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As the community manager for our internal employee instance of Jive at Jive, I am both empowered and challenged with pushing the boundaries of how our product gets used internally. From diving deep and exploiting the dark nooks of our features to embracing a completely unintended use case of our product, we try to be a dogfooding powerhouse. But even prior to features getting rolled out, it is my charter to ensure we are prepared for the roll out and that the feature is set up for successful usage. I am eager to share my processes, ideas, learnings, tips & tricks with you.

 

What better way than to start with our News feature! This 2015 Winter Cloud release feature has made consuming and engaging with key company and leadership announcements so simply effortless for our global Jiver (Jive employee) base. Here is how we planned the News roll out.

 

1. T-20 Days to Go-Live: Identifying what "News" means to us

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The News feature fuels and amplifies the reach of the content it carries. So you really want to make sure this content feed is what employees want and need to stay aligned and do their jobs effectively. 'News' content to us is a lot of things: First and foremost, Jivers want to know what our leadership team is talking about. We want to know what is happening within our own departments and within our offices. We want to make sure that all new Jivers are properly welcomed with memes and animated gifs when they write their first week blog post. We want to keep an eye on our product roadmap. And of course, we all want to know how our customers and the world are responding to everything that we create.

 

Identifying these top level news buckets was important for me to figure out what auto-subscription streams to set up.

 

2. T-15: Setting up News Streams Auto-Subscription

Yes, auto-subscription. News lets us automatically subscribe the entire community (the entire employee-base in this case) or a subset to specific content feeds / streams. This feature has sometimes been called "auto-follow" or "subscription streams".

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These selected content streams then show up on their News page, in addition to any custom streams that the employees have configured for themselves.

Here are the steps I took to set up the auto-subscription steams:

 

T-15: Company-wide news

The first step was identifying what new streams were needed across our entire Jiver community. We narrowed it down to:

    • Leadership/executive posts
    • Product news
    • Top press releases

So I created a company-wide leadership stream that was associated to the blog spaces of every member of our executive management team. I also created a company-wide 'Products' stream that was linked to our Products space and also to the blog of our Chief Product Officer.

 

T-12: Departmental or role-based news

Next, I needed to ensure Jivers were subscribed to key information relating to their job functions and departments. I met with the department leads and enablement experts - across all different functions from corporate communications to engineering - to find out how they have been trying to reach their target audience.

 

Were they blogging in a specific space or a group?

Did they provide updates in their own personal blogs?

How were these space and blog permissions set up?

 

Each function had their own unique way of capturing and publishing important communication so it was critical for me to take an inventory.

 

T-8: Location based news

Last but not the least, we had office location specific sub-spaces that Jivers needed to be subscribed to based on their location for information around local events, holidays, facilities updates etc.

 

3. T-6: IT considerations

The departmental news and location based news obviously needs to be mapped based on the Jiver's corporate profile information. I brought in our IT team to help choose those profile fields that were automatically synched with the enterprise directory. These fields are synchronized on a daily basis, so even when a Jiver transitions to a different department or office location, their streams will be automatically updated and I won't have to lift a finger.

 

4. T-2: Managing Change

Actually, this was the day our internal instance was upgraded to our 2015 Winter cloud release. Why day T-2 then? Because we toggled-on the News feature only 2 days later. Hurray for feature toggles! That said, we did start prepping Jivers for the toggle-on day:

 

'What's Where' End User Guide

Even though Jivers are pros at using our product, I always want to be sensitive to how large new features are introduced so as to make sure that the experience changeover is as seamless as possible. I took tons of screenshots and created an End User Guide where I visually highlighted all of the upcoming changes and addressed potential questions in an FAQ section:

    • What happened to the homepage?
    • What happened to my inbox?
    • Where is 'Your View'?
    • How can I browse content and places now?
    • Can I pin Inbox or Your View as my landing page?

          and more.

 

'What am I auto-subscribed to?' list

I also put together a list of what streams one can expect to be auto-subscribed to.

 

5. T-0: News Go-Live Day!

Our product manager for the News feature, Nick Hill and his team wrote a cheery welcome blog on the morning of News go-live (i.e. feature toggled on) so that it was the first content people saw in the new News stream after logging in. Combining this blog with a system wide announcement re-mentioning the end user guide gave Jivers a well-defined, smooth experience when they logged in and noted all the changes.

