An involving approach to intranet design

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The methodological approach used by intranet consultant Cristiano Siri and Giacomo Mason to help Honda Italia realizing "MyHonda" their intranet.

[@Plone European Symposium 2009]

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An involving approach to intranet design

  1. 1. Intranet challenges: an involving approach
  2. 2. <ul><li>the intranet challenges </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1° ORGANIZATIONAL COMPLEXITY
  4. 4. 1° ORGANIZATIONAL COMPLEXITY
  5. 5. 1° ORGANIZATIONAL COMPLEXITY
  6. 6. 1° ORGANIZATIONAL COMPLEXITY
  7. 7. 1° ORGANIZATIONAL COMPLEXITY
  8. 8. 1° ORGANIZATIONAL COMPLEXITY
  9. 9. 2° GOALS’ HETEROGENEITY Giacomo Mason – Cristiano Siri <ul><li>HR wants intranet to do this </li></ul>
  10. 10. 2° GOALS’ HETEROGENEITY Giacomo Mason – Cristiano Siri <ul><li>HR wants intranet to do this </li></ul><ul><li>Production wants intranet to do that </li></ul>
  11. 11. 2° GOALS’ HETEROGENEITY Giacomo Mason – Cristiano Siri <ul><li>HR wants intranet to do this </li></ul><ul><li>Production wants intranet to do that </li></ul>n. Department X wants intranet to do Y
  12. 12. 2° GOALS’ HETEROGENEITY Giacomo Mason – Cristiano Siri <ul><li>HR wants intranet to do this </li></ul><ul><li>Production wants intranet to do that </li></ul>n. Department X wants intranet to do Y IT wants just to do less
  13. 13. 3° Legacy and already existent apps SAP
  14. 14. 3° Legacy and already existent apps SAP , 3 Active Directory
  15. 15. 3° Legacy and already existent apps SAP , 3 Active Directory , E-Procurement tool , Lotus Notes,
  16. 16. 3° Legacy and already existent apps SAP , 3 Active Directory , E-Procurement tool Shared folders (or autodestruction button) , Lotus Notes,
  17. 17. 3° Legacy and already existent apps SAP , 3 Active Directory , E-Procurement tool Shared folders (or autodestruction button) , Lotus Notes, and many many more
  18. 18. <ul><li>the technological approach </li></ul>
  19. 19. TECHNOLOGICAL APPROACH Thanks to Dilbert!
  20. 20. TECHNOLOGICAL APPROACH Thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/theolaphoto/2394966982/
  21. 21. TECHNOLOGICAL APPROACH Thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/theolaphoto/2394966982/ A Websphere (or other proprietary software) out of the box installation in your enterprise
  22. 22. TECHNOLOGICAL APPROACH Thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/46264733@N00/268156261/in/photostream/ but there’s no that big difference if you bought an open source one:
  23. 23. TECHNOLOGICAL APPROACH Thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/46264733@N00/268156261/in/photostream/ but there’s no that big difference if you bought an open source one: It’s just cheaper
  24. 24. TECHNOLOGICAL APPROACH They are monolith for which have spent $$$ and you can just workship
  25. 25. TECHNOLOGICAL APPROACH They are monolith for which have spent $$$ and you can just workship (HR) I pray you to simplify the vacation planning system! (IT) Please speak to the Active Directory… (Production) I need your help to support my process!
  26. 26. <ul><li>the involving approach </li></ul>
  27. 27. INVOLVING APPROACH <ul><li>Involve stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Involve users </li></ul><ul><li>needs first, then technology </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent beta </li></ul>
  28. 28. INVOLVE STAKEHOLDERS <ul><li>every intranet is different , since every enterprise is different </li></ul><ul><li>an intranet has a strong organizational impact , be prepared to afford it </li></ul><ul><li>an intranet could change not only the processes but also the approach to work </li></ul>Training talk to Intranet project owner (HR) and to IT
  29. 29. INVOLVE STAKEHOLDERS <ul><li>to let them know we were working to create an intranet ( is not a monolith suddenly and unexpectately coming from the outer space ) </li></ul><ul><li>to explain them what an intranet is and how it could affect ( and hopely improve ) their work ( intranet will not be MORE work, just work done simpler and more effective ) </li></ul><ul><li>to get their engagement : “we want everyone among you help us with concrete ideas, we want you spread the words to all of your collegues” </li></ul><ul><li>to find champions and evangelist capable people between them to get them involved in the design and test phase. </li></ul>Brainstorming about “Intranet” with more than 30 people form every Honda’s department
  30. 30. INVOLVE STAKEHOLDERS Project overview to managers <ul><li>to let them know we were going to involve a lot of people in our project </li></ul><ul><li>to get their sponsorship </li></ul>
  31. 31. INVOLVE USERS Brainstorming with more than 30 people from every Honda’s department Needs definition 85 ideas for the intranet!
  32. 32. INVOLVE USERS Needs definition Focus group <ul><li>people who manage other people and people which don’t </li></ul><ul><li>people from every department </li></ul><ul><li>people working in the offices and people from the assembly line </li></ul><ul><li>people from Atessa and people from Rome (two main Honda locations in Italy) </li></ul>
