Managing Communities through Taxonomy

Posted by Paul Schontzler on Wed, Mar 05, 2014 @ 16:03 PM

Managing Communities through TaxonomyCommunication is key to any organization, but the ability to effectively reach your communities becomes an increasing challenge as your organization grows. By utilizing existing community taxonomy, or how you classify all aspects of your organization’s personnel, you can implement a programmatic solution to remove the headaches of unwieldy, manually managed distribution groups as well as provide helpful insights into your communities.

Defining Communities and Key Dimensions

When approaching a programmatic management solution for your communities, you need to start by defining the key dimensions which comprise your communities.  Think in terms of organization, geography, time zones, and roles. This step is critical, as it is key in shaping the way you approach defining taxonomy.

Defining and Aggregating your Taxonomy

In order for your solution to be reliable and effective, it is critical to implement a centrally managed source of truth to aggregate the managed taxonomy types and personnel information. This will eliminate the problem of non-standard taxonomy, such as self-assigned titles, e.g. “Chief Code Guru,” or complications due to redundant systems with conflicting information. Leveraging existing HR systems is a natural source for this information.

With accurate and reliable taxonomy assigned to your entire organization, the definition and aggregation of your communities can become a reality. Before, what seemed like a chore of creating and managing communities now becomes a simple exercise of selecting existing taxonomy parameters and assigning them to distribution groups. For example, HR may want to send communications out to all salaried employees in the United States. That group can now be defined programmatically by your community taxonomy mapping, instead of a laborious manual process.

Community Analytics

The same system required to define and manage communities becomes a powerful source of data, opening up the ability to extract insightful analytics on your organization and individual communities. The system provides answers to simple questions of “how big is my community” as well as enabling more complex analytics. For example, you could extract a correlation between employee retention and management performance by tracking how many people were added and dropped from your community per area, then comparing that to management tenure and external metrics such as sales performance.

Community Owner Management

In order to maximize the benefit of a programmatic community management solution, it is key to involve community stakeholders and leads. Empowering community stakeholders to be owners and stewards of your solution strengthens communities via improved communication and reduces administrative overhead. Providing access to community analytics will enable community owners to manage their groups proactively rather than reactively. Proactive community owners will enforce the validity of individual distribution groups, which crowd-sources the solution management and reduces administrative costs while reinforcing confidence in your solution. 

Managing communities through taxonomy often requires a customized solution to interact with your current systems and manage your groups and mappings. Once implemented, however, the return on investment for a custom solution saves countless hours wasted on manual group management by HR staff, revenue-generating community owners, and role leads and also unlocks powerful insights through community analytics. In place of a fully custom solution, a solution accelerator can maximize ROI by reducing end-to-end costs and speed the implementation while still meeting your custom needs.  

If you have questions about cloud-based solutions or are interested in knowing more about 110 Consulting's cloud-based accelerator, Community Central (which leverages Office 365 and SharePoint to integrate your existing taxonomy with community management), please contact us at any time.

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