Make sure you have the necessary resources before you launch. Resource requirements will depend on the nature and scale of the program, but here are some considerations.
Almost every organization that we spoke to named sufficient human resources as a key success factor.
In large programs that means a full time staff member who is responsible for the planning and management of the program. In smaller programs a community manager with time allocated to the day-to-day running is sufficient. If you are starting small and don’t have a budget for extra staff, be realistic about blocking out some calendar time for existing staff to commit to the program.
A good benchmark is 15-20% of your existing community resource, with a dedicated staff member required when your program reaches 50+ members.
In organisations with global communities where member responsibilities are locale based, a globally dispersed team of community managers may be necessary to ensure that each area is managed by someone with appropriate knowledge and the ability to build relationships with members.
Bigger organizations should consider creating a cross-functional team to secure early buy-in and build strong relationships with all key stakeholders.
Other areas to consider are:
- Marketing (landing pages, promotional messaging, emailing member segments)
- Design (branding, swag)
- Technical (platform tweaks)
- Reporting (pulling and presenting data)
- Legal (expertise and review)