The Jive social business platform offers
project managers tools for connecting with their teams. Here’s an overview of the social platform’s features. (This article is based on out of the box features.)

Set up a group for your department or team

A group is a
collaborative environment you can set up for your project or project team. Figure A shows the Create
Group dialog box. (I set up a group just for this article as a test.)

Figure A

Create Group dialog box (See an enlarged view of the image.)

Click Apply And Browse
Templates to take advantage of Jive’s group templates. I chose
the Group Collaboration template for this article (Figure B).

Figure B

Jive’s Group Collaboration template (See an enlarged view of the image.)

If I were using Jive in an enterprise, I would set up
groups for departments and/or project teams depending on the organization’s size and mission.

Create a project within a Jive group

Within a Jive group, go to Actions and click Project to
create a project within that group. A project manager and their team can
set up a project around specific projects in their area of responsibility.
Figure C shows the Create Project dialog box.

Figure C

Create Project dialog box (See an enlarged view of the image.)

Teams can use a project for the following tasks:

  • Status updates via an activity stream
  • Discussion boards
  • Upload files and documents
  • Create and publish blog posts
  • Conduct polls
  • Capture and track tasks
  • Upload video

Backing up these features is a well-executed user interface.
Users intimidated by SharePoint team sites should have an easier time with a Jive
project site. From the project’s main page, participants can view:

  • Top participants
  • Key content and places
  • Featured content
  • Recent decisions
  • Finalized content

Create an idea

Whether your team develops
content or software, managing ideas can help you be more responsive to
customers and upper management. While the Create Idea feature is pretty
barebones, it’s comparable to other idea management tools like Insightster.

The idea feature has word processing and
formatting features that will be familiar to users. It also pulls up similar
ideas when you are creating your new idea so you can link to them. Figure D
shows the Create Idea screen.

Figure D

Create Idea (See an enlarged view of the image.)

Once you create an idea, the team can vote on it and conduct
a threaded discussion (Figure E).

Figure E

Vote on and discuss the idea. (See an enlarged view of the image.)

Create a task

Jive lets you capture and assign tasks from within a project
or a group. While Jive may not replace a full-fledged project management tool
for detailed task management and tracking across a team, it does include enough
to get the job done. Click Create | Task to open the Create A Task dialog box
(Figure F).

Figure F

Create A Task dialog box. (See an enlarged view of the image.)

The Create A Task dialog box includes a mandatory field for
the Description, a drop-down list for specifying the project for the
task, an Assigned To selector, and a Due Date. Considering what today’s social
task management platforms like Do, Asana, and Producteev are doing with task
management, Jive is pretty basic.

Collaborate on documents

Document collaboration is where enterprise social
networks become potentially redundant with collaboration platforms such as
Huddle, SharePoint, Teambox, and others. If your organization is already
standardized on a collaboration platform, it can be counterproductive to use
two platforms for document collaboration.

However, Jive offers a
different take on document collaboration than some enterprise social and
collaboration platforms. When you click Document under the Create menu, the
Create New Document screen appears (Figure G).

Figure G

Create New Document (See an enlarged view of the image.)

This feature is more document authoring than document
library (it’s like what you would find in Huddle or SharePoint), and it may not be such a bad
thing. There is also an option to upload documents directly into
Jive; however, you can’t modify the documents you upload from within Jive.

Jive provides a simple and easy to use editor with all the
right formatting tools that enables you to share documents with other users
within Jive or export to PDF right out of the box. It appears you do need
to use the Jive for Microsoft Office Connector to export the document to
Microsoft Word. 


Jive helps build the case for project managers
and their teams to leave behind email and spreadsheet management and move their usual
communications to an enterprise social platform.