Case Study: Toward Building a New Intranet


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A case study on Teach For All's journey to revamp and reboot our old Google Sites-based Intranet to a more robust Drupal-based Intranet. Co-presented by Amy Grandov and me at the 2012 InsideNGO Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

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Case Study: Toward Building a New Intranet

  1. 1. Case Study: Toward Buildinga New IntranetTeach for AllAugust 1, 2012
  2. 2. AgendaI. IntroductionsII. Project Lessons LearnedIII. Intranet WalkthroughIV. Q&A 2
  3. 3. About Us Andy Ho, Senior Director, Information Technology – Leads the IT team at Teach For All – Background in IT management and consulting with Crestron Electronics, Deloitte Consulting, and American Management Systems Amy Grandov, Director, Business Analysis – Manages enterprise application projects – Previously with McKinsey, focusing on knowledge management, collaboration and business intelligence systems 3
  4. 4. About Teach for All “Teach for All is a global network of independent social enterprises that are working to expand educational opportunity in their nations by enlisting their most promising future leaders in the effort. We aspire to the vision that one day, all children will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education” 4
  5. 5. About Teach for All
  6. 6. Case Study Overview• In May 2012, we released a new Intranet for all internal staff at Teach for All• This project was the first step in a larger initiative to consolidate our web portals on a common platform• This case study will present lessons learned from the process of selecting Drupal as our portal platform and implementing the Intranet 6
  7. 7. Intranet Components and VendorsComponents• Drupal 6.25 (• Document/content tools – – GoogleDocs – VimeoVendors• Acquia (• Appnovation ( 7
  8. 8. AgendaI. Introductions and OverviewII. Project Lessons LearnedIII. Intranet WalkthroughIV. Q&A 8
  9. 9. Project Lessons Learned Define business objectives before discussing technology Understand your unique requirements when selecting a platform Get user feedback early and often 9
  10. 10. Project Lessons Learned Define business objectives before discussing technology Understand your unique requirements when selecting a platform Get user feedback early and often 10
  11. 11. Defining the Problem "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat. "I don’t much care where--" said Alice. "Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat. "--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough.” (Alices Adventures in Wonderland) 11
  12. 12. Pain points with the current portals lead to an initiative toconsolidate on an upgraded platform Key challenges:  Dated design  Poor navigation  Low usage  Lack of ownership 12
  13. 13. A PMO (Project Management Office) committee helped alignthe project with organization-wide business objectives• Played the essential role of executive champion or business sponsor• Included representatives from each department/function, and varying levels in the organization• Asked for a commitment of 2-4 hours per month• Recommended direction to Senior Leadership Team for approval• Ensured all staff were informed 13
  14. 14. A new Vision clarified our Intranet aspirations and direction “The Intranet is a centralized resource and cross-team collaboration hub serving all Teach for All employees worldwide. It provides organized, efficient access to shared documents and tools; facilitates timely information flows and knowledge sharing across teams; and maintains a vibrant and connected mission-driven culture.” 14
  15. 15. Key Takeaways• Know where you‟re going and why• Reach out broadly across teams and levels• Involve business users in problem solving so they own the solution 15
  16. 16. Project Lessons Learned Define business objectives before discussing technology Understand your unique requirements when selecting a platform Get user feedback early and often 16
  17. 17. The strategy phase identified several priorities for the portalplatform • Flexible user interface with strong support for content organization and „web 2.0‟ interactivity • Support for open standards. Integrates with diverse technologies • Easy for business users to maintain content with minimal IT involvement • Allow staff to collaborate effectively with people outside the organization • Maintainable with limited in-house expertise and infrastructure 17
  18. 18. Core requirements filtered down the vast array of options for“Intranets” and “Portals” Content Management Systems (CMS), Document Management Systems , Enterprise Portals, Wikis, Collaboration Platforms, Other Best fit for our high level requirements Drupal, Sharepoint, Liferay Support: Best fit for our internal skills and capabilities Drupal, Sharepoint Cost, Ease of use * Drupal * Template for deep dive analysis:
  19. 19. Drupal addresses our priority requirements Our Needs Drupal Advantages• Flexible user interface with  Flexible UI „themes‟ with community strong support for content organization and „web 2.0‟ features and extensive library of interactivity free add-on modules• Support for open standards.  Open source Integrates with diverse technologies  Integration modules available for• Easy for business users to popular tools maintain content with minimal IT involvement  Granular permissions• Allows staff to collaborate  Robust hosting and support from effectively with people outside Acquia and other vendors the organization• Maintainable with limited in- house expertise 19
