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Jive Talks

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Jive is excited to be co-sponsoring a booth at the Marketing Nation Summit today through April 15 in San Francisco. The slogan for this conference is 'Inspiration in the Nation.' There is clearly a lot to be inspired about with over 6,000+ marketers attending, 100+ sponsors, 100+ engaging sessions, and keynotes from Arianna Huffington, Phil Fernandez, Salman Khan and John Legend.

 

If you have the pleasure of attending, visit the Marketo Community Lounge Powered by Jive at booth #425. Here are the top 5 reasons to do so:

 

1. We've got the power!
With all the tweeting you'll be doing, you're going to need to recharge your devices. Stop by our Powered by Jive charging stations with your charger in hand - we have plenty of standard outlets!


2. Meet Marketo champions
Meet Marketo certified experts and community users - they'll be present to answer your toughest questions. You can always reference this great document by Wim Stoop that shares specifics about the ability to integrate Jive communities with Marketo, which was rolled out in the Winter 2015 cloud release: Marketo integration - FAQ


3. Enjoy Mom's cookies
Every conference has afternoon doldrums. Channel your inner cookie monster because sugar, butter and flour will fix your energy slump.

cookie monster.gif

 

4. AJA: Ask Jive Anything

Do you have a customer community? Do you know how consumers make choices? Here are some interesting stats about customer communities:

92% of global consumers trust personal recommendations over any advertising

84% of worldwide consumers take action based on reviews and recommendations of trusted sources

95% of Millennials worldwide want brands to court them

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The Marketo Community Lounge will feature an 'Ask Jive' bar. Stop by to learn about the new Marketo Marketing Nation Community, Jive-x and to see a live demo of Jive-x.

You'll be able to meet these friendly Jivers at the booth: Billy Volpone, Sam Nik-Pay, Jonathan Guzman, Belinda Joseph, Sandra Cheng, Jon Phipps, Stephen Salazar, Jackie McElaney.

 

5. Get a sneak peek of the New Marketo Marketing Nation Community

Marketo's Global Nation Builder, Scott K Wilder,  Marketo's Senior Community Manager, Liz Courter and Jiver Cathy Won will be leading a session: Introducing the New Marketing Nation Community! Marketo's community, over four years old, is embarking on a new chapter in which they will provide members with a new experience and capabilities. Catch a sneak peek of the New Marketing Nation Community launching in May at this session.

 

Marketo employees, are there other activities that we should be getting pumped about at the Marketing Nation Summit?

Glen Lipka, Nathan Brauer, Mark Siciliano, Emir Elliott-Lindo, Bharti Hathalia, Scott K Wilder,Bill VanderWall, Jeff Young, Kenneth Law, Davis Lee, Jenny Chang, Lou Beckert, Lynn-kai Chao, Mahesh Jeswani, Vinish Benny, Vic Madrigal

We're excited to kick off a new blog series called 'Ask The Expert', which involves an expert from the Jive Community sharing on a specific topic that's near and dear to their heart. For a month after this blog goes live, feel free to ask the expert any additional questions within the comments that relate to their topic. These experts are here to help you; give them your rock or single issue that's causing you the most trouble to see if they've overcome something similar.


Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 11.01.48 AM.pngMeet the Expert: Rachel Duran

We want to thank the amazing Rachel Duran, Enterprise Community Manager at Allegis Global Solutions, for being our first expert. Previously, she was an internal and external Jive platform community manager for RadioShack Corp, and before that she served as the Director of Social Media Strategy at Ilfusion Creative. Rachel was also a speaker at JiveWorld and is an active Jive Community contributor. Below she shares some extremely insightful information on internal communities regarding community purpose, management, and reporting.


Discussion Dates: April 8 to May 1

Be sure to sign up for email notifications or follow this document in your InBox. Rachel will respond to questions posted in the comments below during that time period.


About this discussion

Identifying and demonstrating organizational value is one of the most important pieces to the puzzle of establishing, building and maintaining an internal community. Yet, it seems to be the piece that is most often missed and effectively toppled from the edge of the community planning table. Developing brilliant new solutions comes with clout (w00t!) and the responsibility of change management (eek!). Even though your fabulously innovative self intuitively “gets” social business, not everyone in your organization will. It’s time to grab that community value puzzle piece and get ahead of the game with some strategic gumption!

 

First and foremost, any proposed community needs an established purpose, and that purpose should be reflected in everything — the initial proposal, UI/UX design, and community management style. Even the most straight-forward concepts will face at least one internal naysayer that doesn’t inherently understand how online communities support the organization’s goals. Or worse, your user base will flounder without a clear purpose to keep them engaged after a first visit.

 

Start by writing up a clear, concise Community Mission Statement before getting started with any proposals or requirements gathering. Here are some questions your mission statement should answer:

  • Who is your target audience?
    • “Employees” won’t fit the bill for this FAQ. Is your internal audience the entire enterprise of employees, or will it focus on a subset? If it’s a varied group, how will each of those groups be engaged in a way that works for them?
  • What problem is this community solving?
    • Change is hard! (I think I use that line in every community management blog I’ve ever written). What is it about this community that is going to ignite passion for an evolution in communication within your organization?
  • What business goal and/or principle is this community helping to achieve?
    • We all have a set of principles, pillars, standards, or whatever your brand opts to call them. Your internal community should fit into one or more of these categories. If the alignment to a company principle isn’t obvious, be sure to make that connection as clear as possible without being too wordy.

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Now that your mission statement is in place and you’ve worked up excitement in the executive suite with your brilliance, it’s time to get rolling towards community planning, strategy, launch and management. No big deal, right? Well, if you have any other job duties, I’m sure you have a lump in your throat just thinking about how much work this is going to be. You need a Community Manager!

 

Proving business value for launching an online community is one thing, but adding a human resource or an entire team into the project budget can be tricky, especially in smaller or otherwise budget-restricted environments. Before pleading your case for moolah, you’ll want to clarify your needs vs your wants. For the launch of your community, can you live with just a moderator/systems admin, or do you absolutely need someone within strategic experience? Do you need a developer or will you start out with out-of-the-box functionality? How many users will you have and how much moderation will they require? How much technical administration is needed for SSO, news features, analytics, security, upgrades, etc?


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communityroundtable.com

 

After you’ve evaluated your resource needs, be sure to do your research on salaries, job descriptions, experience needs, etc. Any community manager you speak to can probably tell you how many of these job posts are way off base from actual community needs and market demand. The Community Roundtable and the Jive Community are both excellent resources in sourcing a team that is set for success.

 

After your staffing needs are assessed, prepare yourself for the sell. Think of other major communication changes in the past that have required implementation resources other than technology. My favorite anecdotal metaphor is the introduction of email. Execs that have been around for a while will remember quite well that they didn’t just buy email technology and turn on the switch. Help them understand that, similar to email, online communities are not a trend, but a necessary adoption of modern communication. I rarely hear stories of enterprises with a lack of technology, but I often hear complaints about a lack of full technology utilization. That lack of utilization can be due to a number of manpower issues, including mediocre strategy, lack of training, and poorly communicated implementations.


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spiceworks.com


Once you’ve convinced the decision maker to give you what you need to build a successful community, you’re expected to prove business value! That old dreaded phrase starts to come up: “Community ROI”.

