When Wedge, our blog manager and intranet content strategist, came to me in 2014 and said he was launching a new and independent intranet conference, I knew I could help. But I couldnt have foreseen the momentum he built. From a few tweets, he found sponsors, speakers, and an audience in just weeks.
It turned out that the UK was ready for a brand new conference. Intranet Now was born.
Nobody really knew what to expect back then, but the day went swimmingly, and everyone got a lot out of it.
Last years event had more time, energy, and money invested into it, and was a very swish affair.
Now, for the third event, Wedge and Brian (business partners) mean to switch things up even more, with over 20 lightning talks and a new format for the afternoon activities. I cant wait to see how it goes, and Im looking forward to the table discussions and workshops in the afternoon.
Supporting Wedge this year was an easy decision the Intranet Now conference is a proven event, that attracts comms and intranet people from across the country. With Content Formula as platinum sponsor, we hope to share a little of what weve learnt about intranets, SharePoint and Office 365. But beyond the technology, its the user research and the way we tackle collaboration problems that were known for, and so I hope the whole audience will enjoy our presentation and get something useful out of it.
Intranet Now is an independent conference, run by Wedge and Brian. Theyre keen to create a dynamic day of learning and conversation, and mean to exclude nobody the ticket prices are very low, and the early-bird tickets (which end this month) are virtually a gift. I suppose weve helped keep those prices so low!
A 7-point framework for employee engagement in the digital workplace
Modern organisations are using a number of clever techniques to accelerate internal change and make it stick. This free e-book puts forward a simple and effective 7-point framework to use to deliver change campaigns and programmes.
Appropriate governance ensures the intranet supports your organisations objectives helping your business do business. Intranet governance lays out how the intranet is managed, how decisions get made, and who is responsible for what.
Great intranet governance also encourages desired behaviours and supports or develops the organisations culture.
As with any plan, its difficult to get things right if your organisation doesnt have clearly stated goals and an actual intranet strategy. Your governance must support both.
Your governance should evolve over time as your intranet develops; its likely that youll even change your governance model as your intranet matures. Take a look at how companies of different sizes choose different governance approaches. Large companies tend to still have a small core team concerned with strategy and publishing standards; publishing and site management responsibilities are distributed to department and team site owners.
Its tempting to ask the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to sponsor the intranet, especially if the IT department is paying for the platform or the development work. But stop to consider the objectives of the intranet within the wider digital workplace and within the context of the business.
While a senior leader is needed, do you want the intranet to be seen as an IT initiative? The CTO is always going to be a key stakeholder but, depending on your goals and culture, you might get better buy-in from across the organisation if the sponsor is from within the business. The purpose of your intranet might lead you to a great candidate; are you focusing on comms and content, or employee engagement? If so, consider the Head of Internal Communications and the HR Director. If your organisation is large enough, you may have an Innovation Team or Chief Engagement Officer think about the many purposes of your intranet before inviting a sponsor to lead its use and evolution.
Once youve a sponsor in place, they will want have input to the intranet strategy and monitor its implementation. If the sponsor is also considered an owner of the intranet, then they will also be responsible for setting and releasing budget for management, maintenance, and improvement.
Some organisations give the sponsor more tactical and more managerial tasks, but I think the intranet team should be given room to breathe when it comes to executing the strategy.
Some would say that five people is enough for any team that has to make decisions, but the steering team needs representatives from each key business function.
The defined purpose should set the agenda for each, regular meeting. When bigger intranet initiatives are underway, meetings might be more frequent, while during business as usual (BAU) the team might only meet every quarter.
Because the steering team should be accountable for the success of the intranet, it needs authority to make decisions and set / approve the intranet strategy. Steering team members do not have to be experts in intranet platforms, rather, they should understand the organisations direction and needs.
The steering team will want to know whats working and what isnt. The intranet team should provide a report around the intranet key performance indicators (KPIs).
The core team is likely to be only two or three people and there are plenty lone intranet managers out there. Whatever the core intranet team size and skills, always consider the extended team including comms and content contributors, IT support, user experience (UX) support, information security (infosec), and search engine management.
The core team is responsible for implementing the intranet strategy (and possibly drafting it) and managing the intranet in general. Measuring and monitoring is vital if stakeholders are to understand progress and for the team to take remedial action.
When adhering to a centralised publishing model, the core team needs to be larger but with any model, the extended team is crucial.
How will the intranet team field feedback and major requests? Is an advisory team (made up of representative end-users) or is a network of Intranet Champions enough?
When setting the duties of your steering team, and considering other stakeholders, keep in mind ARCI:
Having the authority to make decisions and being prepared to take the blame.
Entrusted to implement the strategy in an appropriate manner.
Advisory groups, representatives, and individual stakeholders that input to decisions and plans.
Dont just announce change; share ideas, not just decisions. Share progress and results. Keep your colleagues and every end user involved throughout any initiative or project.
Governance isnt as exciting as rolling out new features in an agile manner, but governance can make or break an intranet. Too many rules and youll never have a social, collaborative digital workspace; too little monitoring and guidance and parts of your intranet will become a Wild West of poorly structured and duplicative information warren while other parts will become wastelands of abandoned document libraries and empty micro-sites.
Let's discuss your project...
Book in a free consultation call with us to discuss your project and find out more about our services and how we can add value to your digital workplace. Simply fill out the form and pick a time and date in our calendar.
Alternatively, if you have a question and would like to find out more about us first, please use our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.