As the countdown toward our first-ever Jive launch ticks forward, I thought I'd share some thoughts on where my head is at, so to speak. We have branded our instance "Pulse", and our production environment will go live at the end of April, with our "url release" to be rolled out to specific audiences over the month of May. I've been in the role of Internal Community Manager for almost 2 years, and the role has grown quite a bit in that time. Rolling over to Pulse will present exciting new changes and opportunities. My only wish is that I could clone myself, or somehow magically find 20 more hours in my week. Perhaps they're hiding in the corner with my winter gear.
"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."
- Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
Well, isn't that the truth? Things may change around us all the time, but the only way to be certain that they change in a way that is meaningful to our own experience is to be a part of that change.
It is both exciting and scary to be part of change. Mostly exciting, really. Though sometimes I wonder if I am underselling the "scary"-- Should I pay more attention to it ("the scary")? Should I hold more meetings? Create more presentations? Generally do more stuff?? Well, of course the answer is yes, because there is always more stuff to do. But I try to keep my eye on the prize, and remember that at the end of the day I need to focus on the things that matter.
Our rollout is scheduled to start in May, with release of our Jive url to specific audiences. Our Advocates will be at the forefront of this, and I am anticipating great activity from them. My goal was to reach 1% of our population (50k), and we are now at 420 advocates. They are well dispersed throughout our geographic footprint, across lines of business, and job levels. I've been engaging them in wiki discussions on topics such as introducing Jive functionality, rewards, barriers to convincing others to use the platform, feedback on 'rules of engagement' for advocates, naming our new platform, and migration of content to the new platform.
I'm also spending significant time managing the wiki groups that will be moved over when the time comes. We've got about 245 groups, and they've been prioritized as such:
- beta groups: there are a small number of these, to be moved over on a tight deadline so that we have seeded content prior to enterprise rollout
- high-usage groups: groups with 100 pages or more (most have over 300)-- these groups will get special care
- and "the rest": groups with less than 100 pages and typically low frequency of usage (though not to say they still don't have relevant content)
In my conversations with current wiki Admins, it is interesting to hear their questions and thoughts about what the new platform will bring. There will be the usual challenges regarding awareness, education, training, and change management. I am happy to say that I am just one part of an excellent team, who are each working diligently on this project. It makes me feel better to know they're there.
Overall, there is some great general excitement from the people I've already socialized the upcoming changes with (advocates, high-usage wiki Admins), and most people I talk to are ready for the new social features Jive offers (new to us, this will be a big change). These new features are expected to shift the way we work and the way we interact with each other. Will it replace face-to-face interactions? Of course not. In-person interactions will always be essential to connecting with others. But, it does have the potential to help us get the information we need more quickly, break down silos, flatten the organization, drive innovation, and engage our associates in new or different ways. And if we let it, it could even reduce the amount of emails we produce.
So, changes are on the way. . .in the post, if you will. How we get there from here is up to us.