Here's how we started (summarized):
It was departmentally-segmented and caused problems whenever there was a topic that required cross-department collaboration.If a discussion topic was started in a particular department space, folks outside of that department didn't necessarily feel like they could or should comment on it.
Here's how I wish we had done it from the beginning:
/Help and Support
/Research and Development
/Specific Group or Space
Doing it this way enables topic-specific documents and conversations to be started in the topics' spaces which encourages everyone to participate.
In the situations where a particular topic or group of documents need to be secured or handled differently, then those are put in their own space and set with different security permissions.
The Water Cooler space is where I explain how BBQ with natural oak wood tastes far better than that of BBQ with charcoal.
Excellent! I branched this thread away from the original, because I would love it if others posted their "I wish we did it this way" space organization, too.
I'll be sharing this thread with many of my customers!
We've spent considerable time discussing this topic. When starting down the community path, it's rather easy to jump in and just 'try something'. However, as your community grows, introducing change or widespread reorganization becomes increasingly difficult. I suggest spending time thinking this through up front.
Following Chad's thinking, I agree that an organizational based approach is not conducive to cross functional collaboration. I do believe there's merit in a higher level 'activity based' organizational structure.
For example -
Working (Think spaces around career development, benefits, etc)
Researching (Think your R&D labs, CTO Office, etc)
Building (Manufacturing, Prod Mgmt, etc;)
Marketing (Product specific marketing teams, PR, IR, Communications, etc;)
Selling (sales specific spaces / topics, competitive info, geo sales teams, etc;)
Supporting (Product training, support discussions, etc;)
Partnering (Partner & strategic relationship discussions, etc;)
One of the challenges with this approach is the way that ClearSpace presents spaces. As far as I know, a space can only exist under one parent. In the model above, it's important that some spaces can live under multiple parents. As example, a competitive space should show under marketing and selling... maybe researching as well.
Depending on the size and complexity of your community, an activity based approach may help newcomers explore the breadth of conversations taking place. We're currently considering an alternate front end for our internal Clearspace instance that allows us to graphically portray the activity based organization and help new users explore without being overwhelmed. This wouldn't replace the current community main page - rather provide the community with another means of exploring and navigating.
In the message http://www.jivesoftware.com/clearstep/message/1363#1363 I posted our content hierarchy which is a hybrid of a traditional structure along organizational lines and a structure based on open collaboration/communities of practice.
I should note that this structure is the product of three generations of collaboration suites and much hand-wringing.
Len, thanks very much! I wonder what the new Groups capabilities will open up for organization opportunities. I agree with you re: the inability to create virtual markers to spaces, so that they can appear under multiple hierarchies. I know "that's what tagging is for," but reality states otherwise.
I'm going to submit a product improvement for Space Virtual Markers now.
My pleasure, Gina. I agree with you.
I'm a believer that you need to provide multiple entry points and navigation paths.. In some circles, this is new stuff. Users not familiar with 2.0 concepts are not going to immediately jump into tag clouds and feel comfortable. Much like previous generation sites - there are multiple ways that the audience will traverse and consume information. Some will search, some will use folksonomies, etc - But some will still explore by clicking through the experience.
Yoshi, thanks so much for sharing!
We went with a mixed route; using both department & functional segments:
\\Supply Chain Management
\\Service Delivery Centers
This schema is working tolerably OK.
Good: Keeps the number of spaces at Level 1 to a minimum.
Not So Good: The 2D display of Clearspace’s Browse tree is not an effective tool for displaying/navigating the 100’s of spaces that will ultimately exist. Gia is correct that there are more appropriate methods for displaying clustered multi-relational structures than the simple tree & branch approach currenlty being used.
Ongoing Challenge: The issue of cross-department collaboration. When launching a new workgroup, we sponsor multi-department discussions to answer the “where does the documents, project, blog, etc. resides question.