19 Replies Latest reply on Nov 19, 2010 5:14 PM by trishaliu

    Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?

      At our company we have the ability to create new groups turned on so that anybody could do it. One thing we have noticed in doing this is a fair amount of groups get created and never reach their full potential and essentially die off. My team is constantly looking for the best approach to 'garden' this. We have considered the idea of turning this function off and making our team the 'gate-keeper' for new group creation. I was curious if other companies have done this approach and what was the impact? I have a bad feeling if we took control of new group creation we'd be very busy with it...

       

      Thoughts?

        • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
          Mlavoie

          In my company, we began the same way and had the same experience.  Many spaces were created, and eventually declined.

           

          Currently, our Community Manager (me!), and several members of the Social Media team can create spaces.  We ask requestors to complete a short form describing their community, idenitfy CMs, and validate that they have read community guidelines.  It's not time consuming to create the spaces; the most time is spent on the upfront consulting that occurs when a request is submitted (ie. checking to see if other, similar spaces already exist; guiding toward groups vs. communities etc.).

           

          In my opinion, that time spent working with the user not only yields required information but begins to introduce the amount of time that will be required to actually manage their space.

          • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
            lindsaymay

            We are using our Jive instance as our only intranet and all employees have the ability to create a group.  We definately have a few groups that are not active, but we are planning to have a few "clean up sessions" where we contact the group's owner to see if it should be retired.  I've also come across some duplicate groups.  In that event, I (enterprise community manager) contact the employee who created it to inform them that this type of group already exists and recommend that they join and contribute that way rather than start something new.

             

            That type of conversation hasn't been too hard yet, most team members understand the reasoning behind it and are enthusiastic to get involved. 

            • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?

              I wouldn't hinder spontaneity. I find that people don't like owners and beat cops telling them when they can create and where. More organic the better. Asking for permission for things is never fun. And here where i work we have a GIANT wiki that we compete with and the big draw to the wiki is that you don't have to ask permission to do what you want when you want.

                • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
                  tmaurer

                  After ruuning into permissions issues during the 4.0 upgrade, we settled in the middle on this one. People can create whatever groups they want. Spaces, they need to ask for and justify. And this seems to work well. Spontaneity where needed. Control for the more structured part of the platform.

                    • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
                      lindsaymay

                      We are doing the same thing with spaces.  This has worked well so far for us. 

                      • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
                        trishaliu

                        Tracy, this is our model as well. Anyone can create groups, spaces are created by the Admin team. Group creation gets people hooked on the platform, and then we can easily redirect (combine/decommission groups, migrate to spaces) as needed.

                         

                        Trisha

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                          • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?

                            We actually do the same thing. Allow the group to be created, but maintain control of the space level. The problem we have run into is we now have over 4,000 groups that exist and it has begun to clutter the search results.

                              • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?

                                Do you have the analytics module? You may need to do some serious consolidation and deletion. You can create a report that shows groups that have not had any activity in X number of months and get jive to delete the whole list of inactive groups. You also may want to find groups that are duplicates. Groups with similar titles should be consolidated.

                                 

                                I think preventing duplicate groups is possible. (With some help form Jive maybe a feature request) When people go to create a group they type in the name of the group a drop down list should appear of groups with similar names so people aren't creating duplicate groups. You definatly have some work on your hands with 4,000 groups.

                                  • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?

                                    Yes, we do pull analytics on a regular basis and reach out to group owners who meet our criteria for 'dead' or 'dying' groups and that does help some. I agree some logic on the front end of group creation would be excellent. For example since we do health care IT we've had multiple people want to create groups on topics like CPOE, Meaningful Use, etc without even searching to see that those groups already have been created. When we find those we always consult with the owners and try to get them to combine the groups, some of those conversations are easier than others.

                                  • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
                                    jemjanik

                                    We launched in April and we didn't deploy spaces.  We only have groups which anyone can create.  We have over 2000+ groups now.  As I come across groups that are dead and never had much convo or content I ask the owners if we can delete (sometimes moving the content to another similar group).  I've once so far queried for the mass list of groups looking for for potential duplicates to merge or spell out how they are different so its clear to other users.  I also sometimes browse groups by latest activity and go to the last pages to see what's "dead".  I find alot of groups that were relevant to a project or happening at the time which has past.  I let those stay as they are still part of our collective brain.

                                      • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
                                        gjagai

                                        Hi Jem,

                                         

                                        This is very interesting. I’ve been wondering if foregoing spaces and using an all groups approach would be helpful. I haven’t seen others take this approach. Can I ask what pushed you in this direction?

                                         

                                        Gian…

                                          • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
                                            jemjanik

                                            Culturally for social we're pretty immature still so we were very concerned with the internal political issues we'd have with spaces given they seem more prominent in the UI.  To put it best I'll quote our executive sponsor "Every bleeping exec with an initiative will want a space... including me".  Technically we do have 4 spaces but all 4 are for education/support (3 educating one About Connecting, About Collaborating, About Contributing as our tag line Connect Collaborate Contribute) and then one very active space for peer support, feedback, training materials, etc.

                                              • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
                                                gjagai

                                                As the folks in Boston like to say, that’s ‘wicked smaaaart!’

                                                 

                                                Have you found any drawbacks/limitations to your group first approach?

                                                 

                                                Gian…

                                                  • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
                                                    jemjanik

                                                    The only drawback I’ve seen is the mass amount of groups.  People hear still think of browsing most often and it’s too many to browse.  We spend a lot of time educating on how to search for what’s relevant to you and then join new groups as you go.  There is also the cleanup efforts – although honestly I don’t mind them.  For example when we get duplicate groups… these are sets of people who were siloed already… but because I can see the duplicate groups I can actually introduce them help facilitate breaking those silos down.

                                    • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
                                      awaldron

                                      We allow open group creation but have clean-up sessions periodically.

                                       

                                      As for groups, we have several "top-level" buckets that we restrict space creation.  Once a person receives Space Admin training, we allow them to create sub-spaces.  The tutorial is primarily about "how not to create subspaces" though by using projects and categories.

                                      • Re: Ability to create new groups..who holds the power?
                                        Brad.Fitzgerald

                                        We allow any user to create groups since ours are used for specific purposes--brainstorming.  I do go through and clean them out periodically and move that content into an archive Space and delete the old group (except for now when I discover a bug in doing that where my users lose points).   I make the archive space read-only since I want to cap that activity around that specific topic, but it allows users to reference it in the future.

                                         

                                        I have similar challenges in deciding whether to create a group for a space for a particular initiative since a lot of the capabilities are the same in both areas.  I'm still sorting it out but I figured I would rather encourage content creation and collaboration in any way my users feel they need to and take on the cleanup responsibiltiy than to have them not use the platform. I manage, they collaborate.