At the start of most intranet projects, we frequently have to do two things. Firstly, we need to find out more about the business and the things people want to fix and challenges they face. But also, we need to get ‘buy-in’ from stakeholders across the business. These are typically the heads of department or leaders in a particular region or country. For any intranet project to succeed, you need to have the support of these key stakeholders. If they are disengaged or don’t see the value in putting time and resources into the project, then this can be a major barrier.
To address this, we normally kick off an intranet project with a discovery workshop that involves these key stakeholders. This not only includes discussion points and us asking questions about the business, but also case studies and research findings that highlight the benefits of intranets, and how they can effectively support a wide range of business activities – from communicating company culture to automating common business processes.
Once stakeholders have seen examples and learned more about what intranets can do, they tend to become more interested in the project as they begin to recognise how it can help them. At this stage we can move on to the interactive part of the workshop where we ask the participants to name anything in the business that they wish that they could fix.
Further in to the project, we have regular touchpoints with them to ensure they continue to be aligned with the general direction of the project and remain willing to committ the time and energy of their teams.
Every organisation definitely gets the intranet it deserves, but do you feel you have the intranet you deserve?
Its not all down to you of course; a great intranet needs decent sponsorship, budget, and an up-to-date strategy among a myriad of other things. Intranet managers are at the centre of a complex web, and need to have a clear vision of what the intranet must achieve and provide for the organisation and everyone within it.
At this time of year, you might be planning a fresh start for your intranet, or at least a fresh approach to how you manage it and involve people in its improvement.
We wish you the very best for the new year, and hope that you get the resources and attention you need to drive those intranet metrics upwards and provide business-critical services.
While bad intranet managers get:
instructed to just publish news stories
asked to market internal initiatives and report on hits
coerced to publish PDFs on the home page
directed to promote internal projects after project is complete
a static home page dominated by last years financial results
discounted for being oblivious to business goals
excluded from conversations
Because good intranet managers get:
input to KPIs
consulted by the directors
contributions from across the org
invitations to project kick-off meetings
Maybe youre very much responsible for all the benefits that an intranet can bestow upon an engaged organisation, or maybe youve suffered the ignominy of being the techy pair of hands used to broadcast announcements – and nothing more. Take a look at Santas lists and see if you recognise his gifts.
Whatever your professional ambitions, we hope Santa brings you exactly what you deserve, and that you can lead your intranet to even greater things in 2016.
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