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In May 2012, we rolled out Jive to our UK and Canada offices, as well as to some super users in the US (you can read more here: The First 3 Weeks and here: 3 Months Since Soft Launch. . .All I Can Say Is Wow!). In December, we rolled out enterprise-wide to an audience of approximately 55k. With 70, 242 pieces of content created so far (total since soft launch in May 2012), it's been a whirlwind, and I suspect that 2013 will be the same.


What I've learned so far:


Groups (and Bunnies) are like Calculators. They multiply FAST!

We have approximately 2900 groups. In our old platform, we topped out at about 300-325 groups. I love that we have allowed users to form their own groups without any barriers to entry (in the old platform, users were required to take a class before I would build their group). To create a process flow around group creation would be cumbersome for the user and hinder adoption. Some challenges that have arisen: We have no way to formally categorize the types of groups (team sites, community of practice, social). It would be helpful to build this into the group creation workflow so that group owners could check a category-- by 'forcing" this choice, we could then pull a report to show the breakdown of group types. In the meantime, we can roll out a voluntary tagging strategy for individuals to  tag their groups. Emerging social (non-work) categories of groups include: alumni, sports teams/fan sites, movies, television, music, fitness, and hobbies. Approximately 20% of our groups fall into these categories. That means that the 80% majority of our groups are either team sites, project or program based, or Community of Practices.



Can I Get a POC, Please?

I am happy to see that the majority of our groups follow the best practice of assigning more than one admin to their group. This is a BP that I emphasize while giving my “Groups 101” class. While it's great that we can assign multiple administrators to groups, sometimes it is difficult to track down the main POC for a group. Which brings me to a shameless plug for my idea that you can vote on if you are so moved:

My original idea was to designate and display the main point of contact for a group on the overview page, but really, it could be on the People tab as well, as long as it's there somewhere.



I Thought Everyone Used Google

I admit it, I am guilty of assuming. Our users are frustrated with using Search, and they are having a hard time finding things. I am a bit baffled by this, but perhaps I am so used to using this kind of tool that the spotlight search seems easy to me. The idea of spotlight search is not new, however, I guess not everyone uses Google. We will need to put some effort into educating users on how to use it to their advantage. It seems our users are typing in a search term and hitting enter, which yields too many results. I am also wondering if this is just part of the learning curve-- of course it is challenging to find things in a new system-- it is new, after all. I've written two blog posts featuring search tips, and some of my advocates have been blogging tips as well. And, a broader plan to educate our audience on using search is underway.



People Like Points

I can't get over how some folks just really love their points. We have a basic points system set up (out of the box functionality), and have assigned a few items a higher point value than others (for example, to encourage ideation, ideas & comments on ideas get more points than creating other items). Some folks will do what they can to become a “master” in the system. I think the enthusiasm for the points system points to a future for a more sophisticated gamification model. That said, we are not really ready for it. We need to continue to focus on basic adoption. But when the time comes, I have loads of ideas on how to roll out a badging system. . .

Blogging is Popular

With approximately 13% of our content as blog posts (approx. 9100 posts), I am happy to see that blogging has become quite a popular way for individuals to extend their reach across the company. I see folks at all levels using their personal blogs to share information about their team goals, priorities, and recognize others for great work. For comparison: Our old platform only had about 160 individuals blogging, with a total of 3,184 blog posts in all of 2011. I've seen quite a number of "people" managers step to the plate with this new platform and really leverage their blog to communicate with their team. Bravo!

More, More, More!

People want more. I've already gotten requests for all sorts of functionality, which tells me that people are thinking of how they can best use Jive to get their work done. Some of the items requested: workflow creation, forms creation (we have a workaround in place), integration of events with Outlook, use Jive as a front end to a database (which we don't allow), a more robust badging system, more details for member lists (when exported from a group). Our team is working on putting an enhancement request process in place, so it should be interesting to see what types of requests are made vs which ones can actually be acted upon to improve the user experience.

Ok, I lied. I can say a lot more than "Wow!" I could've said "Holy Smokes!" or "Jiminy Cricket!" but really, after I pause and take a deep breath, I am able to collect my thoughts. Here they are:


Boy, they're not kidding when they say time flies. It is already the middle of August, and I feel like JiveWorld is just around the corner. . .good thing, too, since I could use a new avatar photo (photo booths this year? I hope so!)


It's been 3 months since we started our soft launch of our first ever Jive instance (which we call Pulse), and while there is so much to do, we've already accomplished a lot! I thought I'd share a bit more about where we are to date:

  • 13,339 active users. We've only advertised to about 1,000 users, so we've grown virally in the last several months.
  • 7,083 documents created
  • 2,025 comments on documents
  • 506 blog posts
  • 1,372 comments on blog posts
  • 931 groups launched (3x what we had in our old platform)
    *note: Our spaces are reserved for those who are in charge of "official communications" & will be rolled out in the December time frame.
  • 64 job aids provided
  • 17 video tutorials


Our team has trained employees in our main locations, including UK, Canada, and Plano, TX. Training efforts are ongoing through our Getting Started space where we house the job aids, and many Advocates have also offered demos/training to their own teams.


