Pruning Your Community Garden: an Approach to Community Lifecycle Management (Part 2)

January 6, 2012 - 0 Comments

Part 1 of this blog series established that community administrators and owners need a way to assess and manage their respective community gardens and prune away communities that are no longer useful; see  This blog describes the primary tool that will be leveraged by community administrators and owners within Cisco’s Integrated Workforce Experience (IWE) to view and tend to their respective community gardens.  The tool is called the Community Lifecycle Management Portlet (LCMP).  The LCMP represents one of several components that have been developed – in a partnership between Cisco IT and the Collaboration Business Technologies organization – as an extension of Cisco’s Enterprise Collaboration Platform (Quad) to maintain the overall health of our community ecosystem.
The LCMP provides two different views: one for community owners (Figure 1) and another for community lifecycle administrators (Figures 2 and 3).  The primary differences between the two views are listed in Table 1.

Table 1.  LCMP Primary Functional Differences

Figure 1.  LCMP Community Owner View Mockup

Figure 2.  LCMP Community Lifecycle Administrator View Mockup (Communities Tab)

Figure 3.  LCMP Community Lifecycle Administrator View Mockup (Lifecycle Policies Tab)

The Community Display Area
The community display provides an alphabetical listing of the communities that the user owns or co-owns (Figure 4), or all communities in the system (Figure 5).

Figure 4.  LCMP Community Display Area (Community Owner View)

Figure 5.  LCMP Community Display Area (Community Lifecycle Administrator View)

Navigational Controls
The LCMP provides a rich assortment of options for controlling the information that is shown within the community display area (Figure 6).  Note that a community lifecycle administrator has an additional filtering option available to control which set of communities are displayed: all communities in the system (All Communities) or only communities where the lifecycle administrator is an owner or co-owner (Communities I manage); see Figure 5.

Figure 6.  LCMP Navigation Controls (Community Owner View)

Context-Sensitive Actions

Each community shown in the community display area includes a context-sensitive actions drop-down button (Figures 1 and 2).  The actions that are available depend on the state that the community is in and whether the user is a community owner or a community lifecycle administrator (Table 2).

Table 2.  Context-Sensitive Actions Menu

Lifecycle Policies
The community lifecycle administrator’s view of the LCMP includes a special Lifecycle Policies tab that allows the deletion eligibility rules to be specified on a per community category basis (Figure 3).  That is, each community category can be individually configured with a different rule regarding how long a community within that category must reside in the marked for deletion state before it can be deleted.  If the threshold for Category1 is set to X days, this translates to the following rule within the system:

  • Any community within Category1 that is placed into the “Marked for Deletion” lifecycle state must reside in this state for at least X consecutive days before the community can become eligible for deletion.

After a community becomes eligible for deletion, it can be deleted from the system by a community lifecycle administrator.

A Little about Inactive, Deactivate, and Reactivate
Within Cisco Quad there is an additional intrinsic lifecycle state called Inactive.  The Inactive lifecycle state is primarily used to take a community out of service without explicitly deleting it.  After a community is in the Inactive state, it is invisible to its community owner(s) and community member(s), and appears as being invisible to all except for community lifecycle management administrators.  Deactivate and Reactivate correspond to additional actions that are available to community lifecycle administrators as they tend to the community garden.
Leveraging the Inactive lifecycle state provides Cisco IT with the ability to implement two different community deletion policies depending on the Enterprise Records and Information Management (ERIM) requirements (Figure 7).

Figure 7.   Using the Inactive State to Satisfy ERIM Data Retention Requirements

The version of the LCMP described in this blog represents Cisco IT’s first step toward providing robust community lifecycle management tools for community owners and community lifecycle management administrators.  We have many exciting enhancements planned for our community ecosystem tools and I look forward to taking you along on the journey.

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