Last week we wrote about The HR Intranet and how you can incorporate HR initiatives onto your intranet.
This week we want to talk about the IT Intranet. As a vendor of Social Intranet Software there are trends we have seen over the course of the last 12 years and here is a big stat that may (or may not) surprise you: 84% of our intranet champions are from IT. That’s a big number!
Sometimes IT initiates the search for intranet software but more often we see the drive initially led by an Executive, HR, Marketing or Communications. Either way, these are your customers so let’s make them happy and you the hero.
Out of the 84% intranet champions in IT using our intranet software, pretty much all of them have another job to do. They manage the intranet as a side project. As de-facto Intranet Managers our IT customers only dedicate a few hours a week to ensure the intranet is OK and doing a good job. How do they do this?
The trick is to share the load. Find others in the organization who can be intranet champions. Delegate ownership of team sites to other business units. You will do a bit of leg-work in setting up these sites and areas on the intranet, but then farm it off to someone else to manage and maintain.
Seems obvious? It’s not! We see a lot of implementations where one person tries to maintain control of all areas on the intranet, while juggling their primary job duties, and wondering how they can find more time to get the intranet off the ground.
When you set up areas and delegate ownership remember to keep it small, keep it simple, and keep it targeted. Phase in added business tools over time, always asking three qualifiers:
1. How will this benefit the employee?
2. Is this feature/content/tool in line with our core intranet goals?
3. Will this provide immediate value?
Write a simple governance document. Simple! Short. Share it with publishers and your internal intranet champions. Write one line in your governance model that all publishers must set a future review and archive date (1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year). A simple content curation tool that should be utilized is content archiving. Any content that is date-related, older, not as relevant, or not current — archive it. Archived content can still be searched on, shared, bookmarked, commented on, rated and easily accessed. Archiving keeps your current intranet content lean. Keep it focused on those top tools that help employees most.
Consider expectations on how you write content for the intranet. People consume content differently online. We skim, scan, and jump. We are in and out fast. Some tips to share with your intranet champions for creating better content:
- Dumb it down: intuitive writing and labels
- Break up text with white space: more paragraphs, bullet points, numbered lists
- Use photos, images, slideshows, online presentations or embedded video to enhance content
- Write bite-size content: keep it short, link to learn more
- Write in a conversational tone
The best advice we can impart in launching your intranet is to have realistic expectations. Adoption will peak as you launch the site (everyone is curious to see it) then dip down – this is normal. The best route to adoption is word of mouth. It takes time and careful consideration when growing your intranet. Have a plan, but keep it simple. The intranet doesn’t have to be perfect; it has to be useful.
Intranets are meant to be tweaked. They are constantly evolving. It’s our job (as the vendor) to keep pace with new technologies and new tools to help you and your employees. It’s your job to upgrade and use the tools when you see the benefit.
You’re our IT champion, we feel strongly in rooting for you! We want your intranet to be a success, let us help you. Contact us any time, any question: no question is too small or too big. We can be your sounding board.