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4 Keys to a Successful Intranet
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4 Keys to a Successful Intranet


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Whether you are building a new corporate intranet or revising an existing one, achieving success isn’t easy. Change doesn’t happen when we adopt new technologies, it happens when we adopt new …

Whether you are building a new corporate intranet or revising an existing one, achieving success isn’t easy. Change doesn’t happen when we adopt new technologies, it happens when we adopt new behavior.

This presentation unpacks our learnings from designing and delivering many large-scale corporate intranets. Meghan Glasgow covers tips and best practices from understanding and serving your users to working with disparate databases to create a single system.

Published in: Technology, Education

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  • {"16":"Thanks!\n","11":"Just beause you can, doesn’t mean you should. \nAssuming you’ve understood your users needs, weighed it against the content you have, the ability to create and maintain that content AND determined your technology, now it’s a matter of selecting\nClean Layout – Your intranet is not and should not be meant to replace human interaction. You want users to be able to complete tasks and get their job done – but find SMEs or other people to collaborate with. \n","17":"The next 3-4 slides illustrate some ways that an “improved productivity goal” can be achieved. This first slide goes through “enhanced search functionality.” \nDepending on the type of content, we often recommend investigating ways to help users find relevant information. \n","6":"Every organization we speak with talks to us about the issues they are facing. Invariably, the issues fall within 5 areas or categories. It’s important to keep your organization on track and focus your efforts. Especially as these types of buzzwords mean different things to different people and can spiral. \nA rule of thumb? Dream big, start small and act fast. Additional features sets and functionality can and will be rolled out later. \nThe bullet points to the right illustrate the many ways to solve these challenges – some are simple while the others are complex. It’s important to note that you cannot solve all of these equally – nor should you. \nTalking points: \nImproving Productivity seems like an obvious goal for any intranet. Where we see Intranet Program Managers succeeding is helping their organizations CLEARLY defining that that looks like. There are many ways to improve productivity – the key is: for who and how? You’ll want to ensure the tactics to improve productivity actually meet the needs of your users and is sustainable in the long run.\nCommunity – For many organizations experiencing change – wherther that be geographic expansion and aging workforce, building a community for new and tenured employees to share feel part of something greater and bigger is important. \nSelf-Service – The objective of the intranet is NOT to replace human interaction. Too often companies view the intranet was a way to help people not be required to talk to people… not the right way to think about it. It’s to connect people on tasks, ideas and initiatives that drive value. Changing HR administrative information is not of real value to 99.9% of organizations (so S-S is NICE/EASY TO DO). You want to connect users to knowledge, people, expertise, data/content that drives value (SS – is GREAT/HARDER TO DO_). Ability for users to find other employees who have expertise in a unique way or project teams to find each other and collaborate. Ultimately most orgs only see the nice/easy…\nInternal Communications – reduce email overload, provide easy ways to connect and learn about your work environment, corporate culture, happenings, etc. This has high overlap with community at times but still deserves it’s own category\nMaintenance – Essentially: how do you create something that supports all of the other business goals above it? \n","1":"Introduction \nMG, Managing Director. Thank you for taking the time to listen. We’re going to try to keep this presentation fairly brief and focus on 4 tips or best practices when thinking about either creating a new intranet, revising your existing one. This webinar stays high-level but should give you guidance on how to navigate and help your organization weigh and prioritize the best ways to improve user adoption of your intranet. \n","7":"The next 3-4 slides illustrate some ways that an “improved productivity goal” can be achieved TACTICALLY. This first slide goes through customization and personalization. \nThis is a fairly simple idea and easier to execute. The idea behind personalization is to reduce or eliminate the burden on the user to find information and, instead, you are able to present it to them. \nSIMPLE \nTremendous opportunity – known users, their role, their needs, their tenure… \nCustomization allows\n","13":"Intranets – like any web experience – are not “done’. You need a team of people that own it, maintain it. Without management and ownership, your intranet will likely become what you originally started with – a website with tremendous amoutns of either irrelevant information, overly cluttered or a site that cannot be useful to users because content is buried. \n","2":"The 4 areas we will touch on during this presentation are: \nBalancing Competing Needs: This is a critical area where many of clients need the most help. With so many options and opportunities to improve or launch a new intranet it will be very important for you, as a manager or stakeholder in this process to take a hard look balancing your users need with your organization’s ability to (1) deliver and maintain the new experience – both from a technology and content perspective and (2) your employees ability to metabolize change. \nFocus your efforts: We’ll spend considerable time talking about how to avoid boiling the ocean and illustrate how key buzzwords like “productivity” or “self-service” should be better defined. \nKeep it simple: In the past 18 months, I’ve worked on approximately five intranet projects. Regardless of industry, we see the same elements as crucial to the successs of an intranet. We’ll walk through those in a few minutes. \nCommit to the Cause – If your organization is looking to revamp or launch a new intranet, there needs to not only be executive buy-in for the redesign and launch but for the ongoing maintenance. This is not a “one and done” exercise. This section also includes some high-level tips on communication and governance., Communicate and Govern – At the beginning of any digital experience initiative you’ll want to create some rules for the road, guidelines, and maintenance protocols or processes early in the process. \n","8":"On the more complex side… \n","9":"Graphic was used to facilitate discussions: \nWhat content is available to all versus some of the employees. We landed that any information on the intranet was for ALL user while external systems (marked with a dotted line) would be available to some. \nSystem of record for known document and content types. Where should resumes be updated, what is the system of record as it relates to employee data (job title, etc.)\n","15":"I hope toda’s presentation was helpful. To see some detailed examples of Intranet and employee portal work we’ve done for our clients, please visit our case study page. \nIf you’d like to learn more about any of the topics we’ve covered…\n","4":"I could spend 45 minutes on this slide. \nYou should consider this a three-legged stool. As consultants, we here at NavigationArts keep these three elements top of mind on every task, activity and deliverable throughout the process. \nUSER EXPERIENCE\nThere’s a great quote – “Revolution doesn’t happen when we adopt new technologies, it happens when we adopt new behaviors” \nAt the beginning of any initiative, our first step is to understand your users. If the end goal is ensure user adoption and satisfaction, you must uncover your users needs. Typically we evaluate the different audience groups and create segments to weigh and prioritize later. Segments may be based on geography, department or role. IN some cases it may be based on a users tenure or more detailed information. But the objective is to document the the different segments, understand their met and unmet needs and then rank and prioritize those needs. \nCONTENT\nContent\n*This is a huge category. For the purpose of this discussion, it can be broken into 2 parts. \nFirst, What content exists? What shape is it in? Is it accurate, reliable, and up to date? It will be important to not only look at intranet content –if it exists, but knowing what other content, systems, or data people rely on for their daily jobs. Understanding the level of effort to create and maintain content will allow you to do the SECOND part, which is determine who owns it now and moving forward? As we’ll get to later in the presentation (The Commit to the Cause section), it will be important to plan for the overall maintenance. If your organization has a small web team or a large distributed content authoring model, you will want to design and maintaint the intranet different. \nTECHNOLOGY\nMost Intranets are not built from scratch. In our experience, the intranet is either replacing 2,3,10 or more “mini-intranets” that were created organically by your organization. Additionally there are multiple back-end systems in place with a wealth of information that can be leveraged on your intranet. It’s important to determine the right platform for content to “live” and evaluate your in-house expertise to leverage the existing platforms or integrate them with others. \n"}
  • Transcript

