Jive is based on something we call the "What Matters" premise. "What Matters" is what Jive defines as the three pillars of any system focused on connecting People, sharing Content, and the Places that the content lives in. This is a recurring theme in many systems, whether you are looking at Sharepoint, Documentum, Jive, etc.; People create content, and content has to live somewhere. Jive is different from CMS and CRM systems in that Jive is built around collaboration, honing on the People pillar of What Matters. This unique focus allows Jive to leverage rich content management strategies and workflow capabilities of other platforms like Sharepoint, Salesforce.com, etc., to
There are several different types of content, seen here on the right. Of the three places types, each has slightly different functionality and purpose.
Spaces are the high-level, business unit organization containers. Spaces allow access to the rich Jive admin console with deep, unique permissioning capabilities. Beyond this, Spaces can have nested spaces. This means that a space "Sales" could have a subspace for each region of sales. This could result in a similar layout for each business group, as laid out below. Spaces tend to live beyond the tenure of employees as they are the major areas of communication to large groups. Most content will live within spaces.
By comparison, Groups are much flatter and less robust than spaces. In the scheme of how groups are managed by an admin, controls and permissions are nowhere near as rich and complex as spaces. In being flatter, groups allow better ad-hoc collaboration, without disrupting major communication pathways From the end-user perspective, Groups look very similar, but there are a few key differences:
- Most importantly, groups are tangential to spaces. They do not live within spaces, and spaces cannot live within groups.
This is extremely important when looking at the flow of communications, privileges, and where content lives in a community.
- Groups cannot nest within other groups; e.g. you cannot have Group A1 as a Subgroup of Group A. This would be a time to use Spaces
- See the difference between the full Jive admin console Spaces use and how to manage a Group
Different from each of the former are Projects. 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.
Which one do I use?
The guidance of Jive strategy is that in most instances, space creation capabilities should be limited to admins and community managers. Groups can be created by users, or community managers via request from the community. In building new communities, the guidance of Strategy would be to look first at largest places of interaction and processes involved with the groups interacting there.
There are two essential perspectives necessary for reasoning when to use spaces or groups:
Scope of Communications:
Groups, Spaces, and Projects each have different followers and members. The best way to look at what type of place to use is based on the communications needed. Spaces tend to be the best places for one-to-many, or large scope communications. This is for several reasons:
- Spaces tend to be laid out based on Business Unit or Org Chart. Because of this, different subspaces based on Business Units or sub-units allow different scopes of communication.
- Relate the scope of communication to the group size in the orgchart
- This is the best association of Jive as a communication platform, again hitting
Communicating to your global sales force, or having each of your regional leaders communicate
to their org specifically is a perfect example of how communication with nested spaces operates within a Jive community. As groups cannot nest, it becomes extremely difficult to communicate across multiple groups easily. Beyond divvying communication as associated by org, this allows end-users searching for content to go to specific spaces for specific pieces of content. The illustration above is not just representative of the scope of communications, but the broadness of topics and content
Cross Functional Collaboration:
Teams in different functions such as Marketing, Sales, Engineering, and others are frequently required to work across Business Units or traditional silos to accomplish strategic business objectives. Taking a product to market is a perfect example of this, and when to use Groups instead of spaces. While each business unit will likely operate fairly independently of the others in their day to day, cross functional collaboration is required to pull together a strategic project.
The below map is a relationship between the Product Launch project management group, and the spaces where communication is traditionally pushed.
Groups do not have to only be pulled together for strategic business initiatives, but can also be pulled together around social activities, etc. The biggest benefit, jumping back to the Groups overview above, is the flatness of a group.
A look at the admin consoles
The different admin "consoles" for spaces/Jive and groups within Jive. The group "admin console" is a lightweight member management and page layout control, whereas spaces have rich permissioning that can be tied to security groups associated with LDAP, etc.
The below images should illustrate the flatness and simplicity of a group, compared with the potential complexity of a space.
Full Jive Admin Console:
Group Admin Console: