dehumidifier, since it has to run all summer long. In the winter, or if I really need to focus, I listen to classical music on Pandora.


What's your best time-saving trick?

It isn't specifically a work trick, but when I've got a morning meeting or some other morning thing I need to do, I set out my clothes the night before. Then I don't have to think about that and distract from getting ready and in the right frame of mind for whatever is on deck.


How do you balance work and life?

It changes all the time. I'm not the one to offer advice, other than to make sure you take care of yourself. You should not be last on your list of priorities. I do like to spend time with my kids, one of whom is an amazing artist.


One thing that I did in 2016 was to travel with a Community Manager friend to Zion National Park the weekend before JiveWorld. We had an AMAZING time!!



What's your sleep routine like?
With rare exceptions, I average 7.5 hours of sleep a night. My husband snores, so I use ear plugs and sometimes white noise. And I sleep with a stuffed animal my family gave me for Christmas one year. It is a nice reminder of them, and also helps keep my arms elevated so they don't fall asleep.


Are you more of an introvert, ambivert or extrovert?
Ambivert, leaning toward introvert.


What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?
I can't choose 1.

  • "What would you do if you DID know how?" Although at first read it might sound dumb, it does help you refocus. It was from a boss I had 17 years ago when I was learning a new role and doing a lot of things that really had not much to do with that actual role and that I had little or no experience with.
  • "Assume best intent" from my boss at my last job, and also reading about it in a business book (probably the one where she learned it). We tend to take things personally and jump to worst conclusion about people's words and actions. What if there was an opposite meaning?
  • "Choose laughter," from Keeley Sorokti


Thank you for your time and showing us more about your work style, Tracy! It was great getting to know you. I'm glad to hear someone else lays their clothes out the night before! I find that I'm so lazy in the morning I just throw on whatever is easiest to grab which sometimes turns into an interesting fashion statement.

Are you looking for an easy way to share content with a group of people? @mentioning is a great way to target individual people, but what if you want to share with your entire team?


A great way to accomplish this is using labels. You can read more about labeling here: Labeling Your Connections / Cloud:  Labeling Your Connections.




If you plan to share with the same group of people over and over (i.e. your team), you can create a label and then add individuals to that label. This allows you to create your own personalized groups of any size.



Creating a label

  • To be able to use Labels, you must first be Following other people within your community. You may only apply labels to users you are following.
  • Under the Browse top header, select People.
  • Click on Following in the left-hand navigation menu.
  • Under Following, click on Create Label.
  • Select a color to represent the label and then name it.

Now you can start adding users to this group/label. Click on the gear on the bottom right corner of the tile of anyone you are following and you can click this button to add the person to your label.



Go ahead and add everyone at this time.


Now that you're done with that, you have your sharing group set up and it's time to start creating and sharing content.



Sharing content using labels


Existing Content

Now that you have labels, you can easily share existing content with your specified groups of people. For existing content, simply go up to the right corner and find the Share button.

Then in the dialogue box that pops up, start typing the name of your label and it will appear under Labels.


Everyone in your label group who has access to the space where this content lives will now get a message in their Inbox that you have shared this content with them.



Brand New Content

For brand new content that you are creating to share with a select group of people, you can also use your new label. When publishing content, instead of publishing it in a place, or for your entire community, use the Specific People option, then start typing the name of your label:



What do you think? Let me know in the comments whether you have any other tips and tricks for

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