41 Replies Latest reply: Sep 20, 2011 10:40 AM by John Summers RSS

    Strategy for using Groups and Spaces

    mbangash

      We have been using Spaces only during our pilot that has been pretty successful. We did not want to open up self serviced 'Groups' during the pilot to avoid creating silos. While our goal was to create openness and connectedness we learned that invariably many business users started asking for private Spaces. There has been an overhead to add/remove members in the admin console with a lot of heirarchy being created in the space structure despite the efforts to avoid it. As we are planning a wider rollout we are thinking about using Groups more while reserving the use of Spaces for high level topics or communities of practice.

       

      How have you strategized in your organization with regards to Groups vs. Space usage? What has and hasn't worked? Any lessons learned / best strategies? How does your Space and Group structure look like?

        • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
          Michelle Lavoie

          We've faced the same issues.  Many of our requestors want private spaces, and that usually entails a very broad discussion about how they intend to use their space and why they would select a collaborative platform if all of their information is 'secret.'   We tend to create spaces for larger breadth initiatives, and groups for more narrowly focused initiatives.  That's difficult to explain, groups may involve a certain geo or a certain interest area where spaces span multiple groups and interest areas.

           

          We have to work really hard to discourage the use of subspaces, which add an additional layer of complexity both to the Community Manager and to the user searching for information.  Our strategy, thus far, has been to encourage the use of "Categories" to manage content within a space and we've had some success with that.

           

           

          Hope this helps!

          • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
            corey.richey

            I heard a great tag line from one of the Internal Community Presentations at the Jive World Conference.

             

            "Don't throttle spontaneity"

             

            I think that this directly ties into letting people make as many groups as they want.

             

            invariably  many business users started asking for private Spaces. There  has been  an overhead to add/remove members in the admin console with a  lot of  heirarchy being created in the space structure despite the  efforts to  avoid it.

             

            You can cut down on this by creating a permission  group adding one member as admin giving the permission group a group  overide say with the permissions of view and create or admin.

             

            Then give the permission group admin the link to the  url of their permission group. Let them add and remove members. You  should not be spending tons of time adding and removing people let them  pay the price for wanting a closed group.

            • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
              Martin Fernandez

              I'm getting ready to face something similar. We are literally launching our community in the near future (month or so) and I have been struggling to define - on paper - how it should be organized. We are going to have some strategy sessions with Jive to define this, but I want to walk in with at least an outline of what I(we) envision.
              My organization is geographically segmented - we have 4 areas in four distinct world regions so I envision having at least 4 spaces. Beyond that I have no clue how to proceed;
              I have been debating on whether or not to define a sub layer of spaces in each main regional space or simply take an "organic" approach and let the community build itself once we launch. The latter scares me because of the myriad of redundant groups that could eventually appear once users start getting  "the hang" of the system. But having multiple sub-spaces does not appeal to me either since it will defeat the purpose of the system, which is to unite our organization - sub-spaces I think will further segment it.
              I may be getting ahead of myself here since we haven't even gone through the strategy sessions yet, nor even deployed the product, but I want to be slightly ahead once we get started. Any further info or guidance you can provide would be welcome - especially for someone that is just getting started. Your lessons learned would be incredibly helpful...

              I'm getting ready to face something similar and would also like to read about what kind of strategies some of you implemented before launching your communities.

               

              We are literally launching our community in the near future (month or so) and I have been struggling to define - on paper - how it should be organized. We are going to have some strategy sessions with Jive to define this, but I want to walk in with at least an outline of what I(we) envision.

               

              My organization is geographically segmented - we have 4 areas in four distinct world regions so I envision having at least 4 main spaces. Beyond that I have no clue how to proceed;

               

              I have been debating on whether or not to define a sub layer of spaces in each main regional space or simply take an "organic" approach and let the community build itself once we launch. The latter scares me because of the myriad of redundant groups that could eventually appear once users start getting  "the hang" of the system. But having multiple sub-spaces does not appeal to me either since it will defeat the purpose of the system, which is to unite our organization - sub-spaces I think will further segment it.

               

              I may be getting ahead of myself here since we haven't even gone through the strategy sessions yet (Where these questions will be answered), nor even deployed the product, but I want to be ready with a plan once we get started with the sessions.

               

              Any further info or guidance you can provide would be welcome - especially for someone that is just getting started. Your lessons learned would be incredibly helpful...

              • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                Jackie Cuyvers

                We use our groups and spaces very differently from eachother. Essentially our Groups are bottoms-up and our Spaces are top-down.

                 

                Groups

                We turned off private/secret groups - all groups are public or members only. Anyone can start a group. We currently have over 500 and they are both business and social. We have photography groups, foodies groups, running clubs as well as business practice area and business methodology groups. Nothing that is confidential or pertaining to a specific client is allowed to be posted or shared in these groups.

                 

                Spaces

                We have 2 types of spaces. We have spaces open to everyone - like our Enterprise Spaces which include Legal, HR etc and our restrictred spaces which are of two types, leadership level spaces (management and leaderhsip spaces for collaboration and discussion restricted by level and role) and client team spaces. Each of our client team space has access controlled by an ADSynch group that gives users access to a specific client team space once they've billed hours to that client team. So, unless you're working on that client team you can't even see that the space and sub-spaces exist.

                • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                  mbangash

                  This is all extremely helpful. Bringing your attention to a relevant discussion on space/group comparison that you may find useful or may have input: Re: Groups vs. Spaces

                  • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                    Donna Garber

                    This is an ongoing dilemma for us as we roll out to the rest of the company. We still struggle with the emergent versus the prescriptive strategy.

