20 Replies Latest reply on Jul 26, 2012 4:51 AM by miriamturner

    How many community managers is enough?

    Gary.Stephenson

      We're running a pilot program with Jive to see how a collaboration tool will work in our organisation.  One of the questions I have is how many community managers will we need? Does anyone have a rule-of-thumb to say, " for every X number of employees we need another community manager."

       

      Currently I am the community manager, business analyst, sys admin (thought I do have a quite a bit of help from our key customer).

       

      I'd like to be able to make a case to my management that I need more dedicated help on this (it's not even supposed to be my day job now that it's been "rolled out").

       

      Cheers,

      Gary.

        • Re: How many community managers is enough?
          bchamberlain

          I have a similar question on this as I am working with a client starting a Jive pilot next month. I've talked to a number of Jive users over the last month and have received a mix of answers. The answers range from one manager (overseeing roughly 5000+ users) to a community manager by geographic region or division.

           

          Our current plan (subject to change as we get into the details!) is to have 1 global community manager (full time role) and maybe 4 part-time community managers (N. America, Latin America, Europe, Asia). This is for roughly 4000 users spread around the globe.

           

          I am interested to hear what others have done and what has worked best.

          • Re: How many community managers is enough?
            Rachel.Happe

            I unfortunately do not have a specific answer for you but I can help with some of the variables that come in to play in terms of the need and value of community management. How important they are & how many you need will depend on the following things:

            • How culturally ready your target user is (i.e. will they take to the new way to work easily or require a lot of examples, encouragement, hand holding, training)
            • How strategic the initiative is - the more strategic the more important is is to make sure the environment is constantly managed to encourage the desired outcome and to discourage the more unproductive directions it might go in
            • How important it is to show value quickly - how impatient are your stakeholders? Applying community management has shown to dramatically increase engagement when we've seen before and after looks at activity levels. The more urgent your need to show activity, the more important it is to have dedicated community management
            • How complex is the outcome you are looking for - do you want people to chit chat and share tid bits about what they are working on or are you looking to have them source talent and then collaborate to create product documentation, new account pitches, etc? Changing how and where people do their core tasks is a bigger effort than getting them to chat casually.
            • The profile of the target member - are you working with lawyers, surgeons, executives or with functional employees that are individual contributors? Some have more time to explore new techniques than others so some will require the community manager to do more heavy lifting on content development and curation.

             

            Just a few thoughts - hope that helps.  We've got a lot more documentation on community management generally on The Community Roundtable's SlideShare page.  Happy to answer any other questions.

            1 person found this helpful
              • Re: How many community managers is enough?
                Gary.Stephenson

                Thanks Rachel,

                 

                We have serveral different cultures in my organisation. The developers have jumped on Jive and are using it well, but the information workers (most people) are really reluctant to share anything.  Most work in their own little silo and don't think outside of that.  So we have some massive cultural issues to deal with, which will take a lot of hand-holding and encouragement.  Our users are technically savvy, it's just that Jive is so totally different from any other software we've rolled out to them.  I'm sure some (the younger ones) are familiar with social networking software, but there are a lot of Baby Boomers and X-Gen'ers who think it's just a toy.

                 

                However, we had had a directive from above, "Thou shalt collaborate", so at least snr management is on-board with it.

              • Re: How many community managers is enough?
                tmaurer

                Would be nice if there was a formula, but from my experience and hearing what others have to say, I think there is no one answer. What works for one place won't work for another because it comes down to culture (both corporate and societal) as well as other factors.

                 

                That said, I do think there is wisdom in having at least one "go to" person in each office location, whether that is a part-time CM or someone volunteering for the role. That person will not only understand the corporate culture, but also the office culture. They can be the local face, a familiar person to ask a question of, to help find ways to use the system to support the local happenings, etc. And that is actually one of the things we have taken to doing - having a local person set up a group for the office. We have them post items of interest for people in the office (weather, eateries, community events, office happenings) as well as information for people traveling to the office for a visit (hotels, transportation, etc.).

                • Re: How many community managers is enough?
                  lindsaymay

                  I think it depends on how you are using the community. We are using our Jive instance as our only intranet, and we use spaces to share corporate information. We have a space for departments like Human Resources, Corporate Communications, Payroll, Marketing, etc. Although I serve as the main community manager/enterprise community manager, we do have community managers that monitor and maintain each of the spaces that we have. In all, we have about 45 spaces right now.The community managers we have for each space aren't "dedicated" to their community, they have full time jobs in their respective areas as well.  Their main role is to ensure fresh content is available on their site, answer discussions that come through, and make sure the documents stay up to date. As the enterprise community manager, I am the one who does the reporting, monitors content, provides training and gets communities established.

                  1 person found this helpful
                    • Re: How many community managers is enough?
                      Gary.Stephenson

                      Thanks Lindsay,

                       

                      That sounds like a model that would suit us. Different functional areas having their own space and that space being managed by someone from that domain (but it's not their day job).  It seems that we could get by with one full-time community manager who monitors the spaces, does reporting, training, etc.  Now I just have to go and convince management that this *does* need to be someone's day job.