 

Have no fear! You’ve already done the hard part by establishing your community purpose. Now you just need to measure those activities that tie back to that purpose. External communities are sometimes able to see a clear connection through CRM data or shopping cart referral stats in Google Analytics. Internal is often a little trickier and may require a soft value dashboard that displays quantitative results against the previously established qualitative goals.

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For example: If you have an internal support community, like the one I previously managed for a major retailer, you may want to report on things like:

  • Average views per answered question
    • Why – To show that the most of the time that was taken up by community interaction was used for business purposes that improved productivity. Views of previously answered questions count as repeated inquiries, since the user saw their question pop up while they typed what would have been a new one.
    • This is now a native report in Jive Cloud and Jive 8!
  • Questions as a percent of total content
    • Why – To show that the community was mostly being used for its primary intended use case (Q&A, Knowledge Base).
  • Average time to answered question
    • Why – Same as above
    • Expectation was 30 minute average (due to customer-facing urgency)
    • Expectation was for avg to continuously decrease as the community matured
  • Typical adoption, site use, and content creation reports
    • Expectation was to continuously grow
  • Average user time spent on community per day
    • Why – To show that the community was not taking up otherwise valuable labor time.


As you can see, these examples show community growth that related back to its specific purpose, even if it can’t spell out traditional ROI measures, such as sales increases. This is a great basis for developing an executive dashboard that is repeatable on a monthly or quarterly basis. Be sure to establish what success looks like before you put out a single community report. The most important part of this process is not just reporting data, but comparing that data against goals over time. “We have 15,000 page views per week” doesn't mean anything unless you've compared it to your page view goal and/or difference to last week or, say, a six week trend.


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searchenginewatch.com

 

It’s also a good idea to work with other departments to single out a possible community event and analyze how that event’s activity tied directly to increases in its category focus without any other variables. I’ve accomplished this with community-only product knowledge contests, where the overall sales trends for said product are tracked over the promotional period. Having case studies like this in your back pocket can be a great get-out-of-jail-free card if community ROI faces unexpected scrutiny in the future.


Together, a community mission, excellent community manager(s), and a strong analytics plan create a framework that sets your project up for success. Executive buy-in and strategic planning are key to a strongly adopted and engaged internal community down the line. Once your internal community shows some major steps toward helping to reach company goals, you’ll have set yourself up for making an even more profound impact on the enterprise through added capability like gamification and recognition systems. At that point, it’s difficult for anyone in the organization to deny the power of social business. You’ve got a powerful piece in the palm of your hand. It’s time to solve your enterprise’s communication puzzle.

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Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, Rachel!

Feel free to ask Rachel any follow-up questions within the comments through May 1.

Adoption. There, I said it. I got it out of the way. In fact, I'm gonna say it again: adoption. When I work with our customer teams responsible for rolling out and/or maintaining Jive, that word (adoption) evokes a bit of uneasiness. It's as if adoption has become synonymous with monster and it's easier to look the other way than stare it down in its brutal face. And for good reason.

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  He's not very scary once you get to know him.

 

Driving adoption calls upon us to be good (I mean, really, really good) at managing change. See, therein lies the catch: change management is more or less dealing with change for other people. It's not just your own reaction to the change that you have to worry about. No, it's the reactions of hundreds or thousands. In order to truly drive adoption, we have to anticipate how the people within our organizations are going to react to the change and have a plan to address those reactions.

 

It doesn't matter if you are about to launch Jive or launched Jive several years ago, change management is equally relevant to preparing for launch as it is to expanding the use of Jive across your organization over time. And it really doesn't have to be as daunting as it may seem. This blog series will focus on change management as the foundation from which you can successfully drive adoption. The series will focus on three topics:

 

  1. The basics of change management
  2. Do's and don'ts of managing change
  3. Lessons learned from our customers

The series will focus on internal community challenges though many of the points are certainly relevant to external communities as well.


What is change management?

Change management is an entire field in and of itself. As a field, it was born by combining the engineering field's mechanical focus on change (systems and processes) with the psychology field's human focus on change (people). In large part, this is because the concept of change management began in the manufacturing industry and that industry's focus on achieving efficient, systematic quality. For our purposes, let's simply think of change management as a methodology that is used to transition teams and/or organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It's a mouthful, I know.Let's break it down as it applies to a Jive internal community:

  • The current state = the existing intranet, email, and/or other tools that may be used inconsistently across the organization
  • The desired, future state = all employees on Jive, using it consistently across the organization
  • The transition = everything that you're going to plan and do to make the desired, future state a reality -- to get all of your employees on Jive and using it consistently across the organization

Or, if your organization is already on Jive, it might look more like:

  • The current state = Department A using Jive as if they wrote the book on best-practices, but Department C avoiding Jive altogether and using email
  • The desired, future state = Department C using Jive even half as fantastically as Department A
  • The transition is everything that you're going to plan and do to make Department C use Jive even half as fantastically as Department A

 

See, the transition is where the change management happens. Articulating the current state is comparatively easy. Articulating your desired, future state is also comparatively easy. The hard part is figuring out what you need to do to make the change happen: the transition.

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   Change management in action: the transition is life or death for this little guy

 

If the transition is where the change management happens ... how does it happen?

There are many schools of thought about change management. Most notably, there is John Kotter's seminal eight step process and Jeff Hiatt's ADKAR model. If you have time to study Kotter and Hiatt, I encourage you to do so. If you don't, then I humbly offer a synthesized version of all I've learned and taught about change management as it relates to Jive through the Five W's + H + R (the R is my addition) that many of us learned in grade school: what, why, who, when, where, how, and report. The R is pretty important to change management.

 

What

You have to be able to explain what it is you are trying to accomplish. Customers who have worked with me probably get sick of me reminding them to focus on the what first and before anything else. It's very easy to jump straight to the how. After all, that's where the solution is and it's way more fun to think about the answer. But first, tell me: what's the what? Your "what" may be similar to the statement that describes your desired future state. Or, this may be refined to be a bit more tactical. Try to find a way to state it in one sentence or a even better, a few words. Think of defining your what as if it's a tagline you want everyone to remember. Think about it from the perspective of the audience. Think about it in terms of an actionable statement (hint: actionable = using a verb). For example, "Enable online collaboration hub for reseachers" is a much stronger statement than "Researcher collaboration group."

 

Why

Once you are able to articulate the what, you need to be able to state why it matters. This is essentially a matter of stating the value proposition. Think about it in terms of your audience wanting an answer to the question "what's in it for me?" There are times when the reason why it matters cannot be articulated by thinking through why it matters for the audience. In these cases, think about engaging leadership to communicate the what and why statements. In so doing, your why statement essentially becomes leadership directive, which is often an excellent motivator. If you can get leadership to deliver the what/why messages, even if it's not a leadership directive, it creates a valuable sense of urgency and natural buy-in.

 

Who

This one is simple but easy to overlook. Who will be impacted by the change? Really, really think this one through. It's easy to overlook all who may be involved, but this is critical to understanding if different populations require different messaging and/or instructions. Often it takes thoroughly diving into individual use cases to identify all of the parties involved. The time is well spent since the second part of this step is understanding the population(s) in order to tailor communications to them and more effectively socialize the change. For example, you might find that your who consists of end users as well as organizational managers.

