Global community platforms and languages #CoP #local #tools


Aaron Buchsbaum
 

Hi friends,

 

I have a rather gnarly, but not unusual problem.

 

I am asked to create a community platform. Ideal functions are file sharing, calendar, and discussions. Everything else is nice-to-have.

 

The user base comes from (1) at least 57 different countries, (2) in general are time-deprived, (3) have widely varying levels of familiarity with computers and web browsing, and (4) speak different languages.

 

Can anyone speak to this type of scenario, and how to promote multi-lingual ease-of-use and interaction generally? Happy to hear thoughts from platform/technology end as well as facilitation/community management end.

 

Massive thanks for your thoughts. Bonus points if you have used ‘Adobe Communities’ or ‘Microsoft Teams’ (or Slack) in similar scenarios.

 

Aaron Buchsbaum | Knowledge Management Officer

The World Bank. Washington, DC

P:   202.473.9711

E:   abuchsbaum@...

 

   #investinpeople

   @aaronbuchsbaum

   www.worldbank.org/humancapital

 

 


Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Aaron,

Firstly, what level of cross-language compatibility are you hoping for? For example, is it:

  • A system interface that is supported by multiple languages
  • The ability to go to a single URL and have the same content presented in your own language
  • The ability to search and filter across a corpus of documents by language
  • The ability to translate text in-place from any document to another language on demand

Secondly, is mobile browser access a nice to have or must have?

Lastly, what does "success" look like? Is that known yet?

Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 27/03/2019 3:34 am, Aaron F Buchsbaum abuchsbaum@... [sikmleaders] wrote:

Hi friends,

I have a rather gnarly, but not unusual problem.

I am asked to create a community platform. Ideal functions are file sharing, calendar, and discussions. Everything else is nice-to-have.

The user base comes from (1) at least 57 different countries, (2) in general are time-deprived, (3) have widely varying levels of familiarity with computers and web browsing, and (4) speak different languages.

Can anyone speak to this type of scenario, and how to promote multi-lingual ease-of-use and interaction generally? Happy to hear thoughts from platform/technology end as well as facilitation/community management end.

Massive thanks for your thoughts. Bonus points if you have used Adobe Communities or Microsoft Teams (or Slack) in similar scenarios.

Aaron Buchsbaum |Knowledge Management Officer

The World Bank. Washington, DC

P: 202.473.9711

E: abuchsbaum@...

#investinpeople

@aaronbuchsbaum

www.worldbank.org/humancapital


tman9999@...
 

Aaron - what about your project do you think makes it “gnarly”? Based on your description, there isn’t anything unusual about what you’re tasked with. Multiple languages are an aspect of every global enterprise community rollout, and sort themselves out in various ways. In some cases the UI is localized, in other cases the home country’s language becomes the official community language for global communiques and conversations, with local sub-communities popping up using their own language. The World Bank knows a lot about this - they were one of the early adopters of KM approaches back in the 90s!

Slack is designed for much more bottom-up, organic adoption and use, with only very light preconfiguration. As for top-down approaches, as Steven asked, you need to be clear about what the business objectives are for having the capabilities you asked about. There are a number of common use cases for communities, doc sharing, and group calendaring. Which ones are being targeted by WB? And who is the audience? Everyone in the entire organization, or only a subset? This is really KM101 stuff, so if you haven’t mapped out the answers to these questions already you may want to get some help.


Martin Dugage
 

Difficult proposition. The way we did it in my company ten years ago was to organize sub-communities by language / geographic zone (discussion groups + local meetings), but all sharing ONE people directory, ONE calendar of events and ONE repository of documents. We also asked them to publish abstracts of their local meeting minutes and published documents in English so they could travel around the world more easily. We had a global meeting for the global community every other year. Tables would be organized by language chapter. Main presentations were delivered in English but discussions generated would take place in the language of each table. One person at each table, fluent in English, would be the table’s advocate to the entire community.
It was a bit cumbersome and required some discipline, but overall it worked nicely.
Regards
Martin RD

Le mer. 27 mars 2019 à 15:42, tman9999@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> a écrit :
 

Aaron - what about your project do you think makes it “gnarly”? Based on your description, there isn’t anything unusual about what you’re tasked with. Multiple languages are an aspect of every global enterprise community rollout, and sort themselves out in various ways. In some cases the UI is localized, in other cases the home country’s language becomes the official community language for global communiques and conversations, with local sub-communities popping up using their own language. The World Bank knows a lot about this - they were one of the early adopters of KM approaches back in the 90s!

Slack is designed for much more bottom-up, organic adoption and use, with only very light preconfiguration. As for top-down approaches, as Steven asked, you need to be clear about what the business objectives are for having the capabilities you asked about. There are a number of common use cases for communities, doc sharing, and group calendaring. Which ones are being targeted by WB? And who is the audience? Everyone in the entire organization, or only a subset? This is really KM101 stuff, so if you haven’t mapped out the answers to these questions already you may want to get some help..