    • 1. Building a Successful Intranet
    • 2. Launching a Successful Intranet • • • • Key Key Key Key #1: #2: #3: #4: Balance Competing Needs Focus Your Efforts Keep it Simple Commit to the Cause
    • 3. Key #1 Balancing Competing Needs 3
    • 4. Key #1 Balance Competing Needs User Experience: Don’t forget the humans! •Who are your users? What are their needs? •What features or functionality sets assist the most or the most important segments? Content is King •Who will own the creation, management and maintenance of content? •What content gaps exist now? How does your content support KPIs and goals? Technology: Take the Long View •As you build the platform for the Intranet, will it accommodate future iterations or needs? How will technology prevent one-off websites or solutions? •How can we strike a balance between automating processes without overcomplicating them?
    • 5. Key #2 Focus Your Efforts 5
    • 6. Key #2 Focus your Efforts Productivity • • • Find and leverage resources that support employee task completion Provide access to enterprise applications Assist in cross-departmental knowledge sharing and management Community • • • Help new employees navigate the organization and how it works Communicate across departments and business units Share knowledge and leverage the expertise of colleagues Self-Service • • • Help employees identify and obtain relevant training Learn and follow official processes and procedures Manage their relationship with the organization Internal Communications • • • Keep abreast of current initiatives Find out about events, promote one’s own events Access company news, alerts, deadlines and announcements Maintenance • • • Update and evolve the site Maintain consistency in look, feel and language Better accommodate new functionality without creating “one off” systems
    • 7. Key #2 Focus your Efforts – Productivity Examples Personalization or Customization • • Use Active Directory or other mechanism to detect users. Differ content based on role, geography, hierarchy, department Allow users to explicitly personalize their experience
    • 8. Key #2 Focus your Efforts – Productivity Examples Bundling Data/Content Across Platforms • With many “home grown” content management systems in place or ad hoc sites and platforms, bundle content logically and display it in one place
    • 9. Key #3 Keep it Simple 10
    • 10. Key #3 Keep it Simple Search & Guided Navigation • #1 issue with intranets • Mega Menus • Faceted Search • Renewed emphasis on taxonomy and filter search Clean Layout • Avoid overwhelming users with content. • Don’t worry about being “above the fold” • Personalization/customization can help prioritize content by user group
    • 11. Key #4 Commit to the Cause 12
    • 12. Key #4 Commit to the Cause Intranet teams are growing. Still only 1.4% of an organization’s entire employee pool, it’s double from last year
    • 13. Key #4 Commit to the Cause Communicate • Intranet teams should not be “behind the curtain” • Communicate with internal divisions and departments about upcoming enhancements, features • Ask users for feedback regularly Govern • Create rules for where content “lives” and ownership • Regularly review analytics and search metrics • Review taxonomy for enhancements • Create content style guide to set tone and educate users on best practices • Set expiration alerts on content to ensure it is accurate, relevant for users
    • 14. In Conclusion • • • • Key Key Key Key #1: #2: #3: #4: Focus Your Efforts Weigh the Impact Keep it Simple Commit to the Cause
    • 15. Contact Information: Meghan Glasgow 7901 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 400 McLean, VA 22102 703-289-52000
    • 16. Key #1 Focus your Efforts – Productivity Examples Enhanced Search Functionality • • • • Federated search Introduce or enhance faceted search capability Improve employee profile or skills expertise search capability List most commonly searched terms Faceted Search Personalization Aggregation