                    • Re: How many community managers is enough?
                      Andrew Kratz

                      The model we have for our internal community is 1 full time community manager backed up by 8 individuals that worked on the implementation.  Probably 3 or 4 of them actually respond to questions, help out with demos/getting started etc..   We are hopeful that the beta launch will develop experts within the community and they in turn will be able to assist in answering questions on the site as well as off-line with peers and colleagues from their area.  We have had success with this "local super user" concept for other corporate wide deployments.  The super user gets juiced up because they are a resident expert and most take quite a bit of pride in being able to add value to their local department, floor etc...  Local users (particularly ones that are not that socially savvy) like a bit of hand holding as they get started from someone they know.   But having said all that it is early.  We are 3 weeks into our beta launch which is at 800 users.  The target audience will launch in july which is 20k+

                      • Re: How many community managers is enough?

                        Hi Gary,

                         

                        In addition to all the great information you've already gotten from the community, I've uploaded a presentation that gives a rough idea re: what kind of governance is required from the business, and what percent FTEs might be needed - it'll be toward the end.

                         

                        Hope it helps!

                        • Re: How many community managers is enough?
                          DGarber

                          Which brings up a question I have -- Do you have one FT Sys Admin that is responsible for your Jive implementation and nothing else in your IT department?

                            • Re: How many community managers is enough?
                              tmaurer

                              Yes, I am a full-time sys admin responsible for nothing other than our hosted Jive implementation. I do some things that others might not consider typical for a sys admin, like documentation and training. But I find that they compliment the other aspects of the role. When I'm testing, I know how people really use the site. Documenting helps me test as well. And it also means that our FT Community Manager can take sick and vacation days, and vice versa.

                                • Re: How many community managers is enough?
                                  DGarber

                                  Thanks Tracy!  Can we clone you?

                                   

                                  Donna Garber

                                  HITACHI DATA SYSTEMS ACADEMY

                                  Office: 408.970.5918

                                  Cell: 408.839.7649

                                  donna.garber@hds.com

                                    • Re: How many community managers is enough?
                                      nsteinmetz

                                      I would say the same as Tracy, even if it's not totally full time but quite full time.

                                       

                                      As for our project, I'm the IT project manager, I manage all the IT part of our Jive Instance (architecture, specs, test, deployment) and do training, develop usage and promote the platform as I belong to the "Base Camp" which is the support structure of our platform. We are 4 in the base camp (me for IT, 1 guy and a women for Sales Dpt, 1 guy for communication dpt).

                                        • Re: How many community managers is enough?

                                          Hi,

                                          We use a dedicated Community Manager (me), community owners, and “expanded community owners”.  Each community owners role is in addition to their regular duties.  We position this as work people are already doing, just in a more transparent and more efficient way.  The expanded community owners have a larger area with communities under them, for example we have an EMEA area.  They have more responsibilities and typically the organization has supporting the communities as some portion of their role.

                                           

                                          Mike

                                  • Re: How many community managers is enough?

                                    Hi, Gary. In my organization (the State of Oregon), I am one of two system administrators, and am the CM for our instance. I keep content up to date, provide training (in person, online, and over the phone), help customers troubleshoot issues, communicate with Jive on issues I can't help with, establish communities, and anything else that has to do with our instance. Right now, it is slated at about 70% of my job duties, but I could easily do it full-time. My experience shows me that our customers (State Agencies) like having one person they can go to for all their needs. It provides consistency and familiarity and helps our customers develop trust with us, as they always get consistent answers from us.

                                     

                                    I would definitely advocate for your organization to hire one FT position for this, as it will definitely be of benefit to your staff. They will be able to become familiar with your organization's culture, and will hopefully be skilled in the training department, so they can effectively work with employees of all skill levels. It's difficult to work with individuals who are against the change before they give it a chance. I look at this as an opportunity to start a dialogue with them about why they don't want to use it. The answers I usually get are: 1. They think it will be too hard to learn, and they don't have time; 2. They don't want to learn a new tool because they don't expect it to last; and 3. They just don't understand the benefits. By understanding where their reluctance comes from, I am able to work with them on a much more successful level because I can show them how easy it is to learn (and provide documentation that they can refer to after our training), let them know how it is being used and by how many people to assure them it is going to stick, and show them the benefits of how it will make their job easier in the long run.

                                     

                                    I hope this helps!

                                    • Re: How many community managers is enough?
                                      Rachel.Happe

                                      Because we've seen this question come up a lot recently, The Community Roundtable is doing a short survey to gather information about number of community managers compared to number of community members and monthly activity levels. We will be sharing the aggregate results publicly and directly with everyone who contributes.

                                       

                                      Please help us by taking the survey: http://bit.ly/m5WT3g

                                       

                                      Thank you!