Aaron Buchsbaum
 

Many kind thanks to Tom, Martin, and Stephen. Some additional thoughts based on each.

 

Tom – I was a bit taken aback by some of your phrasing (“isn’t anything unusual”, “KM 101”, “adopters… back in the 90’s”), and then realized I’d perhaps not given enough context. The scenario at hand is for external client use. It involves government clients who are either Cabinet Ministers or Managers/Directors of units within ministries. It is a mix of Low, Middle, and High income countries, some of whom have political differences or are wary to be associated with certain others. As individuals, some started using a computer in their teens or later and should not be assume to be natively comfortable across UIs. On the language front, I don’t know, for instance, how many use an English keyboard or an Arabic one, or what their browser UI or CPU OS is set to for language. It is a bit challenging—though feasible--to sort that out through surveys and staff follow-up. That sid I have some familiarity with their overall language preferences, which is that when 50 of them will be in DC together in two weeks, 20 of them request translation to/from English. I can appreciate that these “sort themselves out in various ways”, but I’d like to set a higher bar where I can stand in front of my Vice President and say confidently that the technology solution for discussion, event sharing, and file sharing is able to be understood and navigated with ease. Else, like many platforms, the net result will be continued 1:1 emails between these clients and the closest World Bank country staff, which eventually come back to our small central team of 8, and require bespoke communications and file attachments. In such a scenario, the platform investment has poor returns. Very glad to hear further thoughts given the above, and apologies again for not sharing sufficient info.

 

Martin – many thanks for this useful example. There will be natural language groups, and at present we plan 1-2 global gatherings each year (we will see if that continues, based on funding). Your note on requiring discipline to keep things relatively equal across languages is well taken. I would love if a platform can handle some of that discipline 😊  Else I already envisage solutions where we create 3 guidance notes in three languages.

 

Stephen – you pose many fair questions.

- multilingual systems interface? --- yes

- single URL – not critical, but at least similar domain (e.g. worldbank.org vs. banquemondial.org)

- document translation – that would be beautiful, but I think is a lot to ask of a system. Do you know of anything that handles this reasonably? Else I would revert to Martin’s comments and use some ‘discipline’ (i.e. process) to make sure key contributions in native languages were being translated as needed, or at least summaries of them.

- mobile browser (or app) – yes, but willing to forego if other aspects of platform are strong

- success – oh that word! 😊 To be frank, no, it isn’t fully known. The full scope of the project is “increasing investments in human capital” (Aspirational! Although measurable, with difficulties). A successful platform, in order to contribute to that goal, will (1) provide a convening structure for discussions and questions in between in-person or synchronous web-based events (webinars, video conferences), will (2) be the trusted project knowledge repository that is top-of-mind for the client group in question, and will (3) reflect the amount of activity this high-level community undertakes by showing events happening around the world under the umbrella of human capital.

 

Many thanks again for all responses so far. Glad to hear more.

 

Aaron  

 

 

 

Aaron Buchsbaum | Knowledge Management Officer

The World Bank. Washington, DC

P:   202.473.9711

E:   abuchsbaum@...

 

   #investinpeople

   @aaronbuchsbaum

   www.worldbank.org/humancapital

 

 


Louis-Pierre Guillaume
 


Hi Aaron,

Not that unusual for those of us who have lead enterprise community management programs in multinational companies.

Before answering fully, I would ask some questions:
  • Could you define what is a community for you?
  • How many communities do you have?
  • How many communities of practice (CoP), organized with a leader, sponsor, charter ... ?
  • How many people per community? Min, max, average?
  • Do you have a community management program that federates and support the CoPs ? The other communities?
  • Internal or external communities, or a mix of both?
When I was the Director of Knowlegde Management at Schneider Electric, we looked at TEAMS vs YAMMER.

TEAMS
TEAMS is OK if you have communities with less than 50 members. Beyond, the management of the members is a chore.
The teams in TEAMS are private by default. Not good for serendipity.
There is no list of the teams in TEAMS. So, impossible to find out which communities I could be a member of.

YAMMER
Good for large communities beyond 50 members
YAMMER groups are open by default; good for serendipity
Easy to find the group you want to be a member of.

LANGUAGE
For YAMMER, Schneider Electric chose English for multi-country communities. For local one, they could keep their own language.
For TEAMS, as it is a closed environment, up to the members.

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT
Schneider Electric has a central team with one FTE who leads the 200 communities of practice. The 2000+ "communities" on Yammer and the 10000+ teams on TEAMS are on their own. The program promotes a framework, with best practices, rules, and measurement. The leaders of the CoPs are organised in a CoP (we eat our own dog food :-).

