44 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2017 10:28 AM by nataliashcherbyna

    Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities

    Edward Ford

      We're preparing to upgrade to Jive 7 and look forward to using the external groups functionality that allows users to invite external parties to participate in groups on an internal community. Has anyone who already has this functionality amended their community rules with guidelines outlining how people should use this functionality? I'm just beginning to think about the guidelines that we should share with people and it would be helpful to hear considerations from others or any specific issues that may have stemmed from this functionality.

        • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
          tmaurer

          nbussard - do you have anything along these lines?

          • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
            Libby Taylor

            We are reviewing and testing this functionality right now in Jive 7. I suspect that due to privacy concerns and overall a feeling of wanting to control the extent to which Externally Accessible Groups are used, we will probably only turn-on the ability to create external groups to a few key advocates. We might require that someone who wants to be added to the list of folks with this power present our governance team with the use case/plan for their EAG before we will grant them the power. As it is, there are so many controls on the back end, we could end up only allowing a very specific set of external users into these groups at all. So I guess you could say we are in the process of figuring it all out in order to fine tune how it would work for us. As far as the collaboration guidelines themselves, we will probably leverage what we already have for our users, which includes some clear terms and conditions that have to be accepted before they can proceed in the site. I'll keep you updated here as we know more.

            • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
              lindoty

              Keeping in mind that I lead in a function called Global Sourcing which is about how my company transacts (and interacts) with suppliers, this could be huge for me. I will only speak of it in whispered tones because I can already see the suppliers circling like vultures - how they would love to be able to pick up a bullhorn and speak directly to our 60,000 employees! 

               

              I would say that in addition to developing the internal guidelines, there would need to be an Acceptable Use policy for the external parties you invite to participate.  The little hamsters in my brain are running on Red Bull and adrenaline right now just thinking about it.

              • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                it2000

                The difference between emails and an external group is not too big. We have contracts with our business partners and it does not really matter how we communicate. If '(email) collaboration' did work before then it should improve within Jive.

                  • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                    lindoty

                    For me the difference between email and access to our employee population is the difference between a whisper and a bullhorn.  I am in Sourcing/Procurement and I know plenty of my suppliers would trip all over themselves to market to the bigger employee population.  And while many are trusted business partners, there are enough of them that just want to sell that they will be making offers of items and services that encourage unnecessary spending ("Book a trip by April 30th and earn triple frequent flyer points!) and we have to be careful because if we've given them that bullhorn, then people will assume we are endorsing whatever they are peddling.  I'm a huge fan of social business but I definitely think opening this door must be done with some manner of agreement on acceptable use.

                      • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                        nbussard

                        Linda,

                        I think you might be misunderstanding what this feature offers. It does not give external collaborators a bullhorn to speak to all of your employees. It limits them to a specific secret group. When they join the group, they have no access to any other part of your community outside the group. The only way the scenario you describe could happen is if you invited all 60k employees to every group that included external collaborators (assuming you would have a different group for each supplier, each project, etc.) and the 60k people accepted the invitations.

                          • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities

                            Linda Doty - 100% how Nikki has broken it out here, you have no reason to be concerned.

                            I like to think about it this way (lets assume internal community):

                             

                            places.jpg

                            Your community is the box.

                            Everything within the box is part of your community. Relative to the people and places interacting - this chart is fairly simple.

                             

                            Spaces are the highly organized areas in the community.. crazy permissions, nesting, all the fun admin console stuff. The portal story. These are the squares, with an associated tree (and spaces can have projects, so we slap a few circles on there)

                             

                            Groups I have here as the circles fully within the community- these can be open, closed, members only, etc... but are entirely within your community. Members have access, non members don't. [Social] Groups fill the gaps between spaces Pretty easy

                             

                            External groups are the ones on the lines - they're accessible to external folks that are invited, and only internal folks invited can have access. Immediately on creation they are either Private or Secret - as the user type "External Contributor" cannot have visibility to the entire community. External users cannot have permissions on spaces (no overrides, no view/create, etc.) - so they are only given access to the groups you allow them in to.

                             

                            That help?

                            There's seriously no reason to be concerned.

                             

                            From experience now, external groups are great for working with contractors or agencies.. amazing. Especially in marketing - we deal with so many agencies on one-off projects, or infrequently.. we wouldn't want them to have access and be created as a "standard user" with weird permissions so they can only see certain things (the old way) - they just get invited to this group, and no problemo, they're in!

                              • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                apaddock

                                After working with pur customized external "walled garden" Jive for a few years the one concern I have here is that you can create Private and Secret groups for External Contributors to join. In our platform it was Secret only as we dis not want any of the client group names to show up in the search as although only the Internal users could potentially see the Private groups in a search that might not be appropriate as the client may be in a proposal stage with the company and not common knowledge. Yes, you would expect group owners of such groups to choose Secret but we couldn't take that chance.

                            • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                              it2000

                              @ Linda: Good point. I already get a lot of 'spam' emails (and snail mail) with offers and invitations - some are really 'annoying' like the JW14 invitations ;).

                              And there are the offtopic e-media conversations with jokes, images, YouTube links, ...

                              Posted in a group they would reach a countable number of employees (eg 40) while when emails are sent and forwarded the number of recipients is unknown.

                              Disallowing ads and off-topic content makes some sense. On the other hand also the partners need an option to promote new products etc. Should they keep sending emails?

                          • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities

                            In response to OP -

                            We're preparing to upgrade to Jive 7 and look forward to using the external groups functionality that allows users to invite external parties to participate in groups on an internal community. Has anyone who already has this functionality amended their community rules with guidelines outlining how people should use this functionality? I'm just beginning to think about the guidelines that we should share with people and it would be helpful to hear considerations from others or any specific issues that may have stemmed from this functionality.

                             

                            We're fairly open with our guidelines, but we're a pretty small company. We have a tendency to test our functionality and organic growth first, and govern later - which is great for us, but not necessarily you. Honestly? I think that these groups should not be allowed to be created without CM approval/management - or that they should not be allowed to be secret. I think creating too many secret externally accessible groups like this almost defeats the purpose, as you end up creating another silo.

                             

                            I think if its easy to manage an approval queue, go that route. Otherwise, I would also be very interested to hear any thoughts or feedback around best practices from the rest of the Internal Communities crew

                            • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                              lindoty

                              Don't get me wrong - I think this is a FANTASTIC new capability and I'm very excited to use it!  My department collaborates with suppliers a lot. In fact, as more and more companies increase their leverage of external talent, this need will only grow.  Two use-cases jump to mind immediately:

                               

                              1) Small collaboration group - when internal and external parties are collaborating on a project, being able to share space like this is valuable.  (Think of mergers and acquisitions and how they use the digital 'safe room' for their work - we'll now be able to extend the value of this well-beyond that group with mainstream tools!)

                               

                              2) Extending the support of employees to the supply-base - there are many strategic supplier partners and programs where companies like mine serve as the middle-man (men) (and women) between the larger population of employees and the account teams that service us.  What if the tools allowed us to get out of the middle?  What if Dell could answer questions about memory modules directly to employees? What if AmEx could answer why a physical copy of identification needs to accompany the card-application in Poland? In a controlled environment, where the terms of engagement are documented and clear, companies like mine could benefit GREATLY by letting suppliers, by invite, interface with the population of employees. 

                               

                              If it sounded like I was resistant to such, then I misspoke.  I think this is a phenomenal movement forward and I know my group will embrace it gladly, but it still does require clarity in the engagement model so it will succeed.

                              • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                nbussard

                                Here's a good thread on the logistics of external contributors: Externally Accessible Groups

                                • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                  Libby Taylor

                                  We've moved a little closer to where we want to be with External Access Groups, so I thought I'd give you an update. We realize that this feature will be critical for some groups at our company because 1) we don't have an external community and 2) we really need a way to collaborate with outside partners. That said, we also have very strict privacy rules and want to be very careful with granting access to the ability to create an external group.

                                   

                                  The plan we have today is:

                                  • Pull together some governance rules about why an external group can be created and what the typical uses cases look like.
                                  • Define descriptively what kind of external partner is appropriate for these groups. We can also control some of this system properties side with the defined email addresses (i.e. *partner.com), however the list could be very long and possibly unmanageable so we might leave it undefined for now.
                                  • Require the group owners to take/pass some brief training on our internal security requirements, managing an external group, and how to manage the partners access to the group.
                                  • Require a signed confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement with the partners (still checking on the details around this one).

