Typically we begin a new client project with an on-site workshop where we aim to get all the key people in the same room (and then on the same page).
Some useful questions to ask:
- What does each person hope to get from the community and what do they fear about it?
- What are the problems the community can solve, why haven’t they already been solved, how else could they be solved, and why can the community solve them better than any other method?
- What problems will the community tackle in 0 – 3 months, 3 to 9 months, 9 to 18 months, and 18 months+?
- What does success look like? What is an ‘ok’ outcome, a ‘good’ outcome, and a ‘fantastic’ outcome from the community?
- What metrics matter to each stakeholder, what will we track, and what is the best means of sharing success?
- What are the behaviors of our audience we need to change and what currently influences or drives those behaviors?
- What are the most valuable behaviors each segment of our audience (visitors, lurkers, irregulars, and top members) can perform for us to achieve our goals?
Add and remove the questions as needed. But if you can get your colleagues aligned on these answers, together you will be doing far better than most.