Hoping I have answered some of your questions,

Cheers
Louis-Pierre
_________________________________________________

Louis-Pierre Guillaume
Consulting in Knowledge Management, Communities & Collaboration
+33 6 10 33 63 21
louis-pierre.guillaume@...

www.amallte.com

LinkedIn - Twitter - Medium



Le mar. 26 mars 2019 à 17:35, Aaron F Buchsbaum abuchsbaum@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> a écrit :
 

Hi friends,

 

I have a rather gnarly, but not unusual problem.

 

I am asked to create a community platform. Ideal functions are file sharing, calendar, and discussions. Everything else is nice-to-have.

 

The user base comes from (1) at least 57 different countries, (2) in general are time-deprived, (3) have widely varying levels of familiarity with computers and web browsing, and (4) speak different languages.

 

Can anyone speak to this type of scenario, and how to promote multi-lingual ease-of-use and interaction generally? Happy to hear thoughts from platform/technology end as well as facilitation/community management end.

 

Massive thanks for your thoughts. Bonus points if you have used ‘Adobe Communities’ or ‘Microsoft Teams’ (or Slack) in similar scenarios.

 

Aaron Buchsbaum | Knowledge Management Officer

The World Bank. Washington, DC

P:   202.473.9711

E:   abuchsbaum@...

 

   #investinpeople

   @aaronbuchsbaum

   www.worldbank.org/humancapital

 

 


Martin Dugage
 

Have a look at Hivebrite. https://hivebrite.com
It’s really a cool community platform
M

Le ven. 29 mars 2019 à 17:09, Louis-Pierre Guillaume louis-pierre@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> a écrit :
 


Hi Aaron,

Not that unusual for those of us who have lead enterprise community management programs in multinational companies.

Before answering fully, I would ask some questions:
  • Could you define what is a community for you?
  • How many communities do you have?
  • How many communities of practice (CoP), organized with a leader, sponsor, charter ... ?
  • How many people per community? Min, max, average?
  • Do you have a community management program that federates and support the CoPs ? The other communities?
  • Internal or external communities, or a mix of both?
When I was the Director of Knowlegde Management at Schneider Electric, we looked at TEAMS vs YAMMER.

TEAMS
TEAMS is OK if you have communities with less than 50 members. Beyond, the management of the members is a chore.
The teams in TEAMS are private by default. Not good for serendipity.
There is no list of the teams in TEAMS. So, impossible to find out which communities I could be a member of.

YAMMER
Good for large communities beyond 50 members
YAMMER groups are open by default; good for serendipity
Easy to find the group you want to be a member of.

LANGUAGE
For YAMMER, Schneider Electric chose English for multi-country communities. For local one, they could keep their own language.
For TEAMS, as it is a closed environment, up to the members.

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT
Schneider Electric has a central team with one FTE who leads the 200 communities of practice. The 2000+ "communities" on Yammer and the 10000+ teams on TEAMS are on their own. The program promotes a framework, with best practices, rules, and measurement. The leaders of the CoPs are organised in a CoP (we eat our own dog food :-).

Hoping I have answered some of your questions,

Cheers
Louis-Pierre
_________________________________________________

Louis-Pierre Guillaume
Consulting in Knowledge Management, Communities & Collaboration
+33 6 10 33 63 21
louis-pierre.guillaume@...

www.amallte.com

LinkedIn - Twitter - Medium



Le mar. 26 mars 2019 à 17:35, Aaron F Buchsbaum abuchsbaum@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> a écrit :
 

Hi friends,

 

I have a rather gnarly, but not unusual problem.

 

I am asked to create a community platform. Ideal functions are file sharing, calendar, and discussions. Everything else is nice-to-have.

 

The user base comes from (1) at least 57 different countries, (2) in general are time-deprived, (3) have widely varying levels of familiarity with computers and web browsing, and (4) speak different languages.

 

Can anyone speak to this type of scenario, and how to promote multi-lingual ease-of-use and interaction generally? Happy to hear thoughts from platform/technology end as well as facilitation/community management end.

 

Massive thanks for your thoughts. Bonus points if you have used ‘Adobe Communities’ or ‘Microsoft Teams’ (or Slack) in similar scenarios.

 

Aaron Buchsbaum | Knowledge Management Officer

The World Bank. Washington, DC

P:   202.473.9711

E:   abuchsbaum@...

 

   #investinpeople

   @aaronbuchsbaum

   www.worldbank.org/humancapital

 

 


Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for the additional context. I think Martin is spot on that you'll need some good process disciplines no matter what platform you eventually adopt.

