Social business : internal communities, asking the right question to begin


Often inside enterprise, collaboration existing through communities inside an enterprise social network. Quickly, one of the main governance issue is about the opening communities process. The two main models are top-down approach (the decision is at a steering committee level) or a bottom-up approach (anyone can open a community without asking to anyone). Whatever the process, related to the company culture, here is a list of question to ask yourself before opening communities.

  •  Why open a community ?
    • What are the needs ?
    • Who will be part of it ?
    • Which ressources to allow to manage it ?
  • Is there already an existing community with overlap ?
    • May be this community could be a sub community/topic of a main existing one
  • Is my community aligned to the business strategy (it is an anwser to my own needs, but not for other colleagues or the whole company) ?
  • What features for my community (if tool aspects are not central, they must help to fluidize the existing business process or the ones to come. So you have to think about the features till the begining and in a mid term view too) ?
  • Who will be part of my community (it’s not black and white) ?
    • Early adopters
    • Informal network
    • Members of existing communities
  • Public or private community ?

How to communicate about my community and attract other employees (relative to the previous question) ?

  • How to manage my community ?
    • Setting up guidelines
    • Facilitate contributions
    • Contents to share

It is not a final list, but it must help you to take decision, kind of guidelines for your employees before they come to see you to ask to open a community (the idea is focus first on usefull community)