We wrestle with this same issue in our printer product development teams. It comes up in two ways - one is where we have technology communities of practice. Often new technology is created in the context of creating new products rather than from pure research, so does the technology information belong in the CoP space or the product development space?
The other is our testing groups -- acoustics, thermal, packaging, etc. They do their work for each product team but would obviously prefer to have access to the whole collection of the reports they create rather than having to chase them down in each product space.
The way I approached it was to tell them there's no right answer -- the key is just getting all the stakeholders to agree to a common approach. From there we can figure out how best to configure the space pages to minimize the hassle of finding information. So for example the thermal team puts each test report into the space of the product being tested, but they tag them to indicate it's a thermal report. Then they have a tag widget on their Thermal space so they can see the complete collection. Other teams provide links to appropriate spaces or guides for how to find information commonly needed from other places.
I think the template features in Jive 7 will help us quite a bit with this, but the key seems to be just getting the teams to coordinate with each other. Once that happens, there's usually enough flexibility in the technology to address access and sharing issues. At least that's been my experience in our environment.
Thanks for your comment, Dennis! It's clearly a tough issue. I think the more we engage our users about agreeing on organizational practices, the better the community will function. I just wish some features were more customizable!
User pro search is vey important. Additionally, having a broad range of social groups is the key for a good structure. We, and I guess every company, has the same problem. We develop software for automotive customers like BMW, so we have a group Automotive Technologies and BMW. If I post a link e.g. to an interesting article about a new BMW car, I have to decide, whether it's more a technology or a customer issue. In most cases this is quite easy, if necessary, that a link in the other group would be all.
Oranizing content without social groups and just by tags and - better - categories is imho. not the best way.
Michael - another possible solution is training the users to upload the document where they feel the immediate need for it is and @ tag another community.
Your example: upload it to project A (immediate viewing audience) & @ tag the chemistry group. (i.e. External Communities)