Our UK and Canada offices have done a superb job of rolling out their main spaces. In the UK, they are using a tagged content widget to allow anyone to surface content for their main page (the equivalent of the home page of their 'intranet'). Bold move!

Our Canada office put together an excellent launch video, complete with an executive soundbite!


I ran a 6-week Advocate Challenge, wherein every week I issued a new challenge for our advocates to complete, such as: join the advocate community, add your profile photo & avatar, fill out your profile, start a discussion, follow people & content, share content. Advocates self-reported completion of these challenges. A random drawing for gift cards was held for those who completed the challenges. About 200 Advocates participated in the challenges (our distribution list reaches about 500).


I just kicked off a second round of challenges, which asks a little more of our Advocates. The challenges are: Share a success story about how you are using Pulse, Give a Pulse demo, write and share an elevator speech, and take a picture of our Pulse logo with your team or community & post it (sort of like a flat Stanley game, or the garden gnome game, if you are familiar with those). Information I glean from these challenges is going to be used in a 'Soft Launch Appreciation' week where we highlight those who have really jumped in and embraced the platform.


As the overall Community Manager, much of my time is filled in with consultations, training, answering questions in Pulse, and managing groups. This is very much as I expected and as it should be. I suspect that the consultation and training will continue to be heavy until early next year.


Interesting trends:

  • 42 alumni groups have been created- these did not exist in our old platform
  • When migrating from our old platform, several groups have taken the opportunity to split out their old group into several groups in Pulse
  • In some cases, projects are being used as sub-groups. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I really don't see the need to do this, since a group can be created separately and surfaced via a widget. But, if someone uses a project as a sub-group, then they can see them all listed in their projects tab, which I understand would be convenient.


Most of what I mention above is from my perspective as Community Manager. The rest of our team is still hard at work, hammering out the specifics and details of performance testing, various bugs, and change management plans. Our company-wide announcement should come out in about another month, so it will be interesting to see what kind of spikes we see when that happens. Since all of my power users are already in Pulse, I don't necessarily anticipate a spike in group formation, but do think it will grow steadily. I am already combing the JC for best practices on managing the proliferation of groups, and it seems that any way you slice it, there is a manual component to managing groups. So, I've got my work cut out for me!


The First 3 Weeks

Posted by Melissa.Rosen Champion Jun 5, 2012

It's been 3 weeks since we launched Jive, and it has been quite busy, but in the best kind of way. Sometimes I feel a bit distanced from the activity, since much of it happens while individuals are working behind their computer (myself included). But then, I get notices in my Jive Inbox and comments and likes on my pages, and that makes me feel connected again. I wish I could make more in-person appearances with my Advocate group and wiki users in general, but with a population of ~50k, it is nearly impossible for myself or my team to handle all the requests for appearances, let alone even a few of them.


In the past three weeks:

231 out of 535 Advocates have taken the step to join the community I set up in Jive (some with prompting, some without)

I've written 11 blog posts (inclusive of a "Manage your online presence at work" (see Example Blog: Manage Your Presence) and a 7-part series on "how to move your wiki content from our old platform to Jive")

I've been able to highlight great Advocate-generated content, including "how-to's" and a "old wiki vs. jive comparison"

Had one Advocate guest-blogger highlighted on the Advocate community, with more lined up

Hosted navigation demos and office hours

Kicked off a 'weekly challenge' for Advocates to complete


Early Learnings:

  • While not necessarily Field of Dreams, we do have more self-starters than I thought we would! About 230 groups are already created in our Jive instance. This is almost as many that exist in our old platform!
  • Our 'beta' groups (groups we specifically asked to go first) are on target for where we need them to be, but what is surprising is the number of groups that are already going gangbusters! I would never have picked some of these groups as 'betas' based on their past wiki activity (in some cases non-existent)
  • Alumni groups are flourishing- they did not exist in the old platform
  • Advocates are still tied to email- great response on email reminders, not nearly as strong if something is mainly in Jive (I've been trying this out as a test-- I mention an event that I've posted in the community & only mention it once in an email-- fairly low attendance, although it was for demos, and perhaps it is so easy to use that folks don't need it. I've posted a poll to help sort this out)
  • People love to automate- quite a number of questions on how they can automate their forms with Jive. We've allowed iframe usage to help them with that, though it's not the solution some want (some folks want Jive to be their front end to a database, which it will never be)
  • Still a challenge to keep up with both email and Jive inbox. I am on the verge of using an OOTO message in Outlook, saying, "for a quicker answer, you can find me in Jive".
  • Great feedback from users so far on the interface being intuitive and easy to navigate. We mostly have Advocates and power-user types in the platform now, so it will be interesting to see if/how this shifts when we get more users in there.


So there you have it. In the upcoming weeks, we will be putting emphasis on blogging, and making sure our bloggers know about the platform & the training materials available. Our company-wide announcement is in early July, so there will be additional efforts put toward training materials that our team is putting together, as well as marketing and comms emphasis that our great comms team is working on.


So for those of you who have already been through this. . .does this sound about right? Are the early things I'm noticing similar to what you've noticed with rollout and adoption? Or different?

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.

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