 

When

Timelines help us process and accept the change we may feel inclined to resist. It's the difference of being told you have to have surgery vs. you have to have surgery next week. The latter allows us to more readily accept what's about to happen. The former creates more anxiety because we are not sure how long we will be in the uncomfortable state of certainty. When you think about communicating the timeline, allow yourself a bit of buffer in your all-employee communications. For example, if you are targeting an April 15 deadline, tell your general population the change will happen in the second quarter. As you get closer, refine the communication: it will happen in April; it will happen in mid-April; it will happen on April 15. Of course, you will have to communicate the dialed-in timeline to leadership and the project team, but you can save yourself from having to reset expectations by keeping it vague at first and refining along the way.

 

Where

Think about this in terms of where the action will happen. If it's an intranet replacement, this may be as easy as turning on your computer, going to your bookmarked URL and voila you're in the new intranet. If this is a more in-depth use case, the "where" is likely a container in your community. For example: A space in which to do X or a group in which to do Y.

 

How

Once you have your users where you want them, it needs to be very clear what actions you want them to take (or they can take). This will vary use case to use case, but if you think through the details of what the user will do, then you can design places within your community to facilitate these actions. For example, going to a help space and not having it be immediately clear how to find an answer or ask a question creates a frustrating user experience. Design to facilitate desired actions whenever possible with lightweight how-to instructions available for those who need such tools to reinforce their learning process. Try to keep the detailed how-to instructions to more complicated processes.

 

Report

Finally, it is crucial to determine how you will know you've been successful. What will you measure? How will measure it? To what will you compare the measurement against (baseline) to demonstrate improvement over time? But here is the more crucial part: once you know, share it. Report out on your organization's progress. Celebrate the wins and be transparent about where there is still room for growth. Even better if you can put a goal around it that leadership supports as a key priority.

future.jpg

  These change management steps will help you get to the future state

 

Now what?

You may arrive at your five W's + H + R in a different order than what's shown above. That's okay. For any future desired state, you may have numerous W's + H + Rs. That's okay, too. For every what, you may have multiple why's and who's, etc. That's also okay. Just remember to phase what you tackle so that it is manageable. Taking a phased approach not only keeps your workload more sane, it also makes the change easier to manage for your organization. Guide the change you want to see and let the structured methodology of change management help you drive more adoption across your organization. Think about what that is meaningful to you right now. Then think through why it matters. Then think of who it will impact, when they will need to make the change, where it's going to happen, and how they will do what you need them to do. Then, think through how you will measure your success.

 

Put together your plan and you'll be ready to start driving adoption!

 

In the next part of this blog series, we'll cover the do's and don'ts of change management.

Welcome back! This is the third and final post in my series about using Jive Projects as a communication and collateral hub for project managers. In my first post, I discussed the value of using Jive for project management, the information architecture of projects, and the content types available. In post #2 I talked about laying out the Project landing page using Overview, Activity, or Place Pages.

 

In this post, I'll discuss running the Project; the processes I as a project manager use to rev the engine and bring the Project to life.

 

Following your project

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 7.36.13 PM.pngBy default, when you create a Group or Project within Jive, you 'follow' it in your Connections Stream. I find, however, that as the manager of a project, it's critical for me to be constantly tracking the conversations happening in the Project in order to understand the issues and blockers and be able to succinctly articulate the status of everybody's efforts to project stakeholders. For that reason, I follow all of my projects in my Inbox. I do not, however, have e-mail notifications turned on for everything in my Inbox; only for direct replies and mentions (this is just my personal preference to cut down on the amount of e-mail I get). Every morning when I open my Jive Inbox, I have a list of updates to catch up on and acknowledge via my Inbox, and for the ones that I need to address discretely, I open them into new tabs to address one-by-one once I've finished my morning review.

 

If the flood of notifications becomes too much to bear, or if one Project in particularly is noisier than others, I find it helpful to use Custom Streams. I can either create a stream for all of my Projects, or one stream dedicated for a particularly noisy project.

 

Discussions, questions, and answers

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 7.40.51 PM.pngAs the Project Manager, I ensure that all issues, inquiries, or actions are entered into the project as Discussions marked as Questions. One of the key benefits of using Jive instead of email is that everybody on the team works out loud. Our conversations are open for everybody on the team, and as a result everybody on the team benefits from the reduced friction and the transparency. That value is only realized, however, when our teammates buy into that philosophy by posting to Jive instead of writing an email. This can take some gentle 'reminding.' I will often use Jive Anywhere OWA cartridge to convert e-mails to discussions to encourage the sender to collaborate on Jive to find answers.

 

I also ensure that all Questions get answered. I use the Unanswered Questions widget to keep track of open items, and I place it front and center so that those hot topics are the first things anybody sees when they navigate to the Project. I can answer Questions myself if I have the expertise to do so, or I can @mention a subject matter expert to address the question for me. Replies that are Helpful or Correct should always be marked, and if the Discussion author doesn't do it, then I as the Project owner can do it as well. Once Questions are answered, they no longer appear in the Unanswered Questions widget-- Checking them off of our to-do list, but retaining the information for the record of the Project.

 

Publishing important documentation

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 8.11.57 PM.pngA project isn't just about the conversations, but also the project collateral and documentation that is published. Jive Docs can be used to publish a project charter, project plan or WBS, tracker documents, requirements documentation, meeting notes, configuration guides, rosters, procedural lists -- or just about any other kind of documentation you can dream of. Anything that you would otherwise publish with a word processor and email out to people or post in a network drive, you can publish natively in Jive to give quick access of that information to everybody in your project.

 

Other people in the project will by default have editor rights on all of the documentation you publish, giving them the ability to contribute to the final product. Versioning helps users understand what's changed in a Doc over time, and revert to older versions as required. Structured Outcomes gives the team the power to designate content as 'Official,' increasing its search ranking, 'Outdated' to decrease its search ranking, as well as drive a variety of other actions.

 

The advantages of documenting this way goes back to our philosophy of working out loud. By making all of the information about the project easily accessible to all team members, on any desktop or mobile device of their choosing, people can collaborate more effectively because the barriers between people and information are broken down.

 

The Project Blog

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 8.17.12 PM.pngMy Project Blog is critical for me. As I mentioned before, the Blog is where I post regular status reports. Just like any Blog on the web, it needs regular updates to stay useful, fresh, and curate a following. I recommend posting at least one new Blog Post every week for the duration of the project.

 

One really great thing about using Blogs instead of just regular native Docs is that Blogs can be followed discretely without following the entire project. If I navigate to mycommunity.mycompany.com/groups/mygroup/blog I am presented with a page that contains the full text of all of the Blog Posts published in that Place. In the right-hand menu, I can 'Follow' just as I would any other Jive Place, but when I follow a Place's Blog, I only get updates when there are new Blog Posts. This is extremely valuable for project stakeholders, executives, or teams working tangentially to my project, who only want to follow the regular status reports without following the rest of the content in the project; it allows them to follow only what's important-- the updates that the project manager provides through Blog Posts.

 

With the introduction of News in the latest release of Jive Cloud, subscription streams can be setup to point at Blogs.  News provides a vehicle for high-profile projects to be showcased for users across the organization via the project manager's blog posts.

 

Beyond the functional advantages, Blog Posts *feel* different from Documents. It's not just about recording details in a report-- it's about telling the story of your project as it unfolds.

 

Finishing your project

Two things signify to others that I've closed out a Project; publishing a retrospective, and archiving the project.

 

I typically conduct a retrospective meeting with all of the project stakeholders and personnel. This is a pretty common practice, but publishing the notes from that meeting gives others an opportunity to include their own feedback to be documented as outcomes in that same retrospective doc. I also link out to any key reports, discussions, or deliverables that were key, and I ensure that all open Questions are marked answered.  The final leave-behind for the project is a single Doc that has a summary of everything that happened, what went right and lessons learned, and an index of all of the useful or important project collateral.

