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Start a Company User Group: work better together

Have you ever heard of Atlassian Company User Groups? It's about leading a user group inside your own organization to: increase internal product adoption, learn how your coworkers use Atlassian tools and share best practices.

I recently started a user group at a French insurance company where I'm managing Jira and Confluence. With the Atlassian tools growing and being used more than ever, it was time to take it to the next level and organize an Atlassian Company User Group! I couldn't find any online resources when launching it, hence this Community article to share some insights - I know it can be overwhelming to plan such an event.

 

Step 0 - Contact your local Atlassian Community Manager

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Everything starts here: Apply to become an Atlassian Company User Group leader. A few days later, you'll be in touch with your local Atlassian Community Manager. I was lucky to get help from @Darline Auguste, the EMEA Community Manager - I couldn't thank her enough for her support! We brainstormed and sorted out some logistic issues together. She provided me with presentations, swag and other tips to get started and promote attendance.

Step 1 - What to expect?

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The next step is to answer 3 questions:

  • Why?

Why will your busy coworkers take the time to join your user group? It can be to share use cases with their colleagues, to discover new features or to get involved in decision on tool decisions (e.g., what apps will be purchased). I think this is the most important question: you need to know why people should join to define what the user group will be about, and to make people want to come along.

  • How?

Will it be a live or virtual user group? Maybe both? If it's a live user group, do you know where you could host it? If it's a virtual one, do you have credentials for an online tool like Webex or GoToMeeting? By the way, how long will it last?

  • How many?

How many people do you expect? You may need to restrict the number of attendees because of the room where the user group will take place.

 

Step 2 - Meet your key users

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Before going live and planning an internal meet up, I decided to start with a preliminary workshop with some key users. I met with 6 power users to figure out what were the main subjects to address and what would make their teams want to join the user group. Darline suggested to run a lean coffee so attendees could direct feedback on any topics that may already be on their mind when it comes to Atlassian tools. It also made driving conversations more interactive.

Here are the main steps of the lean coffee we ran:

  1. Each attendee wrote down 3 topics ideas and hung it up on the wall.
  2. I read each post-it and we discussed them: what do we think of this subject? Would it be a REX (feedback) or a classic presentation?
  3. Each attendee voted for up to 3 ideas.
  4. We counted the votes and chose the topic with the most votes to be the one to discuss during the first user group.

 

Step 3 - Jira to the rescue

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Now that we'd gathered ideas from our key users, we needed to organize them to be able to pick up a topic when needed. Leading an Atlassian user group, I guess you're using Jira: create a Kanban board to centralize topics ideas! Or, if you don't have the board feature, you could create a Trello board.

I designed my Kanban board this way: Topics to discuss / Next topic / Topics discussed. I then added each post-it from the lean coffee to the "Topics to discuss" column and moved the next topic to discuss to the right column. Two things are crucial about this board:

  • It is open to every Jira user - everyone can suggest a topic idea.
  • Jira votes are enabled so that users can express their interest in the suggested subjects.

 

Step 4 - Ask for support

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The first subject to address was selected: how to get effective Tempo Timesheets reports? I got in touch with the Tempo team to ensure I didn't miss any top features. Special thanks to Thorunn, she did an awesome job sharing with me Tempo Timesheets best practices regarding reports and how to create them.

I highly recommend getting in touch with app editors - even if you think you already know a bunch of stuff about their apps: they will take the time to explain core features and give you some tips about how to demo their apps.

 

Step 5 - Time to party

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We're ready to host the first Company User Group event! I placed some swag at the entrance of the room and began the session:

  • 5' presentation of the user group: why we're starting one, what they can expect from it
  • 10' about Jira and Confluence latest news
  • 15' about the selected subject, i.e., how to get effective Tempo Timesheets reports

People enjoyed the swag and were involved during the session, asking questions and taking notes: huge success!

 

Step 6 - Confluence recap

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Yay, we ran our first Atlassian Company User Group event! If your company uses Confluence, I highly recommend creating a space dedicated to the user group. I chose to create a blog on Confluence and wrote a recap article with the slides and key takeaways of the session. If you ran a virtual user group and recorded the session, you could even share the recording to ensure everyone can access the user group content.

 

Do you also run a Company User Group? Would love to hear your stories and tips!

 

3 comments

Celina Zamora-Torres Community Manager Mar 11, 2019

@Manon Soubies-Camy  this is amazing!!!! Truly. Thank you for sharing this content and your experience. Look out for an email from me regarding a group we have specifically for our company user group organizers, where you all can share tips and tricks, best practices, and use cases around your company user groups. Thanks again and look forward to hearing more. 

Like Leslie Lee likes this
Darline Auguste Community Manager Mar 18, 2019

I'll definitely be referring future company user group leaders to this article as you've given terrific insights here, Manon! Awesome write up :)

Like Manon Soubies-Camy likes this
Cassie Mayes Community Manager Mar 29, 2019

Thanks for sharing your insight, Manon! I’m sure this article will help other users become more familiar with all our community has to offer. :)

Like Manon Soubies-Camy likes this

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