3DEXPERIENCE: How to collaborate in a community

You need to improve your information flow; we have the tools to streamline your communication.

Communication is one of the cornerstones on the 3DExperience platform. Due to this, it’s possible to streamline the communication channels to a single source, thus eliminating the dreadful, massive chains of emails (many of whom often aren’t relevant for you…), dozens of Skype chats or endless MS Teams channels. Using communities on the 3DExperience platform you can gather the communication for a project group, department or even your external contractors instead of having it spread out over multiple applications which often makes it increasingly difficult to find that specific information you need. By creating a central channel it’s possible to ensure that everyone have access to the latest information while also decreasing confusion and mistakes due to multiple sources of communication.

A community is basically a forum in which it’s possible to create different types of posts. I have already described in a previous blog post how the type of post known as “idea” can be used, hence I won’t cover that one in this blog post. However, there are many other types of posts you can submit in a community:

  • Post
  • Media
  • WeDo
  • Question
  • Survey
  • Wiki Page

Post

This is a “regular” post with a title and associated text, i.e. if you just want to submit a regular post you use this one.

Media

If you want to share an image or video, you can use the “media” type of post. It allows you to upload your media and submit it to the community.

WeDo

This type of a post is the 3DExperience equivalent of tasks. You can create a new WeDo (i.e. a task) in which it’s possible to assign the task to someone else in the community and set a date at which the task should be completed. There are three different statuses available, “To Do”, “In Progress” and “Done”, which makes it easy for your manager and colleagues to see the status of each task.

Question

A question is, just what it sounds like, a question. What’s unique about this post is that you can validate the correct answer to the asked question, hence make it easy for everyone in the community to see both the question and the answer without having to scroll through dozens of replies. Once an answer is validated it will be highlighted and placed just below the question in the original post.

Survey

An interesting aspect of a community is the possibility to create surveys. Let’s say for example that you’re working on developing a new product and have come up with some different design alternatives. You can then post a survey in the community you’ve created for that project and have your project members vote for the best option. Or you can create a survey in your department’s community whether to buy new furniture to the office or new air conditioning – the only limit is your imagination.

Wiki Page

I would imagine that, more or less, every department in every organization have a number of questions that keep coming back again and again, sometimes because your colleagues have forgotten the answer and sometimes because they are new to the position. Either way, to overcome this it’s possible to create a knowledge base using the Wiki Page post available in a community. Sure, it’s possible to use the “question” type of post but sometimes several questions are related to each other and you may end up having to jump between multiple posts to understand the bigger picture. In some cases, it could be more beneficial to instead create a knowledge base to gather certain information and that’s what wiki pages can be used for. A wiki page can consist of a number of main chapters which in turn can have sub-chapters to better organize the content.


To conclude this blog post I will also tell you that it’s possible to filter a community for different types of posts – if you only want to see e.g. questions, you can use the filters found at the top right corner. In the image below I’ve activated a filter to only display “regular” posts by clicking on the icon for regular posts. Note that the other icons are slightly dimmed, that is an indication that a filter is active.


The cherry on the top is that these filters can be connected to a specific tab in the dashboard. In other words: you can create a new tab called e.g. “Wiki Pages” and have a filter activated so that every time you select that tab, only wiki pages will be displayed. To configure this, go to the tab on which you want to filter the community posts and activate the desired filter, in this case I choose the “Wiki Pages” filter. Then click the arrow pointing downwards right next to the filter icons and select “Preferences” in the drop-down menu.


In the preferences you select the option “Current preferences” which will save the currently active filter to the active tab.


Since I had the Wiki Pages filter active the saved preferences will be that only such posts will be visible in the community on the current tab.

This can be done on multiple tabs meaning that you can have one tab called “Wiki Pages” filtered on the wiki posts submitted in the community, another tab called “Tasks” which is filtered on WeDo’s to see all tasks, and so on. Working smart with dashboards, tabs and the different types of community posts you can streamline the communication and become more efficient in your everyday work.

Jimmy Johansson

Application Engineer