 

The last to-do for closing out my project is archiving it. By archiving a Project, the content in the Project goes into a 'read-only' state. It will still be indexed and discoverable by search, but users can no longer modify or reply to the content inside of that project.

 

Final thoughts

I've really enjoyed walking through the use of Jive for Project Managers. I look forward to your feedback on this series, and I encourage everybody to share your thoughts, ideas and best practices here in the Jive Community. Thanks for reading!

About a year ago, I was the internal enterprise community manager for a high tech company in the San Francisco Bay Area. I can tell you, employee engagement was always on my mind. We had a large population of employees nearing retirement age with an average length of employment around 20-30 years. On top of that, most of our new hires were recent college grads, so we had an influx of millennials and all of the challenges that came with it. I like to think of it as the double-whammy of employee engagement: how to keep the tenured employees stimulated while engaging the millennials in any way possible.

 

There's a lot of blog posts already out in cyberspace that talk about employee engagement. We can learn about it from an academic point of view, we can talk about it theoretically, and we can even put it into a cool infographic. And while I do love a good infographic, I want you to come away from this blog with actionable things that you can try in your communities. Let's start with the low hanging fruit.

 

1. Make existing programs better by bringing them into an online community

Do you already have employee engagement programs in place at your company? You can add dimension and depth (as well as increased employee engagement) to these programs by bringing them into your online community. You can use your community to better support the program's objectives by implementing things like transparent leadership communications, online Q&A, information sharing, and public acknowledgement of goals and rewards.

 

Some employee engagement programs that work well in a community include:

  • Innovation award programs
  • Idea jam sessions
  • Employee recognition programs
  • Employee volunteer programs
  • Group fitness/health challenges

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  Idea jam sessions like this can be conducted easily in an online community

 

One note of caution: if you are looking to increase employee engagement in a community setting, you first need to be sure the right program strategy and resources are in place within the corporate organization. Do this by starting upstream from the community. What exactly does that mean?


It's not enough to have an employee volunteer program, then open a group in the community called "Employee Volunteer Program." That bird is not going to fly. You'll need to make sure you have the right components of a volunteer program already in place such as: team leads for each of your sites, an active group of volunteers from each of your buildings, and ideas for volunteer activities that are both supported by the company and fit the passions of your employees.

 

Then when you create your online communities to support these activities you can add more layers to the employee engagement cake, such as assigning a community manager for the group, recognizing an outstanding employee volunteer each month, supplementing the recognition with pictures from the real-live party you threw for them, and asking their co-volunteers to congratulate them on their work. Do this every month, talk about it in real life and talk about it online and you will have a more engaged employee volunteer program (and more engaged employees as a result).

 

One little trick Jive has used in the layer cake of employee volunteer engagement is giving back to the givers. Within our "JiveGives" group, Jivers raised money for a kitten and puppy Snuggle Express event for the volunteers at our Portland Office which in turn raised enough money to host another Snuggle event at a local school, see The Snuggle Express rolled into Portland thanks to some Jivers!

 

2. Face the facts: Engage with employees how they live.

Admit it. You've been looking the other way as employees started using their mobile devices (like iPads and mobile phones) at work. You may have even denied the fact that you use your own mobile phone to check emails at night. I'm going to hold your hand and look into your eyes when I tell you this, these little devices are a powerful and integral part of the future of work. Another thing you might have noticed more is people are working outside the office (gasp) or even making their own work hours (what?!). The good news is that this digital transformation plays into employee engagement because employers can choose to support these new habits rather than discouraging them.

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These days, we're just as likely to work from a sofa as a desk.

 

At Jive, we are admittedly ahead of the crowd. So I will tell you what I've learned about engaging employees by embracing how they live:

 

  • Figure out how to make your systems work with mobile. THIS. IS. HUGE. Go on and get your IT and Engineering teams fired up because this is a challenge for them. If you are an email work culture, better figure out how employees can receive emails on their mobile devices (I really hope you've gotten that far already). If you have systems that employees need access to after hours, such as Concur for expenses, consider encouraging the use of the mobile apps provided by these companies. Provide clear instructions for your employees on how to use them (if they are not available or obvious already). Make sure your fabulous online community is set up to be mobile friendly. Depending on your version and whether you are on-premise, hosted or cloud, the actual how-to will vary.
  • Give employees a longer leash. 100% transparency here, I take the train to work and often have to leave early to catch a train to pick up my kids from school. Then I often work from home in the afternoons and at night. Do I take conference calls on the train? Oh yeah. Do I hold video calls when my kids are in the next room? Yes I do, regardless of the fact that the kids have been known to video-bomb on occasion. I need my work and my life to be integrated, not separated. And my work gets done when and where I need it.
  • Autonomy is key. Do you tell your employees what to cook for dinner or how to get their kids ready for bed? We assume that you hired competent professionals who are awesome at what they do. Give them the freedom and autonomy to choose how to get it done. It might not be the way you would do it, but guess what? Autonomy is one of the key components of employee engagement. Don't believe me? Watch this cool video by RS Animate and Drive called "The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us." It's one of my favorites mostly because I want to draw this fast. I really do.

3. Erase the line between leaders and employees.

Do your employees know the details of the company's annual strategy? Do they feel comfortable chatting with the vice president they meet in the hallway? It's highly likely that there is an invisible (but very real) line between your company's employees and its leaders. At one company I worked at, one executive made a point of looking away whenever he passed employees in the hallway. This is the worst sort of disconnect. How can we engage employees when our executives are actively disconnected from them?

 

Connecting execs to employees can be a pretty big challenge. After all, company leaders tend to be the busiest people around. The last thing they have time for is kissing babies and shaking hands. I would argue that just like in politics, company leaders would do well to get out among the people and do more baby kissing.

 

So what does this look like? At Jive, we encourage, inspire and assist our executives in regular personal blog posts. They write about what is important for the company, for employees, and for themselves in a personal voice. They encourage employee comments and feedback. We take these blog posts and pull them into a news feed specifically for leadership content which is featured on our Jive internal community home page News feed.

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Executive communications via megaphone are ineffective. Try blogging instead!

 

Do you have leaders that refuse to blog? Convince them to participate in an Ask-Me-Anything session. It can start as a yearly event or even quarterly if they are up for it. Develop a list of questions in advance and allow people to post questions in a community group dedicated to the event or if the event is WebEx, have participants send the questions in chat. Provide notes and follow-up conversations in your community group.

 

4. Keep it real and make it personal. Feel something.

Your attitude, especially the attitude you take to work, can either build or erode employee engagement. On top of that, every interaction you have with another employee as a chance to increase engagement. Make each conversation you have online authentic and strive to be positive.

 

How can you be more authentic at work? Tell your story. If you have a community (and the blogs are enabled for your site), you have the power of blogging in your hands. Don't waste it. Write a blog about your experiences on the job. Write about a team outing, write about your weekend activities (as long as it's appropriate for your community and work culture). Take the risk and put yourself out there.

 

At the last company I worked for, we launched Jive as pilot with a very limited number of people. We set very few rules. What happened was a beautiful thing. We had people blogging and meeting online. Collaborating on ideas and chatting about work. People met across time zones and geographies in a way that is impossible in a real life setting. We started to feel something about going to work. And isn't feeling something a huge part of employee engagement?

