Several months ago I was asked to help a large multinational corporation identify the requirements for their global intranet. As with all big projects the question “where do we start?” was one of the first thoughts that went through people’s minds.
On the face of it it’s a big project….so how did we take it forward? The straight answer was one chunk at a time. The first thing our client needed to know was to understand the politics. This was important as there will be key drivers and expectations from all sides. I needed to find out who was in charge and what they expected the outcome to be.
We worked through the key drivers and objectives and everyone signed up to and agreed with the outcome we were all trying to achieve, a single global intranet. I then started to define the team and assigning responsibility, whilst considering how we work across boundaries and time zones with a weather eye on language.
We decided to conduct Stakeholder interviews in which we;
- Identified the right people based on location, role and experience
- Reviewed the questions and altered them based on seniority. We also aligned them to the organisations communications strategy and didn’t just repeat any previous engagement questions. The right questions to ask is important. Often “what do you want from an intranet?” isn’t very valuable.
- Discussed who would be interviewed over the phone and face to face in the UK and Chicago.
- Talked through what would happen with the feedback and what the deliverable would be.
Multiple content audits were necessary. Some content was in an HR system, some in SharePoint and the network. I was to discover more during the interviews….
It was important to know the;
- Purpose of the audit and what the task was
- The effort required and review sessions for assistance
- Translation of some of the key itemsThis is how it evolved;
- Once we had the right content and it had been presented with the stakeholder summary showing in / out of scope and a direction to move forwards we moved onto a ‘key’ exercise. Card sorting! The purpose is to understand the users mental map of how content is related and the ensure speed and relevance. We also wanted to know how they structured Global and Local content. We used an open card sort for the Head Office who were to steer the top level items.
- Users created layouts based on their experience following the card sort
- Other users in satellite offices performed a closed online card sort
- The structure and labels were refined and this allowed us to modify the layouts
At this point we have content that is in scope and relevant to the ‘selected’ user journey. Now we needed to test with a wider group.
In the next blog I will talk about what happened next. How we started to think more about the brand of the Intranet leading into implementation, training, adoption and planning for the future. To help further I’ve created a suite of free “Uncovering your intranet opportunities” Videos and documents which may offer further insight into your intranet journey and the importance of understanding your users.
As intranet software and consultancy 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.