Put some Agile into your community

Finding a way to stimulate/encourage your community to do stuff can be a very difficult task.  I will show you an Agile-like approach to do that and actually it works pretty well, but remember:

Don’t try to control your community, try to manage it.

Create the infrastructure

  • Get an account in Trello.
  • Define your basic iteration period. Let say 2 weeks.
  • Define tasks.

Don’t try to find people who want to contribute.

“What? Are you serious?”

Hell yeah. Try to create tasks first. Put anything you think can be doable in the next 2 weeks (This is your main task).

You can start from “we need someone to tweet using our account” , “we need a new wiki” or something more interesting like “we need someone to be responsible for beer giveaways”

Ready?

Invite

Ok, now invite ALL community members to create an account and to look at the task.

Let them:

  1. Vote for the tasks.  See how community see the importance of the tasks.
  2. Add themselves to a task. It’s a common mistake project manager/leader/the big boss to assign someone to a task. Don’t do that!

Teams

Now you can see which people are willing to work together on a certain task and you can create a new board for them.

Let say you have a task website on the main board:

And there are 10 people that want to contribute to it. Move them to another board and let them create tasks, with a simple workflow:

Todos > Working on > Done:

Meetings

If you have well working community or some kind of core contributors, you can start every iteration with a meeting and to define all the tasks together.

Why?

  • This approach will help you a lot to do things faster. Remember define only tasks that can be done in 2 weeks (or 3 weeks). It’s much easier to create a simple skeleton of your website with most, most important functionalities (like who we are and join us) than to plan and create whole website in 2 months.
  • Step by step
  • Build a community and respect your community member’s skills.
  • Invite anyone to join and to help. It’s kind of easy to find someone to write a post in a forum or to contact a media representative, because this takes 3-4 minutes.
  • Get things done!