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Telling your story connects you to others on a human level, making it easier to get work done.

 

Within Jive, employees are encouraged to blog. We are asked to post a blog after our first week of work and are actively encouraged to keep them coming. We've had people share some incredibly personal life details in their blogs. And while it doesn't directly tie to the company's bottom line, feeling connected personally to my coworkers, even the ones I've never met in person, is a powerful thing.

 

5. Finally, never underestimate the power of fun.

Having fun is a natural part of life. Think of the times in your life when you felt the most fully alive (or engaged in the experience) and I bet that you were experiencing the phenomena known as FUN. Fun can be a tricky dance partner, however, especially when you attempt to bring her to work. And like rainbows and unicorns, fun can be an intangible thing for some organizations. Granted, it feels like Jive is on the "more fun" end of the spectrum with our endless beers on tap and a gigantic stuffed ape in the office, so I realize this might be a little hard to pin down for some.

 

My advice on this one, look to the natural cheerleaders in your company. Ask their advice. Fun for your company might be an annual cubicle decorating contest for the holidays, or dressing up on Halloween. Fun might be getting everyone together for a Bike-to-Work day or having a summer BBQ up on the roof of your building. Figure out how fun works for your employees and make it happen.

 

Bringing fun online with Jive.

I think it's important to know what's possible even if it would be impossible at your office. Everyone needs stretch goals, right? Besides the beer, the amazing free snacks, the cocktail hours and cupcake parties, the way Jive has fun the most is in our online community. Employees have started some really hilarious groups, with stellar examples such as "Let Me Photoshop that for You" and "A Group Where We Post Nothing but Kittens." And admit it, at 3:30 in the afternoon, would you rather have another cup of stale coffee or this waiting for you in your community's activity feed?

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I'd take a playful kitten over coffee any day of the week.

 

Take a deep breath and repeat after me, fun is good. That didn't hurt much at all, did it?

 

To sum it up, employee engagement comes back to one key focal point: people. Bringing people together, removing barriers between people, encouraging honest and open communication, and having fun! Each of these factors increases employee engagement. And using your online community for these things can put more power behind your engagement efforts.

 

So tell me, how do you use your online community to bolster employee engagement? Send me screen captures of your kitten groups today!

 

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Check out our new white paper called "Every Screen is a Desk: Engaging Employees in a Work-Anywhere Era"



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And if you're a fan of slideshare, check out: Employee Engagement in the Work-Anywhere Era

We're delighted to be shining a spotlight on the lovely Patty McEnaney for the 'How I Work' blog series. It was a pleasure interacting with Patty, and she's one of the biggest cheerleaders I've seen for others within the Jive Community. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!


(P.S. - Wondering why this is not coming from the fabulous Libby Taylor? I'm a 'behind the scenes' Jive Community Manager both across social media and in the Jive Community, and I'm happy to be helping Libby with this blog series.)


How I Work - Patty McEnaney.jpgLeigh: Where do you work?

Patty: I work at Envestnet Asset Management, headquartered in Chicago, with offices across the U.S. and one in India. Envestnet is one of the largest providers of wealth management solutions to independent financial advisors. The firm has an entrepreneurial spirit and a can-do attitude, which really appeals to me.


Leigh: How would you describe your current job?

Patty: My title is Director of Knowledge Management & Social Strategy. My job focuses on organizing content, team workflows/documents and processes to build solutions for enterprise social collaboration. Our goal is to improve knowledge transfer, communication and collaboration.


Leigh: Are you familiar with the Jive WorkTypes? If so, what was your WorkType?

Patty: I'm an Explorer/Planner, which I learned was the predominant WorkType among Community Managers attending JW2014. I laughed out loud when I read the descriptors for my WorkType. It's so "me." At the next JiveWorld, I want to be in a room with other Explorers/Planners. We would get a LOT done!


Leigh: How do you think your WorkType(TM) plays into how you get work done in Jive?

Patty: Seeing connections between unrelated ideas, disparate concepts and different "systems" helps me identify ways to organize information and build relationships. This WorkType is key to building new things and creating new connections, which is what I love about my job.


Leigh: So how do you use Jive at work (internal community, external community, etc.)?

Patty: We launched an internal community in August 2014 for knowledge management, collaboration and communication. In December, we launched a Water Cooler site, EnvestnetConnect, to promote greater connectedness across offices and as a way to preserve our culture as we grow.

 

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

Patty: I use a PC at work. At home, I work with an iPad, and a Dell laptop. 


Leigh: Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

Patty: iPhone 5S

 

Leigh: Pick one word that best describes how you work.

Patty: Focused.


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

Patty: Twitter, NetFlix, iBooks, TED


Leigh: Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

Patty: My iPad holder, which I have connected to the handles of my road bike so I can "ride" on my trainer and watch "Call the Midwife."

 

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Leigh: How do you stay organized?

Patty: My mother taught me that "order in the house is order in the mind." I've applied that to work and home. One of my biggest compliments is from a friend who told me that it looks as if no one lives in my house! It's peaceful and serene.


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

Patty: I surround myself with Help documents for users, Jive Software announcements, and good articles about transformative change, like this one. Those inspire me to focus on the needs of our users and keeps the collaborative, positive spirit of "Working Out Loud" top of mind. I also have five cube mates (we're in a row of six) who are supporters of HIVE and provide useful feedback and encouragement. Being around them lifts me up.


Leigh: What do you listen to while you work?

Patty: I listen to the thrum of my colleagues on the phone serving our clients. That provides a wonderful backdrop to my thoughts and is inspiring as well.

 

Leigh: What's your best time-saving trick?

Patty: Using Amazon to send pre-made care packages to my son. He's a freshman at University of Wisconsin-Madison.


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Leigh: How do you balance work and life?

Patty: I'm very organized, both at work and at home. And, I think putting yourself in new places helps open the mind to new thoughts and ideas. My husband and I went on a bike trip in California wine country in October, 2014 and a change of scenery helps to refresh one's perspective.


Leigh: What's your sleep routine like?

Patty: I love sleep and do it as much as I can.


Leigh: Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Patty: I am an EXTROVERT, in all caps. JiveWorld14 was a great way for me to connect with so many people, but I imagine it would be difficult to be an introvert at JW!


Leigh: What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?

Patty: "Only connect." This comes from one of my favorite books, Howards End, by E.M. Forster and has resonated with me in the world of work and in my personal life. It's one of the reasons I met the delightful Libby Taylor and how I've met so many wonderful Jive employees and community members. I've learned so much from being a part of this community and I am grateful. 

 

It was such a pleasure learning more about your workstyle, Patty. Thanks so much for sharing your valuable time with us!

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.

   

elisa.steele

Jive's Bright Future

Posted by elisa.steele Feb 10, 2015

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?

Inevitably I’m asked at a party, “so what do you do?” And my answer of “community manager” never fails to confuse people. Sometimes they respond, “you mean, you run a senior citizen community?” or “you're like a property manager or something, right?”

 

People never seem to get what I do.


Calling all unicorns

 

Part project manager, sometimes party planner, temporary hand-holder and erstwhile cheerleader, community managers have a wide mix of skills and areas of knowledge where they must have expertise. See How to write a Community Manager job description for the dizzying array of talents required. It’s nearly impossible to find this list of skills in one person, so hiring for a community can be very difficult. On top of that, experienced CMs are few and far between. I would argue that community managers are the unicorn of the 21st century. So to all of the other unicorns out there I say: "UNITE!"

