I was recently asked if I could offer some advice about rolling out a global intranet. One thing I’ve observed over the years is that the most successful intranets always take their users’ needs into consideration.
I believe this should always be the case irrespective of whether your organisation consists of one single office or hundreds spread across the globe.
I have talked to numerous organisations about the ’Intranet Journey’. Part of this process is discovering what the needs of your audience are and how to integrate these needs within your intranet.
I firmly recommend conducting stakeholder interviews and requirements gathering exercises. Both of these can help give you a better understanding of the different roles and needs within your organisation. Although it may be difficult to physically gather staff together in one room, it can still be done via web meetings or telephone conferencing.
By conducting these exercises you’ll be able to glean valuable information about cultural differences and working patterns. You’ll also get a better understanding of the type of content to include and how easily accessible it is to your users.
Of course there’s the issue of language, so a multilingual site may be the way forward. You’ll need a good translation tool such as Bing or Google for more basic content. However, when it comes to more complex material, I think it’s always a good idea to use a translation team who are familiar with the language and culture.
The overall aim of a global intranet is to make all your employees feel part of their organisation wherever they’re located. If your international colleagues aren’t catered for they simply won’t bother using their business tool.
If you’d like to know more about conducting stakeholder interviews and how they can help you to understand your organisation’s needs, download our Learning Guide.