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Internal communication is a major key to success for businesses, considering that more and more companies distribute across the globe, whilst complexity and entropy increase. The quick exchange at the coffee machine or the team building effects of a Nerf Gun battle can only be emulated so much through video conference calls.
Therefore, enterprises cannot overestimate the importance of a functioning intranet infrastructure to empower the employees to effectively exchange ideas and collaborate under the conditions of modern business.
Based on their in-depth expertise and experience from working with numerous global players in the area of intranet,
WM Reply has compiled a list of 9 key tips for a successful intranet strategy.
Intranet cannot be regarded as isolated system, it always requires to support the overarching business strategy, and enable each and every one to work towards the common goal.
A proof of concept is invaluable to experience, whether functionality, look & feel actually resonate with the expectations towards an intranet solution. The PoC approach has proven to be the best way to gain support from all stakeholders.
When moving to a new intranet platform, one of the hazards companies have to avoid, is getting wrapped up in what they have already done before. Introduction of a new Intranet is a great chance to reconsider old beliefs and change things for the better.
Start your requirements fresh! This applies to features as well as content.
Businesses can sometimes get wrapped up in what they had before, what they offered and what the procedures looked like. This applies to both features and content, that is why an intranet project needs to start with fresh requirements paying close attention to what kind of content, truly matters to the users.
Plan ahead and be more agile, especially when working under very constricted timeframes. It’s recommended to think about how to deploy the solution from day 1, Adding agile procedures to the approach allows to run multiple parts of a project at the same time. This ensures that the deployment process can be thoroughly tested and guaranteed to work, once the other parts are finished.
When designing a new intranet, start with considering, what the end-user might need, how they will actually use the platform and for which purpose. Try to gain a deep understanding of the end-user and include them in early stages of the design process to gather feedback and inspiration. Through maintaining a strictly user-centric perspective, you make sure that the final product will be recognized as helpful assistance in the workplace.
Having sponsorship from the top and your leaders walking the talk is critical to success.
Spend time with your leaders, preferably before the launch to make sure they’re on board and understand the benefits.
Show your leaders how they can use it to drive their own agendas and rally employees.
It’s not just about the technology and tools, it’s about changing the ways of working. Changing the way people work requires management. This transformation management needs to support the adoption and gather feedback from users, to understand which actions must be taken to first create awareness and foster the employees desire to use the new platform. Through transferring the necessary knowledge and building the ability to use the tool in the right way, adoption will run more smoothly. Once things are running, periodical reinforcement ensures that the new processes are internalised and become a routine.
No matter how intuitive a product or feature might be, don’t assume everyone will know how to use it.
Designers work to make the interface and end user process as simple as possible – it’s very easy to underestimate the scale of training you require, which is where WM Reply’s Engage team comes in .They will make a modified training plan based on current level of knowledge, the gaps and what different needs the users consume – for example, a SharePoint administrator or group owner will need training around managing the site, as well as how to use the front end.
The technical solution might look pretty and do fancy whizz bang things, but don’t just have the old intranet boxed up in to the new - make the content relevant!
"Content can come later! Just get it up!" - no, it's important to have usable content for the get go, because straight away people will go searching for the things they know, they use frequently and understand how things are different in the new world.
WM Reply, a Reply Group company, is an experienced digital consultancy specialising in Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365. Its mission is to add value to clients; helping them to deliver their wider business strategy by enhancing their collaborative tools within the work place.