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    Join me on the community management rainbow!

 

I can say without a doubt that each of us is a rarity in our own company. Very few companies have more than one or two community managers on the entire staff. There's typically no job classification for us and we are often entered as Marketing Specialists or Communications Experts or even IT Managers. But we know the truth because we live and breathe community. Call us what you will... we are COMMUNITY MANAGERS.

 

It might be slightly dramatic to say that it can be a lonely life (I do love a little drama). At the very least, we must look to each other here in the Jive Community to get our tough questions answered and celebrate our wins because there is most likely no one else at your company that knows the trials and tribulations of 'community' better than you do.

 

Celebrating you and your communities

 

In the spirit of Community Manager Appreciation Day, we are celebrating you and your communities! Adam Mertz asked you to share your communities with us and you've responded with rich examples!

 

An amazing example of community came earlier this week from DIRECTV. Their human resources organization created a video you can see here which is authentic and entertaining while perfectly illustrating the power of community.

  CORE, DIRECTVs Jive instance, brought together their community in ways never before possible!

 

Other fantastic examples of communities were submitted via screen capture.

I'll highlight a few here but won't share them all because I don't want to steal Adam's thunder when he recognizes all of you with your Starbucks rewards!

 

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   The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas | The Clive community

 

 

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   LANDesk | External Community


 

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    RingTo | RingTo support community

 

 

And thank you to everyone who submitted screen captures... we love and appreciate you all!

 

Have you hugged your community manager today?

 

At the end of the day, managing a community is an exciting yet exhausting undertaking: meeting new people, constantly putting out fires, running around from group to group, fixing problems on the fly, handing out virtual hugs when needed. Community managers are required to be everywhere at once yet are often behind the scenes moving mountains that look like molehills. I know that when I look into the tired eyes of another community manager, I just KNOW what the other person is thinking.

 

We do this because we love it.

 

So to all my brothers and sisters in community, Happy "Unicorn" Day!

    I would've bought you this fabulous greeting card for CMAD day but they were all out of stock.

You might remember Mike Muscato from JiveWorld14. He's a Sr. Developer for Knowledge Management Systems & Social Media Support at T-Mobile and had his photo featured on Vote on the best attendee photo of JiveWorld14!  Since the How I Work interviews were a little scarce on developers, I figured we'd give Mike the spotlight! There's some developer specific questions in the mix below (look for the *).

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   Mike at his desk... where the magic happens!

 

Libby: Where do you work?

Mike Muscato:  I work for the Uncarrier, T-Mobile USA, a national provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services and CNN’s top tech company of 2014 (US).  I live in the high-desert near Albuquerque, NM but work for our headquarters in Bellevue, WA.  We have an office in Albuquerque where I spend about 60-70% of my time, the rest of the time I work from my home in the mountains about 30 miles outside of ABQ.

 

LT: How would you describe your current job?

Mike:  By title I’m a Senior Web Developer, but in reality I’m a jack-of-all-trades of sorts.  I started working for T-Mobile when the company was still young as a first-tier customer service agent.  As I grew with the company, I got to participate in many facets of the enterprise including customer service, training, IT, business strategy, and analysis.  Our team manages our Jive communities including large customization efforts, and we also run an independent development shop where we create custom applications, APIs, and middleware to make magic happen.  Right now, in addition to all the standard project management, code geekery, and system administration, I’m working on a project to implement some more formal software development practices and standards within our team.

 

LT: Are you familiar with the Jive WorkTypes? If so, what was your WorkType?

Mike:  I am an Energizer.  The description fits me well; when projects get tough or people get discouraged I tend to take on a project manager-like role and help break things down and establish realistic timelines to make sure the work gets done.  The statement, "You are the go-to-person for getting things  D-O-N-E,” is 100% on point!  I’m a very analytical person, and can almost always come up with solutions even when others have said it’s “impossible."

 

LT: How do you think your WorkType plays into how you get work done in Jive?

Mike:   Over and over again, I’ve used Jive as my project management headquarters!  Depending on the nature of the project, I’ll use Jive groups to brainstorm and capture requirements, publish wireframes or spec documents, gain approvals, and even map timelines and milestones.  Having all the content in one intuitive location has always been beneficial for me and my project stakeholders.

 

LT: Did your team have a chance to take the WorkType Finder quiz? Have you all talked about your results?

Mike:   We did, right before JiveWorld14.  We all agreed that the WorkTypes matched our styles closely and were similar to other “personality” type assessments such as DiSC profiles.

 

LT: What was your favorite part of attending JiveWorld this year?

Mike:  The developer’s keynote was the best for me, it seems like every year’s keynote has one or two little things that turn out to be profound ah-ha moments.  The Git presentation along with some of the other developer sessions really reinforced the desire and need for me and my team to clean up our web development processes.

 

LT: So how do you use Jive at work (internal community, external community, etc.)?

Mike:  We have several Jive communities that we use for pretty much the full spectrum of functions.  We have an internal community primarily used as a knowledge base and discussion forum for our customer service teams, but business groups also use the internal community for collaboration, projects, and other ad-hoc communication needs.  We also have a customer facing support community (support.t-mobile.com) where customers can find information and documentation, or have peer-to-peer discussions.  In addition to these two communities, we also have several other read-only communities that support our sales, retail, and partner brands (e.g. support.gosmartmobile.com).  Whether we’re using Jive as full blown collaborative communication platforms, or as read-only knowledge bases, we’ve always found tons of value in Jive’s ability to customize, tweak, and hack them to fit our mold.  I like Jive because it doesn’t make me rage within 10 seconds like some other systems I use.

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   Welcome to T-Mobile Support, one of the sites Mike mentions above.

 

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

Mike:  I’m an iHole, through and through.  I use a Mac Book Pro with an external monitor, and with the new features in OSX Yosemite my iPad Air 2 and iPhone have become third and fourth monitors in a way.  I also have a PC that I typically use via remote desktop, but only for legacy company tools that require IE, or for testing IE compatibility of my code.

 

LT: Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

Mike:  Which one?  Hahah!  For an all-around, do anything anywhere, rock solid dependable device I’ll have to say my iPhone 6.  Once upon a time, I was a total Android geek – custom ROMs, hackery, etc…  But the stability of the iPhone and its integration ability with the mac won me over.  It may not do everything that 'those other phones' do; but what it does, it does really REALLY well.  I think consistency is the key here.

 

LT: What’s your favorite programming language?*

Mike:  That’s a hard one to answer.  I have to give credit to good ole’ BASIC on the Commodore-64; without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  In the early 2K years, I was hardcore with ASP/VBscript and it’s still probably my most fluent language.  Hopping forward to the modern languages, I’m partial to C-based languages, though, as they all follow similar conventions.  For customizing Jive, Javascript/jQuery rocks!  JS has become such a powerful language in the last few years, and now with JSON APIs, we can do almost anything with the right client/server relationship.  For the server side stuff, I’m loving PHP right now because it handles things like JSON so cleanly and you don’t have to think hard about the syntax when switching between JS and PHP.

 

LT: Do you have a favorite editing tool?*

Mike:  Komodo Edit.  It handles syntax highlighting and predictive text pretty well, and I like the easily customizable color themes.

 

LT: Who’s your developer hero?*

Mike:  A good old friend of mine from high school and college, Jared.  When I was struggling in my C++ class, he took the time to break down the more complicated topics into layman’s terms for me, and even gave me code samples that I was able to adapt to finish my projects successfully.

