10 Steps To Build A Successful Intranet

Respect your audience. Your intranet exists to serve all the people of your organization, regardless of rank, function, location, or tenure. Get to know them, and seek to understand how your intranet can help them. Encourage them to contact you directly, and engage in thoughtful conversations with them.

1. Define Goals For Your Intranet

Base your intranet’s structure on what your organization wants to achieve from it. Consider goals such as:

• Better productivity
• Better collaboration
• Enhanced inter-team communication
• Coordinated sales and marketing campaigns
• Heightened internal and external ROI

Make sure that the goals align with what your company’s management has in mind for the intranet.

2. Keenly Consider Your Audience’s Needs

Respect your audience’s needs; your audience comprises of the employees for the most part, so this means respecting their needs over and above those of your company’s leaders. Also, don’t glorify technology above all else. Be sure to update information and content consistently, to make the intranet eminently usable for its intended targets.

3. Reinforce Organizational Values

Make sure your intranet’s design tone and overall experience reflects your company’s values. For example, if your management is not open to receiving openly expressed feedback or questions, don’t design a feedback page. If your company is conservative, don’t go overboard with neon colors and casual graphics.

4. Determine Governance Policies

Before going live with the intranet, sit with your HR, admin and IT departments to list out a set of governance policies. Determine the penalties for posting certain words or graphics. Determine who’ll be in charge in terms of approving content and mentoring updates. Create a set of policies pertaining to the intranet’s usage and get them whetted by IT, HR, Legal, and management groups.

5. Build Relationships With All The Major Players

In order for the intranet to be successful, you need to establish synchronization with several people. Start with the IT team, the design team, the corporate communications team, HR, legal, audit, ethics and compliance and your management. Make sure that all these players understand their role in monitoring, maintaining and judging the ethical, moral and legal aspects of the intranet.

6. Create An Intranet Team

You’ll need people to write, edit and post content, handle design and graphics, and manage the infrastructure. You’ll also need someone to evaluate the intranet’s usability and build a community around it. You don’t need a core team for this – just some people who are dedicated to maintaining the intranet.

7. Remain In Tune With Audience Expectations

The more your audience uses public web sites and gets more familiar with consumer technology, their expectations will change. It will become necessary to keep an eye on the latest techniques and approaches, and incorporate them if need be. Be careful to adopt new techniques only if they fit your organization, and not just to please your audience.

8. Monitor Usage

Run analytics software to evaluate traffic patterns. Find out which pages are popular and which are not. Analyze user content preferences based on the search terms used. Evaluate user-generated content to understand your users’ mindset and how they’re using the intranet. All these insights will help you to update the intranet for better usability in the future.

9. Participate and Interact

Participate in users’ discussions , answer their questions and study their feedback. Find out what else they’d like to see on the intranet. Travel and hotel booking? Monthly contest for some fun? Listen, encourage, and revert. Remember, the more you encourage them, the better your organization will benefit.

10. Don’t Give Up

You will encounter some setbacks, constraints and opposition from various quarters. Sometimes, the opposition will come from the management. Your job will be to consistently prove just how well the intranet is serving the organization’s purposes. Keep an eye on dissenters and nay-sayers – if they have the right ear, your intranet budget could get chopped and all your hard work will be for nothing. Remember, all company management executives like a healthy bottom line.

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