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Developing an Intranet Strategy

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Building or redesigning an intranet in 2016? Most intranet managers have an idea of where they want to go, but few have a formalized strategy and roadmap.

Your strategy is a plan about how to take action.

This presentation from intranet expert Steve Bynghall gives you a highly practical framework to derive and articulate your intranet strategy. Whether you’re part of a team with a new intranet project or the business owner of a stale and stagnant intranet, you'll find this presentation valuable..

Highlights:

What is an intranet strategy and why do you need one?
The importance of being objective: the discovery phase
Research sources: data inputs, stakeholder analysis, other sources
Formalizing the strategy and action plan
Communicating and socializing the strategy

Published in: Technology
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Developing an Intranet Strategy

  1. 1. Steve Bynghall • UK-based intranet, collaboration and digital workplace consultant, writer and researcher • Founder of Two Hives • Co-founder of Intranet Directions with Chris Tubb • Writer for Step Two and runs the Intranet Innovation Awards • Research and Knowledge Lead at Digital Workplace Group • Get in touch: • steve@twohives.co.uk • Twitter: @Bynghall • www.twohives.co.uk • www.intranetdirections.com 2 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. What is an intranet strategy? • An intranet strategy is a future plan of action to develop your intranet • It is: • Aligned to organizational objectives • Likely to be a document, a presentation or both, but no standard format • May contain a vision, a high-level roadmap, KPIs and more specific objectives • It’s not: • the business case • requirements document • project plan 3 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. Why you need an intranet strategy • Intranets do zillions of things: what’s your priority? • Intranets make a strategic difference: you want to get it right • Help make plans realistic and achievable • Bring teams, stakeholders and even users with you, all working from the same page • Provides a focus for decision-making • Establishes what needs to be measured by clarifying benefit 4 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. But many organizations.. • Don’t have an up to date intranet strategy • Only consider intranet strategy when installing a new platform or major upgrade • Gamble by starting implementation projects or purchasing intranet software without one! 5 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved. “What's the use of running if you are not on the right road?“ German proverb
  5. 5. Developing an intranet strategy • It’s straightforward to do • But needs time, thought and a little effort • Barrier 1: Intranet teams get lost in operations › Hard to find the time › Hard to get the headspace • Barrier 2: Stakeholders have pre-conceived ideas › Assumptions about intranet’s role (it’s obvious, isn’t it?) › Technology decision already made! 6 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. A process for developing an intranet strategy 7 www.intranetdirections.com Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved. Research Analysis Articulation Tactics Finalizing • Five stages, but not always a perfectly linear process • Based on a more detailed Intranet Directions process and workbook from intranet strategy training courses
  7. 7. Research 8 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved. Research Analysis Articulation Tactics Finalizing ‘Research’ is the process of gathering information and data to fully understand your organization and its employees.
  8. 8. Why research is important • Be effective › Design around users and their needs › Without the foundation of knowledge you risk failing • Be objective › Rise above your own preconceptions › Rise above stakeholder assumptions • Be credible › Organizational processes › Passing the “scary skeptical senior stakeholder test” • Drive engagement › Change management through dialogue 9 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9. Successful approaches for research • Take structured approach › Decide on a timetable › Make a plan • Be inclusive › Talk to stakeholders and employees › Research all sections of your workforce if possible • Gather all data › Will be useful later down the line › Don’t ask the same question again 10 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  10. 10. Research: sources • Stakeholders › Interviews › Workshop • Employees › Intranet survey › Interviews › Focus groups and workshops › Observation • Extended team › Central roles › Publishers, Super-users, Advocates, Community managers 11 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  11. 11. Research: sources • Metrics › Current intranet metrics › Other statistics (Email, Help Desk etc.) › Employee engagement survey • External › Peers in other organizations › Case studies and best practices • Strategies › Organizational strategy › Other strategies and roadmaps (IT, Comms, HR, Digital etc.) 12 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  12. 12. Analysis 13 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved. Research Analysis Articulation Tactics Finalizing ‘Analysis’ is the honest assessment of the issues, challenges and successes suggested by your research.
  13. 13. Analysis: identifying the themes • Issues › Identify the issues and problems suggested by your data › Look for specific and repeatable themes › Attempt to explain why an issue is occurring in an objective way • Challenges and successes › Look to the future and identify potential barriers to what is achievable › Look at success stories and why they have worked for repeatable approaches 14 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  14. 14. Analysis: the importance of why • Employees can’t find the content they need on the intranet • A bad example of analysis: › The intranet is rubbish and the search engine is useless. Most of our employees are too old to understand how to use digital tools anyway. Let’s get a new intranet and hire some more millennials! • A good example of analysis: › The navigation on our intranet is not based on how employees think or the tasks they need to complete, so it can be hard to find content quickly. The search engine is basic for our needs and is not actively managed to make improvements. There is too much out of date or irrelevant content which makes it even harder to find valuable items. Staff in our contact center especially need to find content quickly. 15 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  15. 15. Analysis: wading through the data • In reality research can be an iterative process with new questions emerging • What are the trends that emerged in your mind? • Codify data for analysis (useful for the business case…) • Use software to help e.g. mind-mapping tools, note-taking app or a simple spreadsheet 16 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  16. 16. Articulation 17 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved. Research Analysis Articulation Tactics Finalizing Articulation takes your findings and expresses a headline strategy of what you want to achieve, your underlying approach and your priorities.
