Community Questions: How to predict internal team Community participation requirement

A key decision maker asked: How do you define exactly what the participation requirement for our proposed Community for the rest of the organization will be?

For example, if product enhancements are all moved to the community and it becomes the primary method to track and update enhancement requests how do you define the product managers time needed to allot each day/month/year? My answer is that it is a way to consolidate management and move them all to a single venue and will reduce the amount of time they spend providing updates and managing requests. Currently they work in several different tools and have to collate them manually and have a variety of ways to keep customers updated. 

If you have experience or ideas on how to answer this I would love to hear it! 

Amanda Watson


  • Michelle Wideman
    Michelle Wideman Member Posts: 54 Navigator
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    @Brian O'Keeffe, when launching a community it's definitely important to get alignment from all the cross functional orgs on the value the community can provide and outline areas they can help.  It's also a good resource for folks to bring into their career development conversations to help flag humans that are interested in blogging/creating content/videos, etc.  In working with cross functional leaders I had alignment on how often they'd be willing to help and we created a content calendar for all the cross functional teams to outline what date(s) they'd contribute and topic to ensure we didn't have overlap.  In working with pre-sales, PSO, and Success we had an office hours calendar as well.  The cross functional mgrs could then use this in their team meetings to help hold people accountable.  Definitely worked with Design, Product, Engineering teams to use it as a resource for beta programs.  Created special groups on the community to communicate and elicit feedback from our customer advisory boards, verticals,  geographic regions, beta programs, etc.  

    One of the great things about a community is it's integration with tooling used for enhancement requests.  This can offload a great portion of a Success Mgrs job and is a way to better ensure we're tagging all customers that share similar requests.  As for how much time this will take for a PM to do, that's hard to say.  A better way of approaching it may be what are the SLA's we want to set up around response times to new requests?  I've also had to do a lot of educating over the years that NO is an acceptable answer, and often times a better answer than the limbo land of maybe, for there are often partners that customers could leverage to complete their request w/out jeopardizing churn.  Ensuring you've built out a closed loop process to get whatever the answer is back to customers is critical.  Hope this helps! 
    Brian O'KeeffeAmanda Watson
  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 181 Expert
    First Anniversary Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Comment
    I love that you added no is an acceptable answer. I would modify that to be more like "it is not being under consideration and we have no plans to review it." I believe in being direct and upfront and the vast majority of product enhancement requests will never make it into the product.

    Thanks for the response. I hadn't thought about looking for colleagues who want to get/expand experience in creating content. That was me once! 
    Michelle Wideman