                    We just created a Space for the Academy (our Training organization). It was originally set up as a Group. I'm in the process now of moving all of the content from the Group to the Space. Has anyone else done that?

                    Did you notify the Group members in advance?  My next decision is whether to delete the Group, which I guess makes sense.

                      • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                        CFediuk

                        Yes, we decommissioned some groups when we created a community that would better serve them.  We moved all of the content and then posted an announcement letting the members know they should navigate to the new space and that the group would be deleted on a specific date.  I worked closely with the group owners on this process.

                        • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                          Brice Jewell

                          We did the same for "push" messaging and resources from the training dept to the rest of the company (e.g. an employee is looking for info on tuiton reimbursement), but the collaboration between and among teams that work in the training dept still happens in largely groups.

                            • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                              Gia Lyons

                              Brice, how would you label the differences between these? I've been calling them B2E (business to employee) and E2E (employee to employee) for simplicity's sake. Spaces are more suited for B2E than groups are, due to their granular permissions, and groups are more suited to E2E than spaces are, due to their ad hoc creation ability, low admin overhead, and egalitarian permissions.

                               

                              Does that ring true?

                                • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                                  Tracy Maurer

                                  Gia, I think that is a GREAT way to explain the differences! I haven’t had that concise a way to explain it before. Though the other thing we have found Spaces to be good for is work done between employees and contractors. Again, those granular permissions are important.

                                    • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                                      corey.richey

                                      We call them "publish and tell spaces" which is B2E or "team collaboration spaces" which is E2E

                                        • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                                          Gia Lyons

                                          Oh sweet! Spaces are good for employee to contractor collab, and I like the "publish and tell spaces." I've also heard spaces are good for corporate staff business unit "store fronts" in the employee community "shopping mall" - IT, HR, Marketing, Finance, etc. And, so as not to compete with the intranet, these "store fronts" are more about general Q&A and topical conversations. For example, during annual benefits re-enrollment, HR would entertain questions in their Jive space, and publish links to appropriate places on their intranet or elsewhere in Jive.

                                            • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                                              corey.richey

                                              We definatly engourage questions and collaboration over a pure "publish and tell space". We try and encourage community owners to build a site around what they think their audience would find useful rather than what they want to "push" to their audience. A pure "publish and tell space" with no forum functionality is the "old" way the internet and intranets are all setup. I think change is incremental. We want everyone to have a more community building vision when they want to build a community space rather than thinking internet page. So the annual benefits re-enrollment HR site sounds to me like a "publish and tell community" with some question/forum functionality mixed in.

                                            • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                                              disaacs

                                              B2E and E2E....very creative....love it.

                                          • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                                            Brice Jewell

                                            That's true for us, but I've never articulated it that succinctly. Love B2E and E2E! We have also used the "store front" label before.

                                            • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                                              Donna Garber

                                              I wish I'd heard that explanation before Gia, B2E and E2E.

                                              It still is a bit fuzzy however.  I've been wondering if I should have an Academy Space for more of the B2E stuff and keep the Academy Group for the down in the trenches E2E stuff.  The reason I'm afraid to do that is because even I won't know when to go to one and when to go to the other, whether to upload something or to find something.  If I can't get it clear in my own mind I certainly won't be able to articulate it.

                                          • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                                            mbangash

                                            DGarber wrote:

                                             

                                            We just created a Space for the Academy (our Training organization). It was originally set up as a Group. I'm in the process now of moving all of the content from the Group to the Space. Has anyone else done that?

                                             

                                            DGarber, what were the key reasons in your move from Group to Space?

                                              • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                                                Donna Garber

                                                mbangash,

                                                The main reason is we evolved our strategy for using Spaces to be more of an organizational design. The Academy Space is where the Academy goes to share information, collaborate and get work done. The space is open and anyone in the company can participate.

                                                The Groups are targeted more at communities of interest; such as Project Managers, Community Managers, Sales Engagement and specific Product Launch teams that have representatives from across the company.

                                            • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                                              sarlesli

                                              I find this thread very interesting and would your take on best practices/benefits using community spaces vs. groups.

                                               

                                              When is it best to use a group? I use the Community for larger teams and as the hub of activities.

                                               

                                              In the past I have leveraged Groups for areas which don't need to be linked up to the rest of the community or private areas. The content and metrics stay separate, and if its private the invitation/approval process is much easier. Does anyone else have comments on their experience with best practices creating and maintaining groups?

                                               

                                              TY

                                              • Re: Strategy for using Groups and Spaces
                                                mbangash

                                                From my experience in last few months, here is a decision matrix. The  drivers are mainly 1) whether collaboration is private or public and 2)  needs for heirarchy.

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Collaboration type

                                                Solution


                                                Public collaboration

                                                 

                                                (with concepts like 'invite', 'join', 'can view but not contribute etc.)

                                                Group

                                                 

                                                Use group types like Open or Members Only.

                                                Public

                                                (with heirarchy)

                                                Space

                                                Public + Private


                                                (With heirarchy and some privacy needs among some sub areas/units/teams)

                                                Space + Group

                                                 

                                                Lobby approach i.e.

                                                • Top level Space as entry point.
                                                • Some subspaces, but make sure to keep all subspaces as Public. Subspaces should be used for some main themes/topics in the community.
                                                • Use Groups to create private areas for teams/units or managers who may want to have private discussions
                                                • Use  "Social Groups" widget or "Lobby Widget" to show aggregated contents  from the related groups in the community lobby (i.e. 'bind' the related Groups with the community lobby page)
                                                Private

                                                Group


                                                Private

                                                 

                                                (with very granular permission requirements)

                                                Space

                                                 

                                                Use the granular permissions available in the admin console.

                                                (Note: May be rarely used. We haven't experienced granular permissions so far)