Industry Insights from Our Experts

We have an Intranet?
I don’t visit the Intranet very often, it’s rarely updated. I just use email.
The Intranet doesn’t make my job more productive, so why bother?
I typically can’t find what I’m looking for on our Intranet.
I don’t know how to use the Intranet.
Our Intranet is useless.

Sound familiar? If not, congratulations, you’re one of the few who may have got it right. The primary purpose of Intranets can be summed up in 5 words: “A vehicle for sharing knowledge”

Knowledge is the #1 asset for organizations. That mean’s you, the employee (at any level), are the most important asset. How do leaders ensure knowledge is transferred from the minds of employees (even tacit knowledge) to something that can be read and shared by others (explicit knowledge)? The very definition of tacit knowledge says it’s difficult to do. Is an Intranet the answer? It will definitely help, but it can make things worse if not done strategically.

What factors contribute to a successful implementation?

Mr. President / CxO, it starts with you. Intranets are more than a financial investment, it’s a commitment to cultural change in the company. That kind of change can’t happen quickly, and is one of the primary reasons why most Intranets fail.

Here’s a few activities that pave the way to success:

  • Ensure you have identified the vision and scope for the Intranet. Get everyone engaged by giving them an opportunity voice ideas. Get everyone excited by creating a vision!
  • Spend the time to gather / understand functional requirements. Don’t wing it – you may end up solving problems that you don’t  have or not solving the real problems you do have.
  • Form a Governance committee. These representatives in your company will ensure the Intranet doesn’t become a garbage pit of buried, unstructured information. Policies and due process are important! Who’s responsible for publishing content? How often? What kind of content should be published?
  • Get as many people involved in contributing to the Information Architecture as you can and don’t rush it! Your customer service representative is likely looking for different information than your marketing executive. You need to make it easy for both, so use techniques such as card sorting to establish an effective navigation and taxonomy.
  • Come up with a ‘fun’ name for your Intranet. Don’t call it “The Intranet”.
  • Brand your Intranet, make it welcoming to your staff. It doesn’t have to look like your corporate public Website!
  • Communicate about the upcoming Intranet. Tease your staff with exciting one liners that demonstrate how the Intranet will help them once it’s in production.
  • Create Intranet champions or ambassadors. They are the staff who are experts with the Intranet, whom others can flock to with questions.
  • Make it EASY for employees to contribute content, and set up a rewards program for those who embrace it!
  • Train everyone! Either in the classroom, or through online training (videos are great!). What good is the “tool” if they don’t know how to use it, and don’t see the value in it? USER ADOPTION IS KEY!
  • Seek help from the experts when you need to. Yes, that’s a plug for Quercus Solutions ;)

And finally, don’t stop investing in the Intranet after it’s in production. An Intranet is a living project, always requires monitoring and tweaking. How are the employees using it? Are we displaying the links they use most often on the home page? Which pages are they looking at most often? Do we have any other business processes that could be automated with the Intranet?

Treat your Intranet as a strategic, long term asset!

Copyright 2017 by Quercus Solutions