Best Practices: Creating a Group/Community

Version 8

    As noted in my comment below, I definitely borrowed from a doc I found here in the JC & then tweaked for my purposes. Wish I could remember where so I could reference it, so that I can give credit where due.

    Creating a community can be a very powerful thing. It can pull people together for a common purpose, energize a team, and build morale and rapport across teams and geographies. But sometimes, it might be challenging to get started.

     

    Here are some best practices to engage in before you get started:

     

    • Define clear and realistic objectives around your collaboration area.  Be as specific as possible, and consider who your "end state" audience will be. Ask yourself:
      • What do I want my team/community to accomplish with this?
      • Better/more interaction?
      • Less emails?
      • Use Jive to support my team processes?
      • Make it easier to interact with others across the company?

     

    • Determine who the initial members/participants will be. Make sure they understand why their input is important and what is expected of them.
      • Recruit team members or others that you think might be interested. Hold an informal meeting to share your ideas and discuss. It can even be as informal as having lunch together-- the point is to start talking to someone about your ideas!
      • Gather together a core group of individuals who want to commit to participating regularly; this may be 1 - 2 people, or could be more, depending on how large your overall audience for the community might be. Use your best judgment, and remember that including associates from affected areas up front will help get their buy-in later.
      • Share your goals with this group and get their input

     

    • Reach out to your manager and share your plan and objectives.
      • Discuss the value of creating this community and the long-term benefits.
      • If you are creating a Group that is essentially a team site - be sure to incorporate/address the goals of the team or department, and show how using Jive helps accomplish those goals
      • If you are creating a Group that is a Community of Interest or Community of Practice, consider recruiting a sponsor

     

    • Get the training you need
      • Leverage the Getting Started training materials to learn your way around Jive.
      • Hold informal lunch-n-learns with your core group to make sure you understand the functionality Jive offers.
      • Use what you learn about the functionality to further refine your goals.

     

    • Leverage your Internal Enterprise CM where needed (hint: you can find her in Jive! Try the Advocate Community, the [jive] Support Community, or mention @yourcommunitymanager in your post/discussion question

     

    • Determine what content you will seed prior to opening your Group up to other users. Think quality over quantity. What you seed will depend on your goals. for example:
      • If one of your goals is to promote and drive discussions to Jive (and away from email), seed initial discussion questions & get some of your core team to jump in on the discussion

     

    • Consider using the blog feature to share perspectives and expert viewpoints. Using this feature can be a valuable way for a team leader to reach out to the team/community, or to share news (or both at the same time).
      • Who will author blog posts and how often? - you can leave the blogging function open to your community, or plan out a schedule of who & when blog posts will be made.

     

    • If you have needs or concerns specific to your team or community, consider developing a quick-start guide for them to use. Also, check out the Getting Started materials to see if there is information there that you can leverage. Consider including:
      • Do's and don'ts for behavior on Jive (e.g., "Do" be bold and create content; "Don't" take it personally if someone edits your content. We can all benefit from this type of collaboration, with the end result being an up to date and accurate document of our collective knowledge.")
      • If you think a certain page layout will work for your team when creating documents, create a template for members to use.
      • Highlight functionality that you expect members to use, and offer tips. For example using Categories is a change from our old wiki, where page hierarchies existed. If you plan on using categories in your Group,  educate your team on how to use them, or check out the Getting Started materials for more information.
    • Create communications and marketing activities to roll out your group to your wider audience. You might consider:
      • targeted communications to interested individuals
      • set up lunch-n-learns for your community members to help them learn their way around Jive
      • Schedule "guest appearances" in team meetings throughout your department (if applicable) or offer this up to your community members. Use these appearances to hype your new community and get associates excited about using it.