Why Intranet Sponsors are critical to a successful intranet

by Sam Lipscombe on August 12, 2015

Senior Intranet SponsorsYour summer intranet review is going really well you have uncovered lots of interesting feedback, interviewed some key stakeholders and looked at your intranet statistics. With your list of actions, you are inevitably starting to think about how you go about progressing this and where to start.

Before we start to look at your options it’s important to think about your intranet stakeholders and sponsor.

Time and time again, we see evidence that shows intranets without senior level intranet sponsors do not engage staff and achieve the objectives of the organisation.

After all most intranets, no matter how small, starts by someone justifying spending some time, effort and energy (and money) setting one up. So how does this happen?

In our experience this usually happens during one of the following scenarios:

  • The senior intranet sponsor was originally given the position without it being formally recognised (they then focus their time on actions they are accountable for).
  • The original intention for the intranet was to fix a short term problem and the business objectives have now shifted (as well as the focus of the original sponsor).
  • The intranet was seen as a project that has now been delivered
  • The sponsor is too senior and doesn’t have time to attend meetings and follow up on actions that drive the engagement deeper into the business.
  • The senior sponsor leaves and is not replaced.

Each of these are also symptoms of a wider issue,that of the intranet not being seen as a tool that can help achieve the business objectives.

Without a senior sponsor intranet managers simply don’t have access to financial and other resources that the intranet requires.

So what are the responsibilities of the senior sponsor?

  • Monitoring the performance of the intranet against its specified objectives
  • Agreeing intranet roles and responsibilities
  • Assigning resources and budget to maintaining and enhancing the intranet
  • Approving the objectives for intranet roles and reviewing these on an annual basis
  • Reviewing the audits of adherence to standards, processes and good practice and agreeing recommendations for change / improvement.
  • Sanctioning actions for the persistent non-conformance to standards and processes
  • Feeding back to the board the contribution the intranet is making to achieve business objectives

These are really just guidelines, ultimately the role a senior sponsor has for your business will depend on the size of your organisation and your business objectives.

The senior sponsor is the link between the day to day intranet management and the strategic direction of the business.

Reviewing your intranet can be a daunting process, but it is a great way to make sure your intranet is on track and is doing what you intended. If you do need any help or advice, SORCE are here to help. We’ve experienced hundreds of intranets of all shapes and sizes and are skilled at helping uncover opportunities to improve engagement and business process. As intranet software providers our software powers the intranet and extranet for hundreds of organisations. Our clients cover a wide range of sectors from finance to manufacturing, not for profit organisations (such as charities and housing associations) as well as local authorities and other public sector agencies. To find out more about our intranet software package or consultancy get in touch.

Topics: Review, 2. Plan, The Journey