  17. 17. Articulating your approach • Your approach is what you’re doing and why, not how you’re going to do it (that’s tactics!) • Your tactics may change so documenting your approach makes your strategy a little more evergreen • Your approach covers: › What you’re going to do › What you’re hoping to solve › What you’re going to achieve › Aligns it back to broader goals • Consider several approaches • It’s still a headline view 18 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  18. 18. Sample approach • As part of our company’s strategy to improve processes and customer service, we must better connect employees to the information they need on a daily basis to carry out their work. • We will ensure that users find content more quickly by having a more intuitive intranet navigation and improving the capabilities of our search. This means employees, particularly in our contact center, will find content more quickly. • We will ensure the intranet only has relevant content which is not out of date and more easily searchable. This will help improve findability and the overall value of the intranet. • We will replace our intranet CMS which is nearly at the end of its life cycle. A new CMS must have better search capabilities and support for content management processes. Copyright; Two Hives Ltd. All Rights Reserved.19 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  19. 19. Articulating your strategy • You might not be able to achieve all your approaches in one shot • Work out the priority area(s) • This will help dictate tactics and your high-level roadmap • Help spread the effort (strategy must be achievable) • Remember strategy isn’t always about a new platform • No standard template or way to express a strategy 20 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  20. 20. Tactics 21 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved. Research Analysis Articulation Tactics Finalizing Tactics are the actions you will deploy to achieve your strategy.
  21. 21. • Tactics are the actions you apply to support your approaches, they are not a strategic objective in their own right. • The same tactic can be applied to different approaches • Select those that are going to work for you (remember those challenges and successes from your research) • Tactics can cover: › The plans for your intranet › Governance › New capabilities › A project in its own right › Even sitting tight for a while 22 Tactics Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  22. 22. 23 • Personalization • Social networking • Multi-language • Content author community • Content clear out • CEO digital visibility • Video • Enterprise mobility • Gamification • Communities and community management • And scores more…… Sample tactics Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  23. 23. 24 • As part of our current strategy to improve processes and customer service, we must better connect employees to the information they need on a daily basis to carry out their work. • We will ensure that users find content more quickly by having a more intuitive intranet navigation and improving the capabilities of our search. This means employees, particularly in our contact center, will find content more quickly. • We will ensure the intranet only has relevant content which is not out of date and is more easily searchable. This will help improve findability and the overall value of the intranet. • We will replace our intranet CMS which is nearly at the end of its life cycle. A new CMS will need to have better search capabilities and support for content management processes Approach and related tactics Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved. • Measure efficiency and related analytics • Introduce task-based navigation • Knowledge management for frontline staff • Content cull • Optimised content management process • Author community network with training • Active management of intranet search to optimize findabilty • Rigorous tender process for new intranet CMS
  24. 24. Finalizing 25 Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved. Research Analysis Articulation Tactics Finalizing Finalizing is turning your strategy into a finished article you can bring in front of stakeholders.
  25. 25. • Put your strategy into the format your organization or need dictates • Add the fluffy-but-important bits › Mission or vision statement › Map to the language of organizational and departmental strategy › Objectives etc. • Add the less-fluffy bits › KPIs › High-level and theoretical roadmap › Next steps 26 Finalizing Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  26. 26. • KPIs (another webinar in itself!) › Measure the progress of your strategy, not the success of your tactics or what is easy to measure › Adding KPIs now ensures measurement has focus on value • High-level roadmap › It’s not a project plan › It is a communication tool (chart or slide) › Logically organizes your approaches and tactics into work streams › Takes into account priorities, dependencies, opportunities, challenges › More detailed version if necessary › Has a timeline but it’s theoretical 27 Finalizing: KPIs and high-level roadmap Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  27. 27. • Build consensus › Build a guiding coalition (Kotter) › Understand your stakeholder agenda and expectations › Make it personal, make it dialogue • Create awareness › Create common reference points (language etc,) › Make your assets (documents, wireframes, presentations etc.) memorable › Spread the word through involvement › Use all channels (do you own them?) 28 Finalizing: Socializing the strategy Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  28. 28. • Be tactical › Play the organizational process game › Use advocate networks, champions, senior leaders › Be realistic and compromise 29 Finalizing: Socializing the strategy Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  29. 29. • Feel free to contact me if you have any questions › steve@twohives.co.uk › Twitter: @Bynghall › Contact form via www.twohives.co.uk • Formulating your intranet strategy training › 30th June 2016 London led by Chris Tubb and I › Early-bird registrations now available on intranetnow.co.uk › Intensely practical session: you’ll walk away with a plan • Intranet Directions › Joint blog with Chris Tubb at www.intranetdirections.com Follow-up Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.
  30. 30. Learn more about our Intranet CMS, Evoq Intranet Evoq: An Intranet CMS from DNN Copyright; Two Hives Ltd / Intranetdirections.com. All Rights Reserved.

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