12 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2013 1:33 PM by ycheong

    Hindsight being 20/20 . .


      Knowing what you know now, if you were to go back in time 6 months before the launch of your social Intranet, what would you do differently?  This could be related to governance, technology/tools, or a particular adoption strategy. 

        • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

          I would have had a strong advocate system in place before launch.  Doing it now is harder.

            • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

              I agree totally. We did something very lightweight... not nearly enough. And now we are trying to revamp the program that exists... not an easy task

              • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

                Hi Christy - interested to know more about your 'advocate system' - what would you have done differently?

                  • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

                    When we launched, we had strong CEO support and strong HR support, but we didn't have a network throughout the company that was well-versed in how to use Jive and how it could be used for collaboration.  Our users love it, but they mainly wait for us to push information out to them.  We launched in mid-June and I was hoping that people would be using the site for work purposes by now, but changing habits is hard.  Our company consists of several divisions not all in one place.  Had we trained one person in each division before launch and made jive advocacy part of his/her job, we would be in a better place right now.  As others have said, training is also key. 

                      • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

                        This is pretty in sync with our own implementation, training is certainly key.


                        However, our biggest boost came when we leveraged global email distribution lists and set them up to be aliased to the "create by email" feature in a group, and gave our users the ability to send a message to larger audiences in the company but in reality, it was sent as a post.  I wish we started with this strategy since it has changed the way we do business and communicate internally in a huge way.  We only implemented it after the first year, but thinking about it as part of your initial strategy is really important.


                        Old way:

                        Users weren't able to send global email to all employees, without moderation and usually it was declined.  They were also unable to send emails to large distributions (as in NY Office, or Australia Office), without moderation.  So we decided that we would allow this to happen, but the delivery mechanism would be a post in the community versus the recipients receive it via email.


                        New way:

                        Users can now send to an entire office (i.e., ny-office@ourcompany.xyz) and in the back end (thanks to IT) we aliased that to the email address that is part of the "create post via email" for the group we created specifically for NY Users.  It suddenly gave our employees the ability to reach large audiences since it appeared as a post in the community.  It was up to the group members to opt in to receive notifications from that group or from following that user, putting the decision to get notified on the recipient instead of a mass email by the sender.  We gave it a name "If its more than three, then set it free." which basically meant if you're emailing more than three people, set it free in the community and share it with a larger audience.


                        What we didn't actually plan on was how it impacted the adoption and engagement from people visiting the various office groups and replying back through email clients, etc. or simply to get a peek at what's going on in a different office (even if it was -- "Someone left a half eaten sandwich at my desk, please claim it, I'm getting hungry" -- post.)  They eat it up, literally.


                        So in hindsight...I wish we planned that on purpose and had it as part of our implementation. 

                          • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

                            How was the process of getting employees to opt themselves into the alerts. Was there concern from management about "what about the people who don't opt-in to alerts"?

                              • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

                                Great question.  We did a combination of things around this actually.


                                - We still use email for corporate communications and internal communications efforts, so when there was something that HAD to go out to all employees we were able to solve for that.

                                - We used the Admin Essentials Plugin (thanks Ryan Rutan) to add the initial selection of people to groups we created in which they were a member of the distribution list, ensuring that everyone was on-boarded.  Our internal communications team works on on-boarding any new employees specific to that office to make sure they are added to the group as needed (this could also be done w/ security groups as well) after that first phase.

                                - We also did some of our own development work with Jive PS to force email notifications on new hires for a group when we added them, but they always have an option to opt-out later.

                                - We created clear training about notifications from the community, how to setup your preferences to receive content that is important to an end user being the main objective.  Notifications/email update training was one of the more important components of our curriculum -- and was the loudest complaint when we first rolled out the platform -- "too much noise".


                                And luckily, I'm the executive responsible for communications, so setting the strategy wasn't too difficult.  The approach was simple:  They weren't able to reach a large distribution previously, but with this strategy we give them the ability to reach larger audiences--and an even more engaged audience, since they would be opting in to receive the notifications on their own terms.


                                I could see this working even for organizations that do allow emails to reach large distribution points.  The value would be to reduce the amount of email and make it more of a transparent tool through community.  Never mind that it stores the information for future hires to be able to find later, something that email can never do.


                                Hope that helps.

                                - Paul

                                  • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

                                    Paul, this is brilliant. I've been trying to figure out how to do exactly this since we launched nearly two years ago, but all my ideas for implementation were shot down by IT for security reasons. Apparently, it would require us to add non-sapient email (going to our hosted Jive site) to our Active Directory and this is risky. Are you hosted as well? If so, did you run into any questions about security?



                          • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

                            In regards to the Advocates/Champions program, my team understood the value but didn't realize how much effort this takes to get it off the ground.  We had some early successes with this program when we had a community manager dedicated part time to engaging the advocates and building the community but once she got pulled onto other tasks the program slowed down tremendously.  If I had to do it over again, I'd fight to have a dedicated resource that could at least spend 50% of their time focused on building the community through outreach, seeding content, and facilitating discussions.

                          • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

                            I agree with the advocate program. I also would have pushed the education harder at launch. We were unprepared for the amount of instruction our users wanted. We discovered a lot of users who struggle even with basic computer functions and technology. So they're truly intimidated by the platform. Which makes them very resistant to using it.

                              • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

                                Agree with Lori Harrison-Smith. More training definitely. Instructor-led, text, video. Everything!

                                • Re: Hindsight being 20/20 . .

                                  We also have many users whose computer / digital skills are minimal. (How do you ask someone to clear their cache when they don't know how to refresh a browser? Or scroll down? Or use a laptop track pad?) The community manager who launched Jive at my company put together loads of fabulous and informative manuals, best practice documents, tips, FAQs, etc. But as our community has grown, the overall level of digital expertise has definitely decreased and one thing we're working on now is going back through our documents and *really* simplifying them.

                                  For example, once upon a time, it was fine to say, "Ask a question" and users knew this meant "Start a discussion." Now we spell it out: in [Jive instance] we ask questions by creating discussions. We also spell out why we ask questions in a public forum and not via email. And we spell out that multiple people receive email notifications from our help groups so it's far more efficient to post there than to email individuals. Early adopters pretty much knew all of this, but with a less experienced audience, we've realized that it is important to walk through these details.


                                  Also, just a note for those who may be struggling with internal champions. -- although a robust advocate system is definitely important from the get go, you can always use a revamp to your advantage. There will always be champions / potential champions who were not targeted at the time of launch, either because the community manager didn't know about them (after all, the reason why we all have Jive is because we do work for big companies) or because they were hired after the launch of the Jive instance or because they just didn't get "into" it until later on. We're always finding new champions by reading through status updates, seeing who posts a lot in popular and "support" groups, etc. (I was not one of my company's initial "evangelists" but now I'm a community manager!)