The more you involve employees throughout the process the greater the buy-in and likelihood you’ll design a solution that meets needs. Opportunities exist in Phase 2, 3 and 4 to work in much closer cycles with the multi-dimensional team. Although an Agile development approach may not work for your project the idea of focusing the team's attention on specific items (features, interaction, look and feel) in short increments of time is ideal as it leaves less room for going down the wrong path and increases ownership.
Information architecture is the science of organizing, ordering, categorizing and labeling information. Its purpose is to make your website easier to use and easier to find the information your visitors are looking for. If you have high quality content, then incorporating information architecture will maximize its effectiveness.
Walmart listened to what their employees said they wanted - place where they could interact with one another. Rather than build a traditional site focusing on corporate information, they build al social networking intranet that would convey corporate information while allowing and encouraging associates to build relationships, connect around shared passions, and share information with one another.
Moved beyond just browser platforms to include kiosks, tablets, mobile. Mobile is only now starting to become more prominent in 10 Best Intranets. Platform usage should ALWAYS be driven by user needs – e.g. employees on the road or in remote locations are suited to mobile platform. For mobile, recommendation is to design a separate experience – a mini-version of full website with key content and applications. Mobile requires consideration of approach: platform specific (e.g. iphone) which is a native smartphone application cross-platform which is tailored version of the standard web application and works across all smartphones – less rich experience compared to native smartphone application.