Behind the Scenes: How Shepley Bulfinch Prepared Their Community Managers to Drive Intranet Success

Shepley Bulfinch Community Managers

Not long ago, I described one of the more successful Intranet launches I’ve seen—the launch of Finch at the Boston-based architecture firm, Shepley Bulfinch. While the launch itself was certainly a story worth sharing, the planning leading up to the launch is equally so. In my experience, the long-term success of any Intranet hinges heavily on developing a small group of highly engaged and effective Community Managers. In this regard, Finch was no exception. Much of the success of this launch started with the thoughtful and intelligent approach used to engage and train the firm’s Community Managers engineered by Jim Martin, the firm’s CIO and Synthesis Sponsor.

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Behind the Scenes: How Shepley Bulfinch Launched Their Intranet and Engaged Users Post-Launch


New products are launched all around us everyday. Usually, we hardly even notice. Sometimes, they yield a passing nod or a mention. And, other times…well…everything is executed so intelligently that we just have to step back, take stock, and say, “Now that was something!”

I had one of those moments last Fall with the launch of Finch, a new Synthesis Social Intranet for architecture firm, Shepley Bulfinch. To start, the launch statistics were astounding—in just 90 days the firm had over 50% participation and an average of 9 posts a day. More importantly, after seeing the inner workings of this launch, I was really impressed with the thoughtful, intelligent approach taken by the team and had to document what I learned for the KA Advance community.

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Launching Synthesis @ Shepley Bulfinch

In addition to community and product news with Susan and Chris, Shepley Bulfinch’s Intranet Champion Jim Martin and Head Community Champion PJ Centofanti gave us a tour of their Synthesis Intranet, Finch.

If you only have a few minutes, we recommend jumping to 3:10 for information about the upcoming Synthesis Workshop and 16:55 for the Intranet Tour of Finch.

March 2015 Topics

0:50 KA Connect: Registration Information for KA Connect 2015

1:45 AEC Knowledge Management Survey Reminder

3:10 KA Advance: Synthesis Workshop San Francisco Program Overview

7:30 KA Advance: Questions from the KA Advance LinkedIn Group

8:55 KA Advance: Driving a Professional Development Grant Program at DLR Group Using Synthesis Article

11:15 Synthesis 5 Update

12:25 Synthesis Mobile: Share Extensions

13:00 Product Roadmap: What’s Next?

14:15 When will Synthesis Mobile for Android will include the activity stream?

16:55 Intranet Tour: Finch at Shepley Bulfinch

30:00 Do “practice links” on the left nav open community sites or wiki pages?

30:50 Did Community Managers take leave with any action items based on their group exercise of analyzing the most active posts?

32:35 What was the genesis of #AskFinch?

37:00 What are the mechanics of the “no orphaned post” policy?

39:45 Do you have plans to use variations on #AskFinch for specific communities or to curate #AskFinch discussions into wiki pages?

Next Office Hours on July 16

Registration is now open for the next KA Advance Office Hours on July 16th at 11 AM PST.