  33. 33. INVOLVE USERS Needs definition Focus group <ul><li>how they use computer and software in their everyday work </li></ul><ul><li>which processes could be improved and how ? </li></ul><ul><li>do they find all the information needed for everyday work ? </li></ul><ul><li>do they need different tools to gain better access and a better way to manage this information ? </li></ul><ul><li>and more questions </li></ul>
  34. 34. INVOLVE USERS Needs definition Survey To all 1000 workers to also have a quantitative analysis
  35. 35. INVOLVE USERS Design Card sorting, many open card sorting sessions were done to build the intranet Information Architecture Card sorting allowed us to build an user friendly navigation structure, where findability is really high
  36. 36. INVOLVE USERS <ul><li>As soon as the first working software pieces became available, we started calling back several “champions users” groups: </li></ul><ul><li>to show them the work done </li></ul><ul><li>to understand if it met their needs </li></ul><ul><li>to fine tune our work and reschedule project priorities </li></ul>Testing Feedback during development
  37. 37. INVOLVE USERS We met and talked directly to more than 100 people on 1000
  38. 38. NEEDS FIRST, THEN TECHNOLOGY After brainstorming, focus group and survey we had a clear idea of final users’ needs So we helped Honda to assign priority to some of those , using a scheme like this one Thanks to Alberto Mucignat http://www.mucignat.com/blog/archives/673-definire-le-priorita-di-un-progetto.html /
  39. 39. NEEDS FIRST, THEN TECHNOLOGY Thanks to Alberto Mucignat http://www.mucignat.com/blog/archives/673-definire-le-priorita-di-un-progetto.html /
  40. 40. NEEDS FIRST, THEN TECHNOLOGY Knowing needs we were able to choose the best fitting technology Benchmarking: Proprietary software Open Source software
  41. 41. NEEDS FIRST, THEN TECHNOLOGY Knowing needs we were able to choose the best fitting technology Benchmarking: Proprietary software Open Source software
  42. 42. NEEDS FIRST, THEN TECHNOLOGY Thanks to Dilbert
  43. 43. NEEDS FIRST, THEN TECHNOLOGY <ul><li>The users define features end evolution roadmap </li></ul><ul><li>Time to market ( do i need a feature? I can ask the community or i can do by myself; i’ve not to wait months for a new commercial release ) </li></ul><ul><li>Open standard (often easier to integrate) </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom from a unique vendor </li></ul>Open Source benefit
  44. 44. NEEDS FIRST, THEN TECHNOLOGY (IT) Please speak to the Active Directory… No licenses, so all the money is spent not to buy a monolith, but to start answering user’s needs immediately, customizing and tailoring the software to Honda’s needs Open Source benefit (HR) I pray you to simplify the vacation planning system! (Production) I need your help to support my process! $$$
  45. 45. PERMANENT BETA The launch is a starting point, not an arrival point
  46. 46. PERMANENT BETA Intranets have to grow with the enterprise. If an intranet is unchanged after 6 months lifetime, it is getting obsolete: the enterprise is 6 month ahead. The launch is a starting point, not an arrival point
  47. 47. PERMANENT BETA Intranets are never finished An intranet is always a work in progress. Although initial intranet builds follow a reasonably linear path, once implementation has taken place there is no single path forward and the next steps will largely depend on a combination of organisational imperative and the constraints the team is operating under. Cairo Walker Step Two
  48. 48. PERMANENT BETA Doing Card Sorting using contents satisfying Needs group 1 (high priority), but also group 2 and 3, will permit the Information Architecture to include future content with no major change , avoiding user’s confusion
  49. 49. PERMANENT BETA Choosing a Open Source software will avoid waiting new commercial version to have new features (often not useful) added. Choosing Open Source will permit to follow the enterprise needs continuously and to adapt better and faster to new challenges (also thanks to what the community create and make public)
  50. 50. BRIEFLY <ul><li>Intranet Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Goals’ heterogenity </li></ul><ul><li>Legacy and already existent applications </li></ul>
  51. 51. BRIEFLY <ul><li>Intranet Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Goals’ heterogenity </li></ul><ul><li>Legacy and already existent applications </li></ul>
  52. 52. BRIEFLY <ul><li>Intranet Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Goals’ heterogenity </li></ul><ul><li>Legacy and already existent applications </li></ul>Involving approach <ul><li>Involve stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Involve users </li></ul><ul><li>Needs first, then technology </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent beta </li></ul>
  53. 53. Thanks!
  54. 54. AUTHORS Cristiano Siri User Experience Designer [email_address] friendfeed.com/ cristianosiri www.linkedin.com/in/ cristianosiri friendfeed.com/ uxalia
  55. 55. AUTHORS Giacomo Mason Intranet Consultant [email_address] www.intranetmanagement.it

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