 

There has been so much positive response from Jivers both on the new feature and around all the on-boarding efforts!

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Beautiful, Simple, Powerful

Our product philosophy here at Jive is that products and features should not just be functional, but also simply beautiful and deeply personal. Our newest News feature has definitely met that high standard. Within the Jive employee community, News has been nothing short of an incredible success at making us more connected, informed, and engaged. We also hope it will do the same for the millions of end users across our incredible customer network.

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This whole initiative has also been personally rewarding for me because it has opened up new avenues for me to partner more with our executive staff and department leaders. I am seeing my role being elevated to that of a strategic employee/people champion.

 

As you gear up for this beautiful change, please reach out to me with any questions. I am also eager to learn from all you community managers -  your best practices, tips & tricks, recommendations, ideas and more. Please share them via the comment section of this post or via creating your own posts/discussion threads.

 

Cheers,

Kosheno Moore

Senior Enterprise Community Manager @ Jive

There were so many excellent submissions for the 2014 Jive Awards that we wanted to shout from the rooftops, but we decided to do one better and share these customer stories in our community. The first customer we want to highlight is Pearson, who took home the 2014 Work Better Together Jive Award. What follows profiles Pearson's journey through transformation when their new CEO, John Fallon, took over the company's leadership. Shout out to Kim England and Dina Vekaria for submitting this excellent awards submission!

 

Collaborative Leadership: How the New Workstyle Is Transforming How Leaders Lead

 

The tried and true top-down leadership model seems to be evolving much like the workstyles of the average employee. No longer can executives write up an email, click send to the company, and expect change to happen. Employees want to feel engaged in company strategy. They want to have a voice and take an active part in the destiny of their company. At the same time, leaders know things move fast and staying on top of the pulse of company morale and employee productivity gets tougher. Executives are also very aware of the increased demand by employees for transparency.

 

Creating an open dialogue

What typically happens when a new CEO takes over the reins? He or she begins the process of putting his or her leadership in place and the effects slowly trickle down throughout the company. Transformation is often slow, there is little to no transparency, and new initiatives that hold promise can become muddled because not everyone understands the big picture or how they fit in.

 

When John Fallon, CEO of Pearson, was handed the baton from former CEO, Marjorie Scardino, at the end of 2012, he wanted to create a dialogue with employees to talk about how he could best lead the company into the future. He began by embracing the company’s Jive employee collaboration solution, known as Neo.

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Fallon’s vision for Pearson included a company-wide transformation called the Global Education Strategy (GES) to strengthen the company’s position as the world's largest education company. The GES represented the most significant restructure the company had undergone in its 150-year history.

It began with a series of Neo blog posts from Fallon and other executives. From this, company leadership gathered feedback, collected bottom-up content and questions in a collaborative manner, and monitored real-time data about how their messages were being received. The GES space launched on May 23, 2013 and generated a huge amount of interest—40,000 sessions in one day—causing a load issue within the community environment.

 

Demonstrating transparent leadership

Fallon says that using the company’s employee collaboration solution was not only an efficient and effective way to communicate about the company restructuring but that it also demonstrated transparency.

“Our strategy to use Neo to communicate was to change our culture to one where our leadership is open, transparent. Our next steps are to continue working with the executives and to help the next level down take a similar approach.”

Comments from employees about this approach are overwhelmingly positive:

“I feel valued by the amount of inclusion that is taking place with the new strategies. It's important to know how we are affected in our current positions.”
“The GES space on Neo is a great way to find everything that gets lost sometimes in waves of very long emails.”
“GES space on Neo and org charts-- both helped me to see how everything is going to fit together.”


Continuing collaborative leadership

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Each member of Pearson’s executive team blogs regularly. Some even add selfies and address topics that are not always connected directly to the day-to-day job of leading the organization. They ask questions, create debate and invite opinion. Executives also want their messages to feature in the trending content around Neo. And since the introduction of Impact Metrics with the upgrade to Jive 7, they even engage in some healthy competition over who is having the biggest impact.

 

What could have been executed in a traditional top-down manner, GES turned into an opportunity for the whole company to collaborate around a major reorganization. Pearson desired to change their culture to one where their leaders are open, transparent and available and they are well on their way to making this so!