  20. 20. We were able to work around key challenges Challenge Our approachDocument management is • Use as our primarylimited in Drupal document repository • Consider Alfresco in the futureCollaboration and project • Use GoogleDocs formanagement would require collaborative spreadsheetsmore customization and files 20
  21. 21. Key Takeaways r another organization may not be right for you• Analyze specifics and try out solutions to get beyond vendor marketing messages.• What works well for another organization may not be right for you 21
  22. 22. Project Lessons Learned Define business objectives before discussing technology Understand your unique requirements when selecting a platform Get user feedback early and often 22
  23. 23. Project Timeline 2011 2012 OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAYScopingDesign and BuildPilotMilestone: Site in productionContent MigrationRelease and training for all staff 23
  24. 24. Our PMO committee was involved throughout the projectlifecycle, and became advocates and „experts‟ • Reviewed and approved the scope of the releaseScoping • Participated in card sorting to reorganize contentDesign • Reviewed wireframes and design mockups • Tested and provided feedback on the live pilot site Pilot • Communicated project status to their teams • Coordinated content migration and helped team members during rolloutRelease • Took on the role of Team Administrator in production 24
  25. 25. Online tools helped engage remote staffCard sorting: Wireframes: 25
  26. 26. Key Takeaways• Prototype and pilot to get meaningful feedback as early as possible• User research does not need to be extensive or time consuming. Even a limited amount of feedback is useful• Keeping users involved throughout the project helped us ensure that each team had an informed, trained Intranet champion upon release 26
  27. 27. AgendaI. Introductions and OverviewII. Project Lessons LearnedIII. Intranet WalkthroughIV. Q&A 27
  28. 28. The new Intranet delivered several key benefits• Updated design reflects our culture and „brand‟ identity• Organized access to diverse tools and information sources• Easier to find and share information across teams• Opportunities to connect with colleagues• Human Assets team became the official Business Owner 28
  29. 29. Homepage providesnavigation and updatesSearch and navigationContent actionsQuick linksNewsfeedsPresence awareness(Who‟s online) 29
  30. 30. Drupal‟s Organic Groups, roles and permissions govern access and content rights• All staff members have a role: Team/ Group Admin • Authenticated user: can access the site Team/Group • Team Member: can add team content member • Team Admin: can manage team content• There are two site-wide admin roles: Authenticated user • Site Moderator: can add Announcements and edit all profiles • System Admin: IT team only 30
  31. 31. Team Spacesprovide dedicatedspace for sharingTeam menuTeam membershipEmbedded contentTeam resources 31
  32. 32. Wiki-style pages collect shared knowledge across teamsAll staff may editTags link relatedcontent 32
  33. 33. Topic pages consolidate resources owned by multiple teams 33
  34. 34. All users can create resources and control visibility Due to feedback received during pilot, we re-enabled Private team resources 34
  35. 35. Resources can be tagged, and may contain one or moreattached files Tags File upload 35
  36. 36. “Faceted” search results improve findability Search options: • Sort by common metadata • Filter by: – Author – Content type – Partner location/country • Click the Users tab if searching for a person‟s name 36
  37. 37. Events and conferences keep staff informed Events from our community portal (via RSS) 37
  38. 38. A Staff Directory connects remote colleagues Click a name to view full text profile 38
  39. 39. Webforms are starting to replace some paper forms 39
  40. 40. Modules are available to support important Intranet featuresSome functionality you may want to consider adding for an internal enterprise site:• User management – Organic Groups• Security – Secure Pages / Secure Pages Hijack Prevention (SSL) – Password Policy – Filtered HTML• Usability – Pathauto – Path redirect – WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”)• Reporting – GoogleAnalytics 40
  41. 41. Key Challenges• User Adoption: Getting people to post/contribute to the intranet is still a challenge. Features and design are only part of the solution.• Usability: Contributing resources and creating pages is still not as simple as it should be for casual users• Integration: Users want a more seamless, „one-stop-shop‟ experience for internal tools and resources• Alignment and stewardship: Intranet will need to adapt and evolve along with organizational strategy, not IT priorities 41
  42. 42. Next steps Phase 3 and beyond: Phase 2: Extranet • Integration with enterprise systems • Redesign the Extranet on Drupal • Integration with shared content stores • Enhance the Phase 1: Intranet Intranet • Replatform other sites • Address user adoption and content governance
  43. 43. AgendaI. Introductions and OverviewII. Project Lessons LearnedIII. Intranet WalkthroughIV. Q&A 43