 

LT: Pick one word that best describes how you work.

Mike:  “Details"

 

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

Mike:  Coffee, that’s a tool, right? It seems to ‘light up’ the parts of my brain that solve puzzles.  After that, a good SQL database manager; without it we couldn’t make the custom magic happen.  Lastly, Photoshop for everything from mockups, to custom artwork, to t-shirt designs.

 

LT: Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

Mike:  My rock climbing cams.  Small machines that keep me safe hundreds (or thousands) of feet off the deck.

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  Developing a community can feel like climbing a mountain with your bare hands. Except the real thing is clearly much more dangerous!

 

LT: How do you stay organized? What's your favorite to-do list manager?

Mike:  For a long time, it was good old paper and pencil – I used a personal adaptation of the Franklin-Covey method to track notes and deliverables.  This year, though, I’ve been experimenting with Apple’s Reminders app.  Having all my to-do lists and their respective notes synced and available on all my devices has proven to be really handy.

 

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

Mike:  I spend about 60-70% of my time in the office where I have a large cubicle against a wall of windows (see the picture at the top of the interview), the walls of my desk are decorated with photos of family, drawings from my son, awards and recognition, and nostalgia from the ‘old days’ of cellular phones.  I’m a wee bit cluttered, but overall my desk top is in good order, with a stack of graph paper always at hand for any sketching needs.  At home, I have a dedicated room that my wife and I use for our office.  She works from home full time, so I guess you can say I have a great view any time I’m working from home. When I get tired of looking at her, though, here’s the view from our office window…Yes, it snows in New Mexico!

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   Nice view, right?!

 

LT: What do you listen to while you work?

Mike:  I’m not much of a music-while-working person.  I’m a bit ADD’ish so music tends to derail my thoughts.  I actually appreciate silence quite a bit and will sometimes put in my headphones just to use as ear plugs to block out the droning chatter of the call center reps.  When I do listen to music, though, I like something fast and energetic – heavy metal and hip-hop are my go-to genres, but I like and can appreciate almost any kind of well composed tunes.

 

LT: What's your best time-saving trick?

Mike:  This one’s a bit of a paradox…but I really like to comment the heck out of my code.  Even though it takes longer initially, when I have to go back months or years later to maintain something it saves me tons of time from having to reverse engineer what I had written previously.  “Future proofing!"

 

LT: How do you balance work and life?

Mike:  Life and family comes first, period!  My wife, son, and I all have a bunch of extra-curricular activities so I have to put “hard stops” on my work days.  I like to live in the moment and I work in order to have amazing adventures in life – I don’t live-to-work.  T-Mobile has a good culture of work/life balance and respects the boundaries we establish.  Most of the time, the work isn’t *that* critical.

 

LT: What's your sleep routine like?

Mike:  Not the best.  I get up around 5 am to get ready for work and get my son ready for school.  After work, we usually have some sort of athletic thing or school projects to work on, then dinner, etc… and by the time I’m winding down for the night, it’s 11 pm or later.  Weekends are no exception, but substitute climbing, hiking, or other outdoor things for “work."  Six hours or less of sleep is typical, 7 days a week.

 

LT: Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Mike:  I like to call myself a closet introvert.  At work I’ve trained myself to do what needs to be done and with all the connections I’ve made over the years my work life is really just a huge extension of my introvert ‘bubble.’  I would guess that most of my coworkers would not immediately judge me to be an introvert.  On the other hand, put me in a social situation with strangers and I shut right down, becoming the ‘quiet observer.’

 

LT: What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?

Mike:  “Live in the NOW!”  My dad always taught me that what’s happening right now is what’s most important.  Try not to dwell on the past, as those are just memories and there’s nothing we can do to change them.  Don’t stress about the future, because you can only plan so much before it becomes anxiety.

Mike Muscato_NOW profile-image-display.png

   Here's a picture of Mike living-in-the-now with his family. Looks like an adventure!


My great thanks to Mike for coming up with such great answers to these questions. I hope you enjoyed the interview!

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I just finished Clive Thompson’s Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better and really enjoyed it. So much of what we read about technology these days is doom and gloom that I wanted to spend time on something a little more positive. And turns out, there’s much to be positive about.

 

There are many stand-out moments in the book. One is the exploration of ambient awareness — how social media often makes our in-person connections stronger because we know so much about each other’s minutia that we can skip the small talk and jump straight to the important stuff when we see each other.

 

But the part I want to elaborate on a little bit here is what historical events tell us about the important criteria to meet for collective thinking to be successful. I think it's pretty relevant to what we do here at Jive. Clive points out four important aspects of successful online collaboration:

 

  1. Collective thinking requires a focused problem to solve. One disastrous story Clive tells is when the LA Times create a wiki page on the Iraq War and encouraged people to edit it. No focused outcome = a rapid decline into the bottom half of the internet. But give people a common problem to solve — like “Which tent hospitals in Cairo need help, and what do they need?”, and people start to shine together.
  2. Collective problem solving requires a mix of contributors. Specifically, it needs to have really big central contributors, and then a lot of people making small contributions to push the solution forward. As Clive puts it, “these hard-core and lightweight contributors form a symbiotic whole,” coming up with the best solution in the fastest possible way.
  3. Collective thinking requires a culture of “good faith collaboration”. Contributors need to struggle constantly to remain polite to each other. And it is a struggle, but a necessary one. As Anil Dash once said, if your website’s full of assholes, it’s your fault.
  4. To be really smart an online group can’t have too much contact with each other. This sounds counterintuitive, but the evidence supporting the point is pretty overwhelming. Clive goes over a few examples that shows that “traditional brainstorming simply doesn’t work as well as thinking alone, then pooling results.” This also explains why Design Studio is such an effective way to solve design problems. So one of the secrets of online collaboration is that it “inherently fits the model of people working together intimately but remotely,” as Clive puts it.

 

I think it would be great for us to think through these principles as we design our collaboration environments, and as we teach people how to use them. What have you seen works or doesn't work in your collaborative communities?

Why use Jive for project management?

Jive combines web-based documentation accessible from anywhere with powerful collaborative discussions. It provides a fantastic search tool that makes finding content and conversations incredibly simple.  User profiles contain rich information about skills, experiences, and involvement.  All of these powerful tools make Jive a project manager's best friend.  Your team can create, share, collaborate, and take action on the project in a single, unified project hub.Blog Pic 1.png

 

At my last company, project collateral was posted in network folders, SharePoint sites, bounced back and forth in OneNote, or kept on people's hard drives, and things we're emailed so wildly and blindly that you never really knew how current or accurate any of your documentation was.

 

On Jive, there is no question about what is the true version because there is only one place to look for the source of truth, and you can easily lookup the version history for any document.  Being able to keep all project collateral in a single place where it can quickly and easily be created, modified and referenced, is a huge advantage.  Having all of your project discussions and collateral open and accessible to the team, e-mail lists and 'reply alls' vanish because your team is connected to what's important.

 

Jive content is lightweight, easy to author and modify with advanced styling as needed, and is easier to digest than 8.5" x 11" formatted Word documents or verbose e-mail 'reply-all' threads.  The content itself becomes collaborative, with the power to comment, reply, like, and mark with a structured outcome, and share.  With the introduction of Responsive Mobile Web in the Jive Fall 2014 Cloud Release, the same rich documentation and discussion content you view on desktop can be seen on our most personal computers: our smartphones.