For what it's worth, here are the capabilities I suggest you will need. While some customisation would likely be required for any platform to achieve this, you can minimise it through smart design and good pre-planning:

  • A multilingual thesaurus to facilitate organisation and discovery. The World Bank has already done some good work here for a topic thesaurus, however it's only in English. Assuming you have a similarly broad topic focus, I suggest it might be worthwhile to develop a full multi-lingual thesaurus of the top-level and second-level concepts. This then provides a fairly simple way to categorise and expose ad hoc questions, working groups, and committees across the globe in the language of choice. SKOS and SKOS-XL provide a good modelling paradigm for this work.

  • A robust group structure that encourages both local and global community formation. This could be as simple as creating spaces with a Directory that captures metadata such as relevant topics, sponsoring organsations, locations and/or languages. These can then be exposed through browsing and/or search.

  • Support for summary and translation relationships. The goal here is to encourage translations and other value-add activities, while making it easy to track back to the source. For example in a SharePoint paradigm, you could trigger a Flow that allows users to attach a summary or translation to a source document, which would then automatically picks up associated metadata (such as source location, metadata and author) before republication. Ideally it keeps track of source so that you can see the origin of documents.

  • Multilingual calendars. Unfortunately I don't think there's a shortcut here. You just have to maintain multiple calendars in each of your core languages and keep them in sync through labour. You could try an auto-translation tool to put event stubs in place for each language, but assuming there will need to be fair degree of curation no matter what, I suspect that's a false economy.

  • Local and global moderators/support staff. Having dedicated staff do translations, housekeeping, space creation and management etc, will do wonders to make the site really hum.

Overall I'd be leaning towards an Office 365 solution for ease of deployment and scalability, but honestly there are lots of platforms capable of handling the problem technologically. Getting a clear picture on your supporting information infrastructure and governance will be the most important part.

Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 30/03/2019 1:42 am, Aaron F Buchsbaum abuchsbaum@... [sikmleaders] wrote:

 

Many kind thanks to Tom, Martin, and Stephen. Some additional thoughts based on each.

 

Tom – I was a bit taken aback by some of your phrasing (“isn’t anything unusual”, “KM 101”, “adopters… back in the 90’s”), and then realized I’d perhaps not given enough context. The scenario at hand is for external client use. It involves government clients who are either Cabinet Ministers or Managers/Directors of units within ministries. It is a mix of Low, Middle, and High income countries, some of whom have political differences or are wary to be associated with certain others. As individuals, some started using a computer in their teens or later and should not be assume to be natively comfortable across UIs. On the language front, I don’t know, for instance, how many use an English keyboard or an Arabic one, or what their browser UI or CPU OS is set to for language. It is a bit challenging—though feasible--to sort that out through surveys and staff follow-up. That sid I have some familiarity with their overall language preferences, which is that when 50 of them will be in DC together in two weeks, 20 of them request translation to/from English. I can appreciate that these “sort themselves out in various ways”, but I’d like to set a higher bar where I can stand in front of my Vice President and say confidently that the technology solution for discussion, event sharing, and file sharing is able to be understood and navigated with ease. Else, like many platforms, the net result will be continued 1:1 emails between these clients and the closest World Bank country staff, which eventually come back to our small central team of 8, and require bespoke communications and file attachments. In such a scenario, the platform investment has poor returns. Very glad to hear further thoughts given the above, and apologies again for not sharing sufficient info.

 

Martin – many thanks for this useful example. There will be natural language groups, and at present we plan 1-2 global gatherings each year (we will see if that continues, based on funding). Your note on requiring discipline to keep things relatively equal across languages is well taken. I would love if a platform can handle some of that discipline 😊  Else I already envisage solutions where we create 3 guidance notes in three languages.

 

Stephen – you pose many fair questions.

- multilingual systems interface? --- yes

- single URL – not critical, but at least similar domain (e.g. worldbank.org vs. banquemondial.org)

- document translation – that would be beautiful, but I think is a lot to ask of a system. Do you know of anything that handles this reasonably? Else I would revert to Martin’s comments and use some ‘discipline’ (i.e. process) to make sure key contributions in native languages were being translated as needed, or at least summaries of them.

- mobile browser (or app) – yes, but willing to forego if other aspects of platform are strong

- success – oh that word! 😊 To be frank, no, it isn’t fully known. The full scope of the project is “increasing investments in human capital” (Aspirational! Although measurable, with difficulties). A successful platform, in order to contribute to that goal, will (1) provide a convening structure for discussions and questions in between in-person or synchronous web-based events (webinars, video conferences), will (2) be the trusted project knowledge repository that is top-of-mind for the client group in question, and will (3) reflect the amount of activity this high-level community undertakes by showing events happening around the world under the umbrella of human capital.

 

Many thanks again for all responses so far. Glad to hear more.

 

Aaron  

 

 

 

Aaron Buchsbaum | Knowledge Management Officer

The World Bank. Washington, DC

P:   202.473.9711

E:   abuchsbaum@...

 

   #investinpeople

   @aaronbuchsbaum

   www.worldbank.org/humancapital