Anne, are you thinking about that secret "internal" group for community only prep work or initiatives that aren't yet ready for prime... or are you thinking of leveraging a secret group for actual intranet type collaboration across multiple teams? If the former, while I'd like for them to chime in directly, I've heard of that happening quite a bit.
Hey Billy and Libby - Definitely apreciate the responses. I'm definitely talking more prep work. Do you guys have best practices?
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Always! And they are fairly simple:
- Make sure you really have a need. The Jive Community has a bagillion groups that were created with the INTENT for internal Jive collaboration but never really panned out (they just didn't get used). In other words, make sure the plan and process is in place (and the need is sufficient enough) for a private collaborate space before you create one. Cleaning up old unused groups is not anyone's idea of fun.
- Look around and see if there is already a private space where this prep work could take place. Again, try to avoid creating a new group for this prep work unless you are absolutely sure you need one and will use it regularly. Revisit the thought that old group clean up sucks.
- Now that you are sure you need a new group for your private prep work...
- Create your group with Secret status. Even Private groups can be searched by folks and it's just better to hide these kinds of groups that you don't want your users to see.
- Arrange the widgets or tiles to your liking and populate with content that you'll already know you'll need for your prep-work
- Invite the people to the group that need access
- Make sure they all make it in there.
- Get your project moving!
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I'm not sure I clearly understand what you are looking for and Libby Taylor very well could have answered it. I do have 4 different examples of how we have used our own Community for internal prep work.
First, we have what our Community Team affectionately calls The Stomping Ground. The Stomping Ground is a hidden space only visible to our team of 4 community managers and select few others. In this space we house important documents, templates, banners, and anything else we may need as we are managing and building the community. We also create discussions and questions within The Stomping Ground that help us plan, develop and collaborate on projects. Simple asynchronous team work is important to us, for our team of 4 live in 3 different states. Our Jive community is how we connect and get stuff done!
The second example is a secret group, similar to the one Libby described above. The best secret group example we have is used by our "Coaches". Coaches are not employees, but they are experts in our community that we contract with to assist in answering questions, moderating discussions, and just do awesome community things! In their secret group they have their handbook, quick links to unanswered questions, meeting agendas, discussions, a community team calendar, and what we call "operation awesomed". The handbook is a series of 5 documents that describe a coaches responsibilities. The quick links to unanswered questions help their workflow by making their greatest priority easy to find. The meeting agendas stored here and the discussions they hold are deep, professional, positive, and they help them connect as an asynchronous team. The calendar provides them a quick glimpse of who on the community team is on 'watch' duty and can provide them with a quick response. Finally, Operation Awesomed is an embedded form where coaches can inform the community team of other community members that are doing amazing things and deserve recognition! All of these items help coaches do their jobs and would only cause clutter and white noise to the greater community.
The third example is a private group, also similar to what Libby described above. We have a lot of private groups that are searchable and will live on as long as there is interest and activity, but the most interesting are probably our focus groups. When we have a feature that one of our Product Managers is wanting to collect detailed feedback on we will set up a private group (aka focus group). Community members can ask to join this group where they can participate in polls, discussions, questions, and anything else the Product Manager has set up. The interesting thing about these groups is that once the Product Manager is done with the group it is deleted. Members are notified in the beginning that these groups are for a very specific purpose and will have a short life. They have been very effective so far.
Finally, our last example is of a hidden space with subspaces that is predominantly used by 2 teams outside of the community team. We set up a hidden space titled INTERNAL because we found that our Product and Customer Success Teams needed ways to connect and discuss different community questions, resources, and ideas that were not public. The use of their subspaces also brought them into the public community and interacting more in the public setting, which has been a great benefit to our community as a whole!
As you can see these are 4 similar but different uses. All have an important purpose and all have been used for planning and staging!