Looking for advice on Product Based Communities

(Alessio Fattorini) #1

I’m looking to connect with Community Professionals of Product Based Communities, especially tech communities (if Open Source would be great!). I’d like to exchange ideas about project management, testing, feedback, features, measurements, reports … what is your role in this case? How do you support the project leader? How do you help your Dev Team? How do you align your community strategy with the product goals?

[I’m honest this is a cross-posting with CMXhub, in case feel free to delete]

(Darren Gough) #2

Not sure if this exactly fits your bill but @christiefidura (who I’m referencing twice in a week!) was EMEA CM for Adobe and might have some ideas

(Christie Fidura) #3

Thanks for the 2nd shoutout this week, @Darren_Gough!

Hi @ale_fattorini, this is a HUGE questions and much too difficult to discuss here in any type of useful way. However, I think the highlights you need to know are that you should:

  • Get your high-level goals and strategic implementation tactics well in place before you consider going this route. And that includes if/then/else risk assessments and procedures.
  • Get your influencers on board long before you consider rolling anything out to the wider community.
  • Introduce gamification slowly - it can be worth it, but it’s a dicey monster to get wrong.
  • Use a database tracking tool to track your progress against your goals and your tactics. Your management will want to see progress and you need to be able to track it on a weekly basis at minimum.
  • Requesting feedback from your community is so very powerful and one of the fundamentals. However, have a system in place for ideas that you don’t take forward. People get annoyed if you never implement their ideas and don’t explain why.

Your role in this instance is to be The Middle Man. You are the voice of the community, and you answer to the community but you’re also working for the Exec Team. Never forget who pays your paycheck, no matter how much you love the community. It’s easy to get confused, which is why goal setting is so important.

Your project leader is the most important person because he may try to push things through that the community aren’t ready for - you need to have a very strong relationship with him and hopefully he will agree to let you set the pace or at least the tone.

Dev team needs to be on board fully with this idea. Explain how working with the community will help prioritise product design and feature implementation better than anything else. Tell the Harley-Davidson story.

Your single purpose should be to align the community with the product goals, not the other way around. Remember the paycheck advice.

Hope this helps!
Christie @cfidurauk

(Sarah Hawk) #4

[quote=“ale_fattorini, post:1, topic:3678”]
I’m looking to connect with Community Professionals of Product Based Communities, especially tech communities
[/quote] People that spring to mind are @Alexandra_Anna_Bowen (DreamFactory), @Kristinaking (Jama), @carlasofia (outsystems), @Bas_van_Leeuwen (ex-Hippo) and @andymci (GoDaddy),

(Nick Emmett) #5

Our Community here at FinancialForce is very much product led, in terms of customers looking for tips, solutions and advice about using our products. Our product teams are very much engaged in terms of going out to our community members for volunteers to test prototype versions, feedback on UX and road map etc. We also have an Ideas board where community members can submit their ideas for features/enhancements to our product team. There’s elements of all of this that we’re good at, and elements that we’re not very good at - but we’re learning all the time and improving (hopefully). I know our product teams and the community members that have participated both greatly value the interaction and collaboration.

(Alessio Fattorini) #6

Hi Cristie,
those are terrific suggestions! I love the H-D story and your paychek advice :wink: I learned recently what the business alignement is worth

(Laura McCullum) #7

HI @ale_fattorini !

I currently help manage Mimecast’s community. It a support community, but has an idea center and user groups to get quick feedback from the customers and use that feedback to improve their product. https://community.mimecast.com They also have a great Knowledge Base area for documentation and a very active Community Forum for questions and conversations. With over 18,000 users, it is a very active community.

I agree with @christiefidura - her highlights are spot on. Make sure your community objectives match back to your business values and needs. Start simple and as you gain feedback from your members, grow upon their needs and the business needs.

Also, make sure you have an active Community Manager and a team to support them for moderating questions, ideas, etc. A product / support community needs a lot of TLC, so make sure you have a team to support it and evolve it as it grows.