We can't wait to see how they take the next step and work with the executives on the next level down to continue this transformation. We know it will be a success and we're proud of how the Pearson team is working better together in Neo.

   

SOCM 2015 cover.jpgBecause community management is a relatively new discipline many of those who run communities have never done a community management audit or benchmark to understand what they are doing well, what they are doing poorly and where there are opportunities for easy wins - small investments that have a big impact.

 

One of the reasons for this is that until recently, there was little data on the community management approaches that matter so we couldn't consistently assess performance or make apples to apples comparisons. Last year's State of Community Management was the first time we could reliably do this and the research found correlations between engagement and value with the following attributes:

  • Full-time community manager(s)
  • Multi-tiered advocacy programs
  • Executive engagement
  • Regular schedule of programs or events

You can download that research here, thanks to Jive's support. One of the more exciting things we were able to do because of that research is to audit and benchmark the performance of an organization's community management approach and I presented how to approach community management benchmarking at JiveWorld14, which you can watch here.

 

Why go to all the trouble of auditing when it seems to take so much time? For a few reasons:

  • It often documents what you are sensing but have not articulated, helping you really see what's missing
  • It backs up your own assessment with research and gives you credibility when you ask for resources or investment
  • It exposes you to expertise or approaches that you may not have considered

 

Interested in finding out how your community management approach stacks up? You are in luck.

 

By contributing to this year's 2015 State of Community Management research (do it now - the survey is only open until February 27th!), you will receive a score for where you are in the eight competencies of the Community Maturity Model, helping you understand where you are doing well and where your approach might benefit from some new techniques.

 

You can take the survey and get your score here: State of Community Management 2015 Survey

I’m honored to address this community with my first post as Jive’s CEO! As many of you know I was a customer for many years before I even came to Jive. When I joined just over a year ago, it was because I loved the product. Now I love the company – and all of our customers – like family.

 

As CEO, I will use my passion for the company and our customers to support you and drive our business forward. Jive is an innovator in our market and we have a clear vision for how to move forward. We have the right team in place to take Jive to the next stage. And as you would all agree, we have the right products – whether for your internal collaboration or external community needs – to do just that.

 

Thank you for supporting Jive as all of you do. You continue to invigorate, challenge and inspire us every day. Our commitment to you is to continue to change the world with apps and software that help people connect, communicate and collaborate.  I’m more excited than ever about the direction we are taking Jive and I’m thrilled you are on this journey with us!

In my last post Getting started with Jive for Project Managers, I introduced using Jive as a Project Manager's utility for organizing project collateral, a place for collaborative discussions and planning, and a community for telling the story of a project as it unfolds.

 

Now we're back and getting our hands a little dirtier.  In this post, I'll discuss setting up our Project using Overview Pages and Activity Pages.

 

Overview Page

The Overview page is a Jive tool that uses objects called Widgets to present content and information.  Widgets typically contain links to content, display raw information, or are interactive with the user.  The types of Widgets to use on your Overview page will vary depending on the specific needs of the task at hand, but there are a few that I find especially useful regardless of what kind of Project I'm running.

 

Unanswered Questions

This is probably my all-time favorite Widget.  It gives me a quick snapshot of the open issues affecting my project.  Nothing is as helpful to a PM as quickly seeing the issues that are pending and being able to quickly examine and act on them.


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Recent Activity Widget

Recent Activity gives me a quick snapshot of what's been going on since I last visited my project, and I can interact with the conversations happening directly from the landing page without having to do the extra legwork of loading each of those discussions in a separate tab.


Featured Content

A must-have for any project.  Content that is 'for everybody' like project plans, issues lists, scope trackers, technical documentation, and test plans should be added to the Project's 'Featured Content' and displayed via the Featured Content Widget.

 

View Doc

This Widget is extremely flexible.  It simply displays the contents of any Jive Doc specified.  I use this mainly for key personnel rosters, but you will find many things to do with this Widget.  The important thing to remember about the View Doc Widget is: Don't over-do it.  Don't point it at a particularly hairy or complex Doc, just keep it simple.

 

Featured Places

This Widget is great for pointing users at other key Jive Places relevant to your Project.  For example, let's say that you're running a cross-functional project that is the work of 3 separate teams within your organization.  You could use this Widget to display the team Groups on the Project page, or to give your Project some external context.  You could also link to a Group that is a knowledge base containing helpful resources about the work you are doing.

