4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 28, 2011 6:18 AM by Gia Lyons RSS

    "What would you say... ya DO here?"

    Gia Lyons
      Bob Slydell: What would you say ya do here?
      Tom Smykowski: Well look, I already told you! I deal with the [goshdarn]  customers so the engineers don't have to! I have people skills! I am  good at dealing with people! Can't you understand that? What the hell is  wrong with you people?

       

      I love Office Space.

       

      I'm working on this thing that includes a high-level list of what internal community managers do for a living. I know, it's almost impossible to create an exhaustive list, but I'm trying to give new community managers a feel for what their job might entail, at the micro level.

       

      Can you comment on these lists, and let me know how to improve them?

       

      Typical Community Manager Activities

      Similar to answering the phone when it rings and responding to email when it arrives, ongoing online community practices are primarily reactive behaviors. They are ad hoc responses to something that has happened.  They typically do not have formal success metrics. They are just "part of the job”.

       

      Such ad hoc activities include:

       

      • Approving access to a private group
      • Managing user permissions
      • Answering questions from advocates and facilitators –      sharing knowledge
      • Keeping the environment lively by facilitating      conversations
      • Handling reports of inappropriate use
      • Dealing with troublemakers
      • Ensuring questions don’t go unanswered
      • Creating new accounts
      • Creating new spaces and educating their facilitators
      • Assisting with routine software updates as needed

       

      Then there are ongoing, proactive activities that keep the social business software environment running smoothly. These activities can have formal success metrics tied to them, if appropriate.

       

      Such proactive activities include:

       

      • Periodic newsletter/blog to advocates/facilitators that communicates how they’re doing, what new materials are available for their use, etc.
      • Promotional campaigns designed to collect success stories, boost adoption or introduce a new version of the environment
      • Periodic user surveys
      • Periodic success metrics gathering, analysis, and reporting to executive sponsors and general users
      • Onboarding additional key groups of employees
      • Periodic refreshing of the homepage and/or landing pages for key places - e.g., update any featured content, people, or places
        • Re: "What would you say... ya DO here?"
          Rachel Happe

          Gia - I like your organization between reactive and proactive tasks. I recently categorized community management responsibilities into the following categories, if it is helpful:

           

          • Understanding the various audiences and the root issue of problems
          • Providing encouragement, value (content or tools), coaching, facilitation, and policing
          • Understanding and reporting progress
          • Integrating the new environment with existing channels and business processes
          • Building strategies and plans that maximize value for both the community (so that individuals participate and continue to add value) and for the organization
          • Manage and administer the tools so that they are optimized for value creation

           

          Each of these categories have a ton of both reactive and proactive responsibilities associated with them but I was trying to distill community management responsibilities into a relatively short, understandable list.  These responsibilitities also assume a lot of experience and skills - a different can of worms.

           

          Rachel

            • Re: "What would you say... ya DO here?"
              Gia Lyons

              I like that list Rachel! We are seeing a bit of separation between social business strategist/program manager and enterprise community manager when it comes to internal communities right now. Some of what you describe falls under the former role, but there are certainly those out there that have blended these roles. I think organizations want to hire a single person who can do both, but in reality, it seems to take two types of people.

               

              Any other practitioners out there think this is the case? If not, what are you seeing?

                • Re: "What would you say... ya DO here?"
                  Bart Schutte

                  Gia, in our organisation (200 000 employees, 64 countries, 27 business units, thousands of products) I see four key roles :

                   

                  IT Solution Manager (one person, plus a support team maybe)

                  • Responsible for manging Jive, providing metrics reports, integrating with other systems, etc.  Initially, this person performs all of the other roles until the business realizes that they need them.

                   

                  Director of Collaboration / Social Computing Leader, ... you name it (one person, plus a support team maybe)

                  • This is the person who ultimately carries the program once it becomes a group-wide initiative.  I believe this person should be in HR but that depends on your organisation.
                  • They are responsible for driving overall adoption, ensuring that buisnesses are successful (not alone but working with others in this list), and mainting the vision on needs and tools, and measuring progress towards the goal of becoming a learning, collaborative organisation. 

                   

                  Business Collaboration Leader (one per business, however you define business)

                  • responsible for supporting the collaboration objectives of the business unit.
                  • Usually named once the business decides that they want to use Jive to get benefits for their business.
                  • Responsible for initial rollout to the business, etducation, etc.  but then also fo identifying the key opportunities addressing the pain points of the business, getting communities created to address them, working with the community leaders to helg get success, reporting success back the business sponsor

                   

                  The community Leader

                  • Everything you've said above. 

                   

                  I'd add that I've found the business collaboration leader to be key for successful adoption.  In large organisations like ours, this can't be done by a central group.  It is the central groups job to ensure that these people are in-place, and that they have all the support necessary to be successful.

                    • Re: "What would you say... ya DO here?"
                      Gia Lyons

                      Bart, this is great! This maps to the roles and responsibilities Jive Strategy Consulting recommends to a certain extent. I have another European customer who also appointed business collaboration leaders in each of their 20 business units – they were all in Communications (they initially used Jive as a corporate communications vehicle, then it grew into a social collaboration platform from there). They, too, found this role to be key in managing and sustaining use.