Whilst hosting our SORCE Intranet conference, I was able to speak to a variety of clients about their own intranets and how they managed ongoing developments and feedback. What struck me was the variety of roles, requirements and management approaches that exist. I thought it would be useful to share this with you, especially with regards to intranet steering committees. If governance is a hot topic for you, we've written loads of practical steps in our free intranet governance guide.
Unlike many business positions, the Intranet Manager’s role is more often than not only one part of a person’s job function. At the conference, Intranet Managers tended to be part of broader roles such as Business Analysts, Human Resources, Communications Executives, Project Managers and Application Analysts. Given this variance in where the role of Intranet Manager resides it’s hardly surprising there are different approaches to ongoing intranet management.
Best practice suggests whilst developing your intranet, a steering committee is essential to ensure intranet success and post launch an intranet working group is a great way of sustaining senior management engagement and end user feedback. In reality the role of the steering committee might be fulfilled differently because of a variety of factors including time, location, resources, priority and organisational culture.
During our interviews our clients quite often mentioned they have Intranet champions across the business that meet at varying times who feedback development and content ideas. This is a great idea as intranet champions are close to colleagues and will for the most parts receive real time feedback. How do you manage your intranet? Do you have an intranet steering committee?
Different approaches suit different organisations and I think there is a definite role for the less formal approach. I also think sometimes the intranet steering committee or working group has a number of benefits that are harder to realise with a less formal structure.
If you manage your intranet can you answer yes to the following?
1) Do you know how your intranet is performing across the whole business?
2) Do you have a continual intranet development programme or would you like to have one?
3) Are your senior management pro-intranet and fully engaged with the work you are doing?
4) Do you receive regular end user feedback?
5) Do you have an intranet content strategy that your intranet champions are working towards?
6) Is new intranet content and ideas discussed regularly?
If you have answered yes to all of these questions then you are in a great position and keep doing what you are doing! If there are a few areas you know could be improved then maybe it’s worth considering creating a more permanent intranet group.
An Intranet steering committee is a great way of maintaining senior management support, raising the profile of the intranet and embedding it within the core of your business. Just by increasing the profile of the intranet and its capabilities you should find that your quest for feedback and content ideas from end users gets easier because everyone is on board and feels part of the process.
Ultimately for the intranet to work someone has to take overall responsibility for the intranet, its development, management and budget. Given the scale of intranets today, an intranet steering committee is a great way of project managing your intranet and creating a team of experts to support you in its continual development, feedback and content.
I hope you have found this blog useful. Please comment and share your thoughts on intranet steering committees, intranet management and brand champions, i'd love to know what you think. If you would like to read more about intranet governance download our intranet governance guide.