 

With all of these factors in play, Jive doesn't just connect people to content from anywhere; it connects them to each other.  The alignment and clarity teams get by using Jive enables them to work better together.

 

Setting up your project

Checkout this description of Jive Projects from Jive Places Overview:

Projects can have unique page layouts just as Groups and Spaces can, but the similarities stop there. Projects are required to be nested within a Space or a Group, cannot have unique permissions associated with them, and have no management console. They inherit all permissions and visibility from whatever Space or Group they are attached to. These are best used for short, time-based projects, or helping increase focus of certain discussions; e.g. Marketing Ops has a specific Campaign with multiple types of documents and discussions and calendars. This allows a neater level of drill-down than keeping content and discussions at the space level.

Where should I create my project?

The simplest thing to do is to create a Jive Group as the parent Place for your Project.  The Group should have a descriptive name that clearly identifies what the Project(s) within that Group are all about.  The Group has it's own landing page and content separate from the content that will live in the child Project.  I typically layout these Groups as a simple landing page for the various Projects that fall into that program, and I encourage people not to post Project-related content in the parent Group.  The parent Group could serve an over-arching purpose, such as the master container for an entire program of projects, or for a particular team that work together executing projects; It's up to you to determine an information hierarchy that makes the most sense.  Just remember that your project doesn't have it's owner permissions -- it inherits the permissioning of the parent Place.

 

The more accessible a Project is, the easier it is for me to solicit help cross-functionally, as well as keep my colleagues informed about the day-to-day happenings of the project and share the deliverables and lessons learned with others.  That's why I generally advise to start with an open project, on only make the Project private or secret when it's necessary to do so.

 

If you're using a Space as the parent container for your Project, choose one that is accessible to all of the users that will need access to the project discussions and content (you may need to work with your Community Manager to determine where the best place to put your Project will be if you are in need of tight, system admin-controlled permissioning).  If the Space you're using has already been provisioned and the layouts for that Space are already serving another specific purpose, consult with your Community Manager or the owner of that Space to determine how best your project could be displayed on that Space landing page.

 

Activity vs. Overview page

Beginning with the advent of Purposeful Places, Jive offers Place owners the choice of using lighter-weight Activity-driven landing pages for their Place pages, or using more elaborate widgetized Overview pages.

 

Two factors weigh in on whether I use and Activity page or an Overview page: 1) Team size, and 2) Content complexity.

 

I prefer to err on the side of Activity pages, since they're lighter and available on Responsive Mobile Web, and I only use an Overview page when I know that my project needs a more curated presentation.  If I'm working with a team of a dozen or less, and I only need to provide some links to a few important docs, events, featured content, or trackers, then I use and Activity page.  If I'm working with a larger team, or if I need to present lots of information on the landing page, Overview is more suited to the task.

 

Content Types

Along with permissions, Projects also inherit the content types that are configured on the parent Place.  Determining what kind of content types to have available in your Project is all about deciding what 'Work am I going to do within Jive?'  Here's how I use the following content types within my projects:

 

Documents

Jive Docs are the repositories for some of my most important project collateral.  These could be anything you would use a Doc for, from meeting notes to configuration guides or technical walkthroughs to project charters or resource trackers and everything else in between.  They're collaborative, meaning by default anybody within the Project can author and update Docs, comment on Docs, and take Action or apply Structured Outcomes to Docs.

 

Discussions

Discussions become the replacement for e-mail lists in team communication.  They're used to discuss open issues, provide updates to the team, and solicit help from others.

 

By marking a Discussion as a Question, then the conversation transforms and it's purpose becomes finding a resolution.  People who participate in the discussion can indicate when other people's replies are helpful towards achieving and answer, and once that answer has been posted to the discussion, either the Project owner or the person who started the discussion can mark their answer as Correct.  Once marked, the Correct Answer is displayed immediately following the original Question.  This means that somebody else navigating to this thread to learn about the issue doesn't have to dig through a miles-long reply-all jumble of e-mail land alphabet soup to try to piece together the context of what happened and what the answer is-- They can just look at the answer, right there in front of them.

 

Blogs

Whether or not your Project has a Blog depends on two things: 1) Are Blogs enabled on the parent Place, and 2) Are Blogs enabled in the Project settings?  Once both of those are true, you get a Blog container that displays all of your Project Blog posts at company.community.com/myprojecturl/blog.

 

I use Blog posts for regular status reports.  Why use a Blog Post for a status report?  Couldn't I just use a Doc?  Well, yes, I could.  But there is something much more organic about a 'Blog.'  Docs store information, but Blogs tell stories.  While a status report requires important information be passed along to the customer, it's also a chance to remind everybody that there are human beings on the other end of the phone, telling the story of their work.

 

There are functional advantages to using a Blog, too.  In Jive, it's possible to follow just a Place's Blog without following the entire Place.  This is extremely useful for stakeholders and executives who want to receive regular updates about projects, but don't necessarily need updates on every piece of project collateral.  They can follow just the status report Blog in order to focus only on what matters to them: the story of the project unfolding.

 

Events

Lots of teams use personal calendars for finding the time to collaborate.  Adding Events in Jive shouldn't be thought of as a replacement for personal calendars, but a way to augment the personal calendar with key events that take on a visible identity within the context of a project.  For example, when running software projects, I don't create an Event for every single meeting the team has, but I do create Events for key activities like a major due date or a production deployment.  Creating the Event in Jive allows people to add it to their personal calendars, as well as participate in the collaborative discussion within the Project, where it is visible to everybody and on the forefront of everybody's minds, which can maintain alignment amongst team members.

 

Categories

Categories are useful in projects that may contain a lot of content.  If you have discussions, open issues, technical documentation, meeting notes, slide decks, contracts, and many other sorts of content in the same Project, then it can be especially helpful for those trying to look up that content later to have an extra tool to look for that content.  Categories, however, require a great deal of discipline.  You cannot just create categories willy-nilly and expect everybody to always use them, or always categorize things correctly.  Categories require ongoing curation by the Project Manager to ensure all of the content in a Project is organized properly.

 

Thanks for checking out this post!  I'll be following up with a post that dives into using Activity and Overview pages to lay out your project.

What is the Snuggle Express?

The Oregon Humane Society has a creative fundraising effort where groups that raise $1000 get an hour of puppies and kittens delivered to their locations for supervised cuddling! What's not to love about that idea?

 

A group of Jivers heard about this effort and got together to bring the Snuggle Express to Jive. We raised over $1000 for the Oregon Humane Society in a matter of hours. Seeing how quickly we were able to raise this amount of money, we felt that we should try and do the same thing one more time.  This time however, the Snuggle Express would make its way to an under represented school in Portland. And did Jivers ever deliver. Special shout out goes to Jiver Josh Leckbee for contributing a significant dollar amount to make this happen. 

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Well done, Josh, well done.

 

The school that was chosen to receive the Snuggle Express was a SUN Community School | Multnomah County  in outer SE Portland called Cherry Park. Never one to turn down a snuggle, Liz Savage went there on Jive's behalf to hang out and see the lucky kids interacting with the same insanely cute kittens and puppies we had here at our Jive office. Judging by the smiles on their faces and the gleams in their eyes - they really appreciated it too.


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In case these pictures aren't enough, here's one more shot to bring the holiday puppy spirit to your souls.

 

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Feels good doesn't it?

 

Happy holidays, everyone!

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