                                   

                                  Anyone who wants to start an external access group will have to submit an IT support ticket to get routed to our governance team. If their use case is approved, then they would be added to an Active Directory global group which would streamline some of the management aspects if, for example, the person were to leave the company or we didn't want to use the Admin console to add the access for each user.

                                   

                                  Finally, we plan on testing this whole concept with one key use case before even letting the rest of our community know this feature is possible. We like to iron out the kinks before turning on the fire hose.

                                    • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                      RichardRashty

                                      Libby Taylor   The most important dimension of utilizing external contributors within an internal community is the security/awareness element.  While formal training can be perceived as a barrier to engagement within a "walled” social garden, once you bring in external stakeholders, with the ability for data leakage,  ensuring what could go wrong must go hand-in-hand with great business outcomes for enabling such communities.

                                       

                                      I am glad to see the approach your taking….and I look forward to hearing about your experiences.

                                       

                                      thanks

                                       

                                      • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                        dominic.fewster

                                        Hi Libby Taylor

                                         

                                        Did you manage to create new governance documents “rules with guidelines” outlining how people should use this functionality? If so, it would be great to see an example of the how you structured it and what you did to cover all bases before you launched it - with everything you had to consider. Would you have a governance example that I would be able to take a look at?

                                         

                                        Thanks,

                                        Dominic

                                          • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                            Libby Taylor

                                            Hi dominic.fewster

                                            I made that comment above while I was an internal community manager at Agilent. I don't happen to have anything now that can help. I wonder though if Jive's internal community manager does have something like this... do you, Kosheno Moore?

                                            1 person found this helpful
                                              • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                dominic.fewster

                                                Hi Libby Taylor thanks for getting back to m eon this one. Do you remember however if you made many governance documents relating to this at the time? Kosheno Moore I would be really grateful if you could help on this one?

                                                 

                                                Thanks,

                                                Dom

                                                  • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                    Libby Taylor

                                                    I don't think I did. I started at Jive the following month, so it was probably a thought that never got put through into an actual deliverable.

                                                    • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                      kosheno.moore

                                                      Hi Libby Taylor & dominic.fewster, we don't have anything specific for External Contributors.  The EC access to our community is VERY limited (only to the EC group that they are apart of, so we ask the group owners to coach the ECs.  We haven't had a huge demand from the group owners on EC specific content so its not currently in our community mgmt content development pipeline.

                                                      • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                        John Schwiller

                                                        What I did see from Kim @ Pearson which was quite helpful when you have multiple externally accessible groups who cannot all access a central guidance 'place', was to put your governance, help etc into a PDF document which can then easily be published in each externally accessible group. I think Kim shared an example in JC about two (?) years ago. Dina Vekaria might remember it?

                                                          • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                            Dina Vekaria

                                                            Hi John

                                                             

                                                            Is this what you're after: External Contributor Guide by Pearson

                                                             

                                                            D

                                                            1 person found this helpful
                                                            • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                              dominic.fewster

                                                              Thanks John Schwiller and Dina Vekaria

                                                               

                                                              I think it's a great idea when having multiple externally accessible groups who cannot all access a central guidance 'place', to put governance, help etc into a PDF document, which can be published in each externally accessible group.

                                                               

                                                              Other than the PDF document that is aimed at external contributors, do you remember having any internal T&C/governance for what you should and shouldn't do (i.e who invites, who deletes, how many can each user invite etc) for group owners and community managers?

                                                               

                                                              Thanks,

                                                              Dom

                                                                • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                                  Dina Vekaria

                                                                  Hi Dominic

                                                                   

                                                                  We have some guidance for our internal colleagues. Writing it in this comment to keep things in one place, i hope this helps.

                                                                   

                                                                  External Groups in Neo: How to create and FAQs

                                                                   

                                                                  This is a step-by-step guide to creating an external group within Neo.