 

Recent Blogs

Another one of my favorite Widgets.  This one shows me, in most-recent order, links to Blog Posts that have been published in my project.  Since I use the Project Blog to publish status reports, this implicitly becomes a 'Status Report' Widget.  Stakeholders now have one place to look for a quick, comprehensive history of the Project.

 

Categories

If I'm using categories to manage a large volume of content, then it can be helpful to display the categories I'm using so that people have a visual reference and a quick link to the categorized content.

 

Upcoming Events

For efforts organized around a tight deadline or key events, an Upcoming Events Widget can be helpful for displaying key dates in the Project.  In order for these to appear in the Widget, you must publish Events into the project.  I strongly recommend that you do not create an Event for every single meeting or activity on the project -- only do it for key dates, otherwise you will have a flood of events that could've just been sent out as calendar hits, and you dilute the significance of the really important Events.  Using Events + the Upcoming Events Widget is all about adding emphasis on very important, non-routine dates.

 

Activity Page

Activity pages are best for smaller teams, simple projects, or projects where you just want to focus on what's happening right now.  Two-thirds of the layout is focused entirely on Recent Activity and the other one-third is left to you to curate.  The advantage of using an Activity page is that you don't have to worry about curating a lot of content for presentation on the main landing page.  Keeping it simple helps you focus on the critical efforts at hand without a lot of extra setup and curation to slow things down.


Whereas the Overview Page uses Widgets to present information, the Activity Page has an similar tool called Tiles.  Tiles can contain both static and dynamic content. Developers can create custom Tiles to display content from other sites and systems.  Below are some of the Tiles that I consider key when running a Project with an Activity page.

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Upcoming Events

There are two flavors to this Tile; an automatically-populated one, and a manually-populated one.  Manual is definitely simpler because it doesn't require that you create Events in the project to display anything in the Tile, you just give the Tile textual information about events and the dates are displayed on the landing page. Automatic is useful if I have more dates to show, or if I want others to have the ability to add Events to this Tile by creating an Event in the Project.


Helpful Links

This Tile is extremely flexible.  By providing it a hyperlink, title, and a link to an image for a link icon, it displays a list of whatever links I define.  I use this Tile to provide quick links to the Project Blog and Unanswered Questions on the Content tab, or to link to external systems that play a role in my project, such as a test environment, or development tools.


Featured Content

Making an encore is the Featured Content Tile.  This Tile displays items that I add to 'Featured' posted within my Project.  I use this to provide quick links to Project Plans, tracker Docs, contracts, and other important collateral.


Key Content and Places

Key Content and Places is a Tile that can present any content or place within my current Jive instance that I specify.  If there are other Groups, Spaces, or Projects critical to my Project, I can link to them here; likewise, if there is content posted elsewhere that plays a role, I'll link to it here as well.


Featured People

Featured People is a quick, visual way to denote who the key players in my project are.  I use this Tile as my personnel roster.


Activity + Pages

For customers running on Jive Cloud, a third option exists in the group setup called 'Activity + Pages.'  A Place Page is a way for a Place owner to have a blank canvas with which to display information using Tiles instead of Widgets.  When you provision your Project, you can add up to 5 Place Pages to organize your Project collateral to your heart's content.


The advantage to this setup over Overview + Widgets is that Tile Pages are fully responsive on mobile web.  Whereas Overview pages and Widgets are incapable of being rendered at a narrow, mobile width, Tiles were designed with this in mind explicitly from the beginning.  The means that anyone, anywhere can interact with your project in a fully responsive page that retains your community's personality and branding, and the total view of your curated Project collateral is preserved.


For more information about Place Pages, checkout: Sneak Peek: Deep Dive for Place Pages (beta)


Thanks for checking out this post!  In my next post, I'll discuss managing a Jive Project once it is up and running.


Let's hear from you in the comments below

  • How do you like setting up your Project pages? 
  • What are you favorite Widgets and Tiles?
  • Do you have any Widget or Tile 'hacks' you're proud of?
  • Have you developed any custom Tiles, and how are you using them?


Read the next in this blog series: Jive for Project Managers III: Running Your Project

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