1. Look for Supporters and Multipliers
An employee can rarely implement an intranet project on his or her own. For such a task you will need a team of supporters. In organizations that lack collaboration, there are generally other people who miss real and effective digital collaboration. In organizations where an existing intranet is not working well, there are usually even more employees who want to enhance and modernize the internal system. An important factor is winning colleagues as supporters of the project and increasing the foothold within the organization.
2. Ask your users and departments about their requirements and processes
There are intranets in many organizations that are not being used because they don’t offer what users need and want. Classical and electronic surveys before and during introduction of an intranet system help assess the needs of users.
3. Adjust the interface based on Corporate Design guidelines and usability aspects
A social intranet is meant to be a useful tool. In order to be that, it also needs to be integrated optically: A system that appears foreign visually, will be difficult to be adapted by employees. Therefore an intranet should be in the corporate design of the organization. In that way it won’t feel foreign in the system architecture and will be perceived as familiar right away. This adaptation should also increase usability by decreasing complexity of the out of the box interface.
4. Personalize Content and Functions
An intranet is intended to increase effectivity and efficiency in daily business. This goal can best be met when employees have exactly the content, tools and features available that they really need. Thus, a personalization and individualization of the intranet user experience is an important factor for success, such as a foundation on profile details of the user (location, language, department, position, …).
5. Work in iterations in your project
An intranet project is a complex project, the higher the complexity, the more difficult it is to determine all requirements from the beginning. An iterative approach allows for a response to changing requirements as opposed to the development of a platform that offers functionalities which users don’t need, or that lacks features.
6. Include users early on during implementation or as tester and incorporate their feedback
User feedback is essential for successful software. Allow your users to work with a prototype and early iterations and you will receive reliable feedback from the user perspective regarding what works and what doesn’t. Taking this feedback into account during the iterative process will help develop a better intranet.
7. Schedule resources for creating and maintaining content of the intranet
Successful intranets have a high return on investment but they also bind internal resources. Especially after a rollout it can be useful if a team intensely focuses on creating content and generating life in the system. In addition, it may be helpful, depending on the organization, the create an editing team with responsible “owners” for content spaces, who secure qualitative minimal standards.
8. Include the management and let them collaborate
Often times a modern intranet also involves a cultural change within an organization, moving towards more focus on the employee, self organization and responsibility. The management needs to support such a change: "Strong backing from the top". Without that support from the top, without a strategy and the necessary resources, a new intranet rollout is difficult.
9. Train project team and users
A modern intranet should be intuitive and user friendly. However, it is still a new system with often unfamiliar concepts. Offer trainings and training material such as handouts, internal blog posts and video tutorials to the users. Adaptation will then not be halted by a lack of knowledge.
10. Plan the rollout with internal marketing measures that support employee activation and cultural change
A targeted marketing campaign for a new intranet system has proven successful in activating employees. Posters, stickers, displays, note pads and other marketing materials with the right message increase awareness for the intranet and its opportunities and can be targeted to the use case.
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