A strong intranet is a vital part of building a digital, agile culture. It can bring people together, break down silos, and help businesses become more productive, efficient, and transparent. Here’s what you need to have in place to make your intranet work:
The vision for your intranet acts as a landmark by which to measure progress and for the team to focus on when the going gets tough. With your vision, leadership is key; it needs a driver. Also, make sure the vision is simple and easy to remember. Understand the vision for your intranet in relation to the organisation’s overall vision – what you’re trying to achieve as a whole group. The intranet is a critical piece in trying to realise this company plan.
2. A strong team
Put together a robust team. And to head up this team, put a strong leader at the helm. Your leader should have a mix of qualities: he or she needs to be quite tough but also have the right personality to bring the whole team on the intranet journey.
Create a detailed plan with all of the components of your intranet project – both in and out of scope – the justification, and your vision:
- Set a road map, including any phased development
- Don’t be afraid of overcommunicating
- Undertake a content audit to understand what you have so you can keep the good stuff!
Buy-in is key. If you don’t have buy-in, you’re on a train heading for a wreck. With intranets, there are a whole heap of personalities within your organisation, and you need to bring all of them along on the journey. You want to make sure you have champions at all levels of the organisation – from the CEO down to all your users. So two-way communication is critical for building buy-in for your project. You need to listen as well as speak. Talk to your users and understand what’s important to them.
5. Collaboration and engagement
The further people are away from each other, the less likely they are to collaborate. But successful intranets make collaboration easy. For starters:
- Build a strong culture of collaboration
- Provide tools that make sense for your organisation
- Make sure the knowledge is searchable
- Encourage users to contribute.
Measuring performance and success will guide ongoing development effort and maintain the organisation’s motivation. Stop, take stock, and look at how it’s all going. The environment and technology are changing all the time. Are you keeping pace? The last thing you want to do after you’ve invested all of your blood, sweat, and tears into your intranet project is for it to get to a point where it’s an absolute disaster again. So you need to keep measuring:
- Look at standard analytics to tell you such metrics as users, views, time on page and so on
- Measure passive and active contribution: who is actively using your intranet? Who are your most frequent commenters and contributors, for example?
- Conduct deeper analysis through interviews, feedback, and shadowing
- Respond to and take action on feedback.