Communicating Community Value
PJ Hagerty, Guest Author
June 20, 2022
When working in the world of Developer Relations, we often find our aims are somewhat different than those of the people we need to work most closely with. We set our goals based on our ideas of success, but those ideas may not be universal.
It’s important to know what other teams and departments define as success and how our end goals, whether measured in OKRs or otherwise, compare to their goals. Communicating how we can work together to reach all goals requires more than a few verbal interactions.
Understanding the Internal Community
Folks who have been working in Developer Relations for any period of time understand their work is based on the needs of the community, but the community is usually an external group. Perhaps there is crossover between people internal to the organization and the community at large, but we often focus more heavily on that external element.
When it comes to organizational goals, such as OKRs or even KPIs, the community we need to work with is likely just a few keystrokes away, or even in the same room for those of us who aren’t working remotely.
For true success, we must know how to work with our internal community, the Sales Team, the Head of Marketing, the Head of Support, and the folks in Product Management. These teams are not only there to inform us of the direction our organization is taking but also to work alongside us to help us meet our goals while reaching their own.
The only way to work successfully with internal teams is communication.
Communication as a Tool
Many of us know that communication is the most powerful tool in our toolbelt; it helps us build the content we deliver across various media, helps us become thought leaders in the communities we work with regularly, is the true root of what we do in DevRel. That said, we rarely consider how we use this powerful tool internally.
We often advocate for our technologies, products, or services without consideration as to how we communicate our activities internally. It is often necessary (yet overlooked) to make other internal teams aware of our OKRs and KPIs in order to get greater alignment on activities and tactics. Why reinvent the wheel if we are focused on similar end goals?
Unfortunately, this can be difficult. Unlike other activities, aligning with other teams doesn’t have a specific date and time like a conference talk or a publishing deadline. How then can we best let them know our goals, needs, and what can provide to them to assist in their work?
Peritus as a Tool for Success
Fortunately, Community Intelligence, both internal and external, is something we’ve focused on at Peritus for quite some time. We want to ensure the Developer Relations Team’s goals are met, but also that alignment can be found and other teams can be assisted and be clear on what we are trying to accomplish.
Actionable Insights allow our team to interact with and communicate things asynchronously with the heads of other departments, the people we need to work with regularly. These hotspots make it clear we can combine KPIs, and therefore reach OKRs, together.
Although other teams will not likely have the same needs, we will likely move in the same direction. For example, the Head of Support may want to decrease the number of new support tickets. We may have goals related to clarifying documentation for users. These two goals are really one in the same! With the communication made easier using Peritus’ Actionable Insights we don’t need to duplicate effort and both teams can benefit.
Think of Actionable Insights as a way to enact the old adage “many hands make light work”. Meet many internal goals without having multiple teams duplicating work. And save time for everyone to focus on other goals.
To put more concrete examples around this concept, each team has a different vision of success. Marketing wants more MQLs (Market Qualified Leads), Support wants better ways to avoid people having to create tickets, a more self-service model, and Sales wants more sales. Meanwhile, DevRel is focused on building a community.
With Peritus as a tool of communication, we can ensure all our teams are having their needs met and that DevRel is helping to make that happen.
The power of communication can never be underestimated. Relying on common methods like email or messaging platforms to align with other teams is not optimal. With Peritus, we have the tools to ensure we make the activities related to reaching internal goals easier and more copacetic. Focusing on our ideas of success and communicating our needs to be successful can help every part of the organization reach for those goals and stretch without wearing thin.