The spaces

What to do at this stage?

  • Define your target audiences and the added value of your initiative
  • Build your spaces in the platform according to these audiences and their needs

Define your target audiences and their needs

Now that you know what you want to achieve, it is interesting to define the target audiences that will come to your platform. List the few target audiences that are concerned by this initiative (by function, by site, by subject of expertise, etc.) _For example: managers, workers, head office employees, HR managers, the management committee, etc. In order to generate acceptance and commitment, each target audience must find interesting elements on this platform, information that helps them in their daily work. Do this little exercise, answer the following four questions by putting yourself in the shoes of each target audience: If I were X:

  • What would I like to find in it? What added value for me?
  • What are my incentives to come to / contribute to this platform?
  • What is expected of me? What is my role?
  • What are my obstacles?

If you are unable to list items of interest to certain target audiences, it is because either this target audience is not affected by the initiative or you really need to think about adding value to this particular target audience.

Define some usage scenarios

With its target audiences in mind, quickly list a dozen use scenarios for these target audiences. These scenarios will be useful in validating your structure: "Does it correspond well to what people expect?"

For example:

  • Every day, the quality coordinator publishes a new procedure in her quality space in order to make it accessible to all employees of the group
  • A member of our network could not attend a workshop: he searches it on the platform by filtering the workshops by theme and date, he watches it directly on the platform
  • A container park attendant proposes a solution to better manage collection in winter conditions and would like to receive feedback from colleagues on the proposed solution
  • In his daily train journey, a member of the IT department reads an article on his iPad on the Internet of Things and shares it in the IT department's technology watch area.

Create a structure outline in Elium (spaces)

One of the most important choices to be made in Elium is the one concerning architecture. By architecture we mean the creation of groups (_plan enterprise) and spaces that will develop the first level of structuring information sharing for your users. Why create a space? Under what conditions? What are the consequences? We will try to shed some light on these issues.

Definition of space

The space is

  • a binding choice when sharing content
  • defines access rights and a community
  • clearly displayed during navigation
  • an essential filter when looking for

It is therefore not only a tool of governance (definition of rights) but also a guide and an essential instrument at the time of contribution, navigation and research. This is why the choice of your spaces is a structuring element that influences and creates use.

5 points of view or criteria are useful to define the spaces:

  • Spaces related to the organization (department, division, trades, teams, etc.)
  • Spaces related to location (site, geographical area of activity, offices)
  • Subject spaces ("community of practice" or "watch")
  • Spaces by function or process (Marketing, HR, Innovation, etc.)
  • Spaces per project or objective (collaboration for a defined period of time)

These simple criteria can help you list the few key areas that seem most obvious to you and create a first draft of the structure. But for an optimal experience of your users and the creation of value, here are some golden rules to judge if the creation of a dedicated space is relevant or not:

  • Confidentiality: when the same group of users has a recurring need to access a set of content that should not be visible to other users, the creation of a dedicated space, with restricted access rights, is necessary.

  • The objective/use: a space can be created to satisfy a particular objective/need of users (internal communication spaces, a space for exchanging good plans, a space for sharing information related to a given mission)

  • Content coherence: a space can be created per type of content in order to propose a strong categorization and to facilitate the identification and access to this set of content of the same nature (all presentation models can be used).

  • The freshness rate and the volume of sharing: a space that contains only 3 contents and is likely to have only 2 new ones in the year may be too small to justify the creation of a space

  • The circle of trust between members who will share: trust is an essential factor in sharing. The most active virtual communities are often communities that also have a real life and existence (meeting, convention, sharing group,...).

  • the overlap between spaces: multi-posting can be a source of confusion, duplication... or on the contrary slow down the contribution (we hesitate and do not know where to post). If some spaces seem to have the same use or there is a hesitation between several spaces when posting content, it is because the perimeter of these spaces is not clear and needs to be reviewed.

Based on a first intuition, try to draw a picture of how you would like to gather the information (perhaps look at the platform you intuitively created during your test period). Review the needs of your target audiences and usage scenarios, and take a closer look at your structure by asking yourself:

  • Is it easy for each target audience to benefit?
  • Is it easy to access information that some of my target audiences find essential?
  • Do I offer a solution to the majority of my usage scenarios?

Don't forget:

  • Always start from the need of the user-contributor (and not that of the organization)
  • Encourage the creation of virtual communities (spaces) that correspond to real communities (minimum existing uses)
  • Promote transversality, do not try to reproduce a hierarchical classification plan
  • Choose a short and explicit space name and/or space group name
  • Opt for simple and clear rights templates (for more information, see the types of rights in ELIUM)

Some examples of space:

  • Resources area The main objective of this space (or spaces) is to provide users with a place where they can find all the reference documents or documents useful for their daily work. The contents of these spaces are either from an import from an existing database or shared disk, or from a process of collecting your company's key data. Often, the entry tab in these spaces is a library view because it is a matter of facilitating the search for information (and not encouraging social life around the content).

  • Project area The objective of this space (or spaces) is to provide users with a place where they can exchange, collaborate and capitalize on the projects they are working on. These spaces have a temporary lifespan, from the beginning to the end of a project and often contain a final deliverable that marks the end of the project. They contain a defined number of people, identified at the beginning. These spaces offer an input view of activity flows with intelligent tabs that highlight the key documents to be found in a few clicks.

  • Watch space The objective of this space is to invite everyone to share their watch and to share more widely the watches spread throughout the company. The role of contributor is obviously given to each of the users so that they can share their information. They are often public by default.

  • Community of practice space The objective of this space is to exchange users around a subject that is important for the company. Either the creation of these spaces supports the realities of exchanges between communities of practice in the field, or the creation of these spaces can initiate the process of exchange around certain subjects. These spaces are often created according to regional (geographical area exchanging in the same language), business (major areas of activity of the company), thematic (transversal and varied themes, cross-departments), organizational (teams or departments) criteria.

  • HR Space The objective of this space is to make all documents essential to business life more accessible, they also provide a privileged channel for HR teams to disseminate information.

  • Internal communication space The objective of this space is to disseminate information to as many people as possible, the platform becomes a vector of communication in the same way as email, company newsletters, intranet or other tools.

  • Space dedicated to an event The objective of making a complete space dedicated to an event is twofold: to be able to capitalize everything and find in one place about this event, to be able to decide who can access this space more finely.