                                                                   

                                                                  Note: Only pre-approved users are able to create external groups. To gain approval you will need to complete the Request for an External Group form (links to a google form) and complete mandatory training. Access to create an external group will be given to you once training is complete.

                                                                   

                                                                  To create an external group you will need to follow the same process for creating an internal group (links to help doc on how to create communities), when you create the group you will see an additional option to make it Externally Accessible. Externally accessible groups can only be created as Private Groups.

                                                                   

                                                                  We recommend that you choose the Activity + Pages under Advanced Options and create content before inviting users to become members. Please review Activity + Pages and Overview (links to help content) pages so that you can choose the best landing page for your community.

                                                                   

                                                                  Once you are ready to invite members to the group, click Manage > Members, and then click Invite people to join this group and a message box will appear. Enter the external user's email address; if the person already has an external account, the system will recognize this. It is important to include a Personal Note that explains this is an invitation to a group associated with Pearson; the email that is generated does not mention Pearson and providing context could prevent confusion.

                                                                   

                                                                  Your external users will be able to follow the members of the groups they belong to, but they will not be able to see any Activity or content posted by anyone outside of the external group. The external user will not be able to search for other Pearson or non-Pearson users. Pearson users will be able to search for external users who have been created on Neo.

                                                                   

                                                                  FAQs

                                                                  Can anyone create an external group in Neo?

                                                                  If you would like to create an external group you will need to request permission using the Request for an External Group Form (links to form).

                                                                   

                                                                  You are required to complete mandatory training, which takes place on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month. Once you complete the form, you will be sent an invitation to the next available training session.

                                                                   

                                                                  How do I get started once I've got permission to create external groups?

                                                                  You can learn more about external groups in this document: Creating an external group in Neo (links to help content)

                                                                   

                                                                  Why is there so much detail in the account creation form? Some of it seems unnecessary.

                                                                  The profile page for external users is identical to the profile pages we have for Pearson colleagues. This means that the profile fields we have marked as mandatory map to external users and must be completed in order for the account to be created.

                                                                   

                                                                  Will external users have to sign up for a new account for each group they are invited to?

                                                                  No, an external member can be invited to join as many external groups as necessary and they can access all external groups with the same username and password. If they click on their avatar, they can select Your Places to see all of their groups in one place for easy navigation.

                                                                   

                                                                  The orange "Externally Accessible" image at the top of my group's banner is interfering with my page; is there a way to remove it?

                                                                  This is a requirement for external groups and cannot be removed. Your external users will not see this.

                                                                   

                                                                  How does the Share Content with Places feature work for external groups?

                                                                  Shared content can only be viewed by the people that have access to the place where the original document lives. If you have a Space or a Public Group and want to share a document with an External Group (which is a Private Group), the external users will not be able to view the document because they do not have permission to view the original content on Neo.


                                                                  If you have an External Group and want to share a document with a Space or Public Group, only the Pearson colleagues that are members of the External Group will be able to view the document in the Space or Public Group.

                                                                  1 person found this helpful
                                                      • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                        dvm

                                                         

                                                        We are hoping to leverage the 'External Contributor' feature as a means to combine two current yet seperate internal instances. One for employees and the second for contractors/consultants.

                                                         

                                                        Employees would continue to have their accounts created automatically via an LDAP sync while consultants would be treated as external contributors and required to be invited to specific groups.

                                                         

                                                        Over time, especially if the number of consultants grows, this could become hard to manage in terms of provisioning/de-provisioning accounts. I am curious if there is a way to maintain all users via LDAP sync-ing but automatically assign them as employee or external contributor based on an LDAP attribute? Is anyone planning to use this in a similar way? If so what are your initial takeaways?

                                                         

                                                          • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities

                                                            I think managing external users like this in a community becomes very difficult. Again highlighting my response here - external contributor groups are extremely limited in their visibility both in and out of the group. This hampers the ability for folks who need to be involved in more than a single group, or have access to spaces within your community.

