CLIENT STORIES: Atlassian
Stephanie Grice: Upleveling the Atlassian Community
Atlassian’s founders have enthusiastically encouraged community connections since 2006, when a few avid Atlassian users self-organized to share product knowledge. After over a decade of organic growth, leadership decided to formalize the team, bring user group and forum programs together, and invest in their online community. Once the new online community was scaled and successful, community leader Stephanie Grice and her executive team started to consider “what’s next?” Since the community was already quite mature by industry standards, Stephanie knew answering that question was a job to be shared only with a super-seasoned veteran like Erica Kuhl.
Erica & Stephanie
“We were in a mature phase and looking to continue success in a stable, sustainable, meaningful way. We knew we needed outside thinking from someone like Erica, who is one of the few people that has led a community through many evolutions and so much growth.”
As an advisor to Stephanie and the Atlassian leadership team, Erica partnered to build everything from long-term strategy to new positioning and team structure. And helped the whole team make a total shift in how they think about the Atlassian Community.
Here are a few highlights of their work together:
NEW COMMUNITY STRATEGY
Erica helped the team zoom out and shift their thinking to make sure they did due diligence on the stickiest, most cross-functional parts of their strategy. She continues to help with driving alignment across the organization.
FRESH COMMUNITY MESSAGING
Erica and Stephanie led the team through an exercise to reconnect with the meaning, purpose, and unique characteristics of the Atlassian Community. The outcome was fresh messaging that became the north star for all community channels, and even helped up-level guidelines and community leader onboarding.
Erica introduced the idea that community isn’t bound to specific channels and the community itself is not a channel. Community is human beings that create a halo around the brand. Making that shift helped the whole team think differently and see much greater opportunity.
Stephanie and Erica worked together to elevate internal communications, particularly for executive stakeholders and sponsors. This has helped Stephanie consistently craft a succinct why and who, and spotlight the right data points and metrics. The team now keeps a constant drumbeat of important business updates, and also shares regular tastes of the real, human magic happening in the community.
Scalable Team Structure
Erica helped Stephanie evolve into the role of community team leader by advising on long-term team structure where playbooks and paths don’t exist like they do for more traditional roles.
“She helped us shift from thinking of community as channels to community as human beings. That has led to more boundless thinking about how to build and maintain relationships at scale.”
IN STEPHANIE's words: working with Erica
“In one word, I would say fun. If I could use multiple words, it would be fast and furious, because the time we spend together is just jam packed. Having worked with Erica for several years now, I think of her as a mentor and advisor, a coach. She's really kind, open-hearted, and helpful. I jokingly have called her my fairy godmother, because it's really like whatever you need is where she's willing to help.”