How A Large Software Company Engages Employees In Communities

This blinded case study focuses on a large software company that wanted to improve the flow of knowledge between its product groups and the rest of the organization and give employees fast access to relevant updates. The company developed a network of global communities of practice that allow employees to access experts, answers, and learning opportunities.


One key lesson for the director of business programs is the importance of carefully managing communities and making readjustments as needed based on the data. “History shows that if you don’t manage your community, you can see the membership starting to go down. Communities have to be managed and managed carefully,” he said.

The ability to track membership data and member contributions is crucial to the organization’s continual process of readjustment to ensure that communities remain relevant, helpful, collaborative spaces of knowledge sharing and innovation.

Community members utilize a broad range of platforms to consume and contribute community content, and the communities program has realized the importance of flexibility in this regard. “You have to recognize that different people consume things in different ways, so you have to be a lot more flexible with it,” said the director of business programs. “We try to be as flexible as possible in terms of platforms that we provide, the way you can consume it, the language and the timing.”

For the director of business programs, the success or failure of communities is ultimately a product of how useful people find the communities to be. The key question for him is: are people coming back? Using regular data tracking, targeted communications, and recognition of community contributions, the company ensures that communities remain relevant and helpful for all their members, which ensures robust membership and participation in all communities.

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Kertas kerja diterbitkan oleh APQC pada 19 Jun 2019: