12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 4, 2013 6:52 AM by tmaurer

    Ever managed a community as a team?

    spearce
      Logo_Teamwork-Handoff_70.jpg

       

      I am working a project which calls for community management as a team.  Are you managing any communities with others people?  How are you collaborating among yourselves?  Are you all located on the same site or must you collaborate virtually?  Does each member have a specialized roles?  Is there a person in charge or do you rule as an oligarchy?

       

      Share your story!

        • Re: Ever managed a community as a team?
          marcus.karbacher

          Great approach, I believe it's the best way - at least for big companies/communities - to act in a team in terms of community management.

          We at Allianz are currently creating a concept which includes exactly what you write. From my point of view one person alone cannot handle the severals roles a community manager represents.

          Our idea is to have a senior community manager with a few junior cm's for best division of work.

          Just some thoughts ...

            • Re: Ever managed a community as a team?
              ejrenaud

              I worked previously on java.net (Sun Microsystems) as a PM and as part of the team managing the community, which was and is massive. We had a Community Manager in name and role and several 'assistant' CMs not by title, but certainly by role/responsibilities.  Appropriate titles would certainly have made us more readily identifiable to new users, but once you start answering questions and resolving issues your name and contact info gets around.

               

              Depending on your community, the company funding the community infrastructure and support of it, along with your governance model (you may need to develop this) you may want to look to your community base for community leaders from the 'membership-at-large' to take on certain responsibilities (eg - forum moderation) where the given community member has demonstrated expertise.  I'll throw out the word 'Meritocracy' which hopefully prompts further interest/discussion.

               

              Best,

               

              Eric Renaud

                • Re: Ever managed a community as a team?
                  spearce

                  BTW, ejrenaud, what size communities are you talking about?

                    • Re: Ever managed a community as a team?
                      ejrenaud

                      Hi (Sharon) Lina PEARCE,

                       

                      When I finally moved on from the java.net community there were over 650,000 registered users. 

                       

                      Similar to spoh 's mention of 'Communities of Practice', the java.net community established sub-communities that are aligned to a particular technology or tool (e.g. - the NetBeans IDE) and/or particular affinity (e.g. - Robotics).  Given that the sponsor at the time, Sun Microsystems, was the main contributor to NetBeans they assigned the community leader, an employee, to that sub-community.  In contrast, the Robotics community grew organically and was formalized when the grass roots support and sheer number of projects related to robotics required it.  Sticking with the concepts of a meritocracy, the Community Leader of the Robotics community was chosen from the 'stand-outs' in the membership-at-large.

                       

                      Back more to your original post:  I think virtually anyone with experiencing in managing communities would recommend a, one, Community Manager.  Your chosen model of governance will then dictate how the community's leadership makes decisions, which may feature the Community Manager as having the tie break vote, for example, if there's a deadlock vote among the community council.  Assistant Community Managers, either in name or duties, will surely be needed in medium to large communities. But a, one, recognized Community Manager is arguably the way to go.  (You may well have already decided on this?).

                       

                      To frame the above, I should make note that I'm relating the experiences from participating in the management of a community using, principally, an open source licensing model and open source software development methodologies.  I've also been the CM for private communities (which embraced open source methodologies such as leveraging transparency to drive code re-use) that were much smaller and where division of labor for managing the community was distributed across a small team.  Does the latter sound like the situation you are in? 

                  • Re: Ever managed a community as a team?
                    spearce

                    Roles could be:

                    promoting the group or activity

                    locating content sources

                    creating the discussions, polls, documents...

                     

                    Any other roles to add?

                  • Re: Ever managed a community as a team?
                    ejrenaud

                    I missed the original post, having replied to Marcus'.  But ' . . . rule as an oligarchy',  very funny Sharon!    

                     

                    Indeed one of the many best practices for community management is maintaining a sense of humor.

                    • Re: Ever managed a community as a team?
                      spoh

                      At P&G R&D we have chartered "Communities of Practice."  Between 2007-2012 I have led a community on Innovation Productivity.  We had multiple chapters with focus on various capabilities.  Chapter leaders were volunteers from businesses/regions.  With them we formed a steering team.  We had a sponsor who was a senior leader (VP).  Other roles were web manager and administrative assistant.  Annually we updated our goals, action plan and budget.  We had aligned on these with our sponsor.  Steering team members led specific action areas.  With our steering team and sponsor we had quarterly meetings/calls where we discussed our action plan and progress against our goals.  Our community published newsletters, held monthly  calls where we had presenters and every -two years we organized large face to face events (1000-2000 people attended.)

                        • Re: Ever managed a community as a team?
                          spearce

                          Were the monthly calls for the community management team or for the community?  It sounds like the latter so I am understanding that some transfer of knowledge is taking place.  Can you share more details about that, spoh?

                            • Re: Ever managed a community as a team?
                              spoh

                              Yes Sharon, the monthly calls were for the community. Our community was about change and driving adoption of new "innovation" strategies and capabilities.  The monthly calls were a forum for dialog.  Each called lasted one hour.  We invited presenters from internal and external networks who had experience with the new capabilities that we were championing.  The presenter shared their story in about 30 min, and the rest of the time was Q/A.  After each call we published the key points of the call to our community. 

                          • Re: Ever managed a community as a team?
                            tmaurer

                            At UBM, we do community management as a team.

                            • We have generally defined roles or areas of focus, but there is lots of overlap
                            • We run it as a team, where we respect each other's opinions and run many things past one another to ensure consensus
                            • We are remote from one another - China, London, Cleveland and Chicago. Lots of communication via email and chat, with some weekly calls thrown in for good measure.