Pantheon Community

Measuring a healthy collaborative culture?

Hi, all!

I’m digging into ways of measuring collaboration on a team. It’s really easy to talk about tools that enable collaboration, but I would love to hear how y’all judge if a team is collaborative or not.

@JohnRichardsII shared this article, which is interesting:

Do you measure/gauge collaboration? As part of your overall goals, or separately? I’d love to hear from y’all how you ensure your team(s) work well together and get things done.

The wider context here is that we see collaborative teams outperforming non-collaborative teams, but would like better language & frameworks to share that awesome collaborative magic with the folks who are struggling.



One place I worked looked at was how much communication happened in public channels as a metric. (pretty easy to pull via slack) The idea being to promote open and transparent communication. I think the motivation is sound but I’m not sure the data properly represents collaboration, though it might reflect it. For instance some teams like HR legitimately have much higher private communications rather than public.

I do think encouraging teams to work asynchronously and transparently is an important part of collaboration, especially with COVID causing schedules to not line up as cleanly as they use to.


I do always say, Zoom is where information goes to die (when its not recorded). I really advocate for transparency through Slack, or whatever chat service is utilized.

I always feel a little left out when teams take conversations into DMs that require decision-making…


+1 to that, it’s so easy to leave people out when using DMs for this kind of thing.

1 Like

I like the idea of decision making being the criteria for open communication vs DMs.

I get worried about spamming messages, but I could probably solve for that with better threaded messaging.

great line about information dying. Even a recorded zoom can be a challenge to stay up on. I feel like a live with a perpetual back log of zooms that I am working through.


I love the slack metrics idea – like you said, not a complete picture but a very interesting peek into how people prefer to resolve problems.


Gotham City Drupal is fully distributed, so for us the pandemic wasn’t as disruptive as it might’ve been; we pretty much carried on per usual. We have always longed for an always-on video situation, where we could leave a spare old computer / monitor on and “hang out” without necessarily needing to specifically focus on each other, like another person in the room, kinda, but could still include each other randomly (specifically and generally, as a group). Fun, right?Alas, neither bandwidth nor technology really allows for that to happen (yet), but we remain hopeful of such luxury, someday soon!

As far as metrics go, the slack analytics idea works; I’m not a fan of losing comms into the black holes of DMs either. Even email is discouraged in our group. We use a tool called Pivotal Tracker for our issue tracking (which integrates nicely into slack), and that integrated transparency is really nice.


I was thinking about this more and I think there is a lot of overlap between collaboration and community. Maybe a better way to put that is that you can’t have a successful community without collaboration so it is a great way to learn or demonstrate collaboration.

I was trying to think of concrete steps to take to increase collaboration and it seems like creating or joining a community of practice is one of the best ways.

It reminds of how I once heard that leading in a volunteer space is the purest form of leadership since those following aren’t being compelled to do so by financial compensation.

Similarly collaboration in a community is not directly financially motivated. So, you need strong collaboration if the group is to succeed.

I wonder if there are similar metrics that could then be re-applied back to collaboration amongst different teams. I know the greatest improvements in my ability to collaborate came from being active within community environments.

1 Like

I was trying to think of concrete steps to take to increase collaboration and it seems like creating or joining a community of practice is one of the best ways.

:arrow_double_up: I love this @JohnRichardsII. In both my personal & professional experience, I could not agree more.

Here are my thoughts on it!

When we talk about building healthier communities, we are essentially talking about creating a safe space for people to come together [collaboration] to work on what matters most to them [shared passion or interest].

Finding a community of interest is only half the battle though! A lot of communities tend to have what we call “silent contributors.” These people pop into the community from to time, but rarely [if ever] contribute. Why? Honestly, it could be for a variety of reasons. Maybe they are still “feeling” the community out to make sure it’s a good fit for them. Maybe they don’t feel like they have a safe space to speak up? Maybe they aren’t sure where or how to lend their expertise? Maybe the community is not what they thought it was [didn’t find any value or relevant topics/conversations to contribute to]? Or maybe they have lended their expertise previously, but felt dismissed or undervalued. This is where understanding your community & the members who are part of it really come into play. It’s really all about providing a safe space [built on trust] for those people to come together and contribute their expertise for the benefit of a shared objective or mission and making sure they feel valued for their contributions. It can be quite comforting knowing that your online community isn’t going anywhere and that the connections you made online are always there for you, whenever you need them —either personally or professionally.

To that point, you are correct—you can’t have a thriving community without collaboration. A community is only as strong as the people who are in it!

In terms of measurement, there a lot of different ways to measure community success [some quantitative others qualitative]. One that comes to mind are community partnerships. What partnerships have you built within the community? Who are the key partners to the program and what qualities of the partnerships make them successful? How did that partnership contribute to your overall success? etc.

I LOVE community! I am happy to chat about it whenever & wherever :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks for the response McKenna, it is filled with so much great advice and wisdom.

I especially found value in this idea of measuring successful collaboration by the # and quality of partnerships formed. I need to contemplate this whole section over a cup of tea.

You comments about trust and safety reminded me of some categories Spotify uses to score their teams.

Teamwork is kind of an overall metric but is targeted at if people feel like they are doing [collaboration]

Mission tracks well with your highlighted [shared passion or interest]

Pawns or Players feels a bit like [built on trust]. I also think there is a bit of the credibility keyword here as you need some level of credibility if you want to be a player vs a pawn. I like the idea here but player has bit too much baggage for my taste.

Fun is an interesting metric. Most of the communities I’ve enjoyed have had some element of fun, but I can also imagine communities, especially those tackling very serious topics, where this might be out of place. Maybe enjoyment would work or perhaps rewarding might be a better metric, which also aligns with your "making sure they feel valued for their contributions."


Love this John! I am excited to chat with you further about all the above! Speaking of, I wonder if anyone else on this thread would be interested in joining?

Could be a great way to kick off Clubhouse even!