Now is the perfect time of year to get ahead of yourself and start pulling together your 2016 plan. If you are committed to developing a new intranet next year or drafting your continuous development programme, then dedicating some time to intranet planning is essential for you. To support you, we have created a bank of free training material “Uncovering your intranet opportunities” which you can access as you need to.
Intranet Planning Essentials:
1. Create your team
If you have been given the responsibility of delivering a new intranet, first things first. You need to make sure you have the team you need to make this happen. For larger organisations a dedicated Intranet Manager is a great investment as these days continual intranet development is becoming standard practice.
If a dedicated resource is not possible, then gaining internal support and assigning intranet roles is an essential. You will need someone with overall responsibility for the intranet (maybe this is you?) and intranet contributors and editors. Your intranet team needs to be able to focus on achieving the results but also able to enthuse and influence other stakeholders.
2. Understand user requirements
Your intranet is only as good as its ability to meet end users requirements. When intranet planning, allow sufficient time to get to understand how the intranet fits in with the overall organisational strategy and business objectives. This, combined with end user requirements is essential. We suggest that you approach this through a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques. For further information, take a look at our free training module “Uncovering your intranet opportunities”.
3. Educate yourself
Ensuring your intranet software solution is going to deliver everything you need now and might need in the future is time well spent. Review what you have now and check whether that type of intranet solution is still fit for purpose, or is it time to consider other options. This is a great opportunity to seek some expert advice and your knowledge will grow as your project progresses.
4. Content Clean
Make time to review all of your existing intranet content and devise a checklist with which to evaluate content with your intranet team. It might be last time accessed, document duplication, location, content. Review the most popular pages and understand why they are the most viewed.
5. Functional Specification
Working through all of your user requirement feedback and marrying this with business processes and strategy needs time to make sure it is right. It’s also important to say that what is right now may change in time as your end users use the system and provide feedback, enabling you to develop your ongoing continual improvements programme.
6. Intranet Build
The actual intranet build will be much easier if you have taken time to undertake everything highlighted above. Creating a winning page design, page layout and content hierarchy for your business is essential and is the interpretation of everything you have discovered before this stage.
7. Managing your Intranet
Intranet governance is something that needs to be addressed but will become clearer as you work through the earlier stages. How you manage your intranet in terms of content management, development and usage will determine its future success.
8. Intranet Launch
On the horizon, think about your intranet launch strategy. You don’t need to plan this in detail at this stage but just think about important dates to the business that you could tie in with. Perhaps there is an office move planned for 2016/17 or a new product or service release. As you progress through your intranet journey, you can start to think more about the launch.
How long will all this take? How much time should you allow? This is very dependent on where you are now, the size of your organisation and what you have now. Our implementation guide, might be able to give you some greater insight here.
I hope you have found our intranet planning blog useful. If you would like further inspiration we offer free half day Intranet showcase events which enable you to see how other organisations have benefited from their intranets and of course you can access our free training material.
Here at SORCE, 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. If you would like to find out more, get in touch.