                                                             

                                                            I think here, for your scenario, you have three easy options:

                                                            Option 1: Look at identification of contractors vs. employees and subsets of these groups via permission groups:

                                                            • Assignment of access/visibility to spaces
                                                            • Ability to create content or containers
                                                            • Ability to view reports

                                                            you can assign all of this via permission groups. This can be a bit tedious to manage for those not in AD, but allows you more control within Jive. Does not relate to groups visibility (AFAIK) however. Pretty good, solves some issues. I think best when combined with option 2

                                                            - - - - -

                                                            Option 2: Quick, easy identification of "external users" via profile/avatar overlays and profile fields, possibly badges.

                                                            • I know we haven't quite done the best job of this yet on the JC here, but a few great options within Jive using badges from gamification (like:communityemployee75sqpng139d50f27ee.png), overlays on avatars (like: 24.png?a=14790) and profile fields

                                                            Maybe the best way to take advantage of these would be to combine these with a light implementation of option one

                                                            - - - - -

                                                            Option 3: Bridge your two instances:

                                                            • It sounds like you're trying to think about how to prepare for the growing consultant community or interactivity between the community of consultants and your own employees. If you already have a separate community, why not connect them via search, and have users created for each person in each community? I don't think this is most ideal short term because it can create headache for user/password management without SSO/AD, but this might be the best way to prepare for two large communities long term.
                                                              • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                                tmaurer

                                                                Max, as you are mentioning, we have situations where there are varying degrees of access needed. Sometimes it is only groups, and so the new feature will be great for that. Sometimes it is to both groups and spaces, and we can use permission groups for that. The hard thing about this is they are two very different mechanisms for providing access, and I'm struggling with how to make it easy for employees to know which option to use.

                                                                 

                                                                We'll be going live on Jive 7 without this feature turned on so that we can figure out how to best manage it. We'll also have the issue of migrating some spaces over to groups in order to take advantage of the new feature once we turn it on. For a customer who's been on Jive for a long time, this is long overdue and thus is going to be painful to migrate (our legacy workaround).

                                                            • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                              leightgordon

                                                              Hi there!

                                                              I wanted to get this discussion going again - I'm working with a client who is about to turn on this feature and we are doing some research on what others have done to update their Terms and Conditions/Usage Policy with regards to:

                                                              1. those who 'own' an externally accessible group
                                                              2. the external users

                                                               

                                                              If anyone has updated their T&C/AUP reflecting this - I love to know what you can share.

                                                               

                                                              Thanks!~

                                                              • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                                Ted Hopton

                                                                This really is an important thread on an important topic that's not being explored deeply enough, IMO. When you start unpacking the External Contributors feature, there are an awful lot of things to consider -- more than we can manage in this thread.

                                                                 

                                                                I set up a project where we can dive deeper into all the issues: Configuring Internal Communities for External Contributors

                                                                 

                                                                Please join in there and let's collaborate further.

                                                                • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                                  dominic.fewster

                                                                  Hi Edward Ford

                                                                   

                                                                  Like you, but some years on, we need to create some guidelines for external collaborators. we have already conducted testing this functionality, and have the results to work with. We needed to make sure that when they join the group, external users have no access to any other part of our community outside of a specific group. We are now looking forward to using the external group’s functionality that allows users to invite external parties to participate in groups on an internal community. Before we are able to turn this feature on, we are looking into the governance side of things: Terms and Conditions/Usage Policy, which would be for both;

                                                                   

                                                                  • Those who 'own' an externally accessible group (or want to create one)
                                                                  • The external users themselves

                                                                   

                                                                  We need to create clear terms and conditions that have to be accepted by both, before they can proceed in creating or becoming a member of an externally accessible group.  So we would have internal guidelines, and an Acceptable Use policy for the external parties you invite to participate.

                                                                   

                                                                  Did you manage to create new governance documents “rules with guidelines” outlining how people should use this functionality? If so, it would be great to see an example of the how you structured it and what you did to cover all bases before you launched it - with everything you had to consider. Would you have a governance example that I would be able to take a look at?

                                                                   

                                                                  Thanks,

                                                                  Dominic

                                                                  • Re: Guidelines for external collaborators on internal communities
                                                                    nataliashcherbyna

                                                                    Hello,

                                                                    According to the Jive documentation, there is no limitation on the number of external contributors in the group. So I can invite as many people as I need without license limitation?

                                                                    Thank you.

                                                                    Best regards,

                                                                    Natalia.