- Nicolas Kheirallah
Part 1 Where to begin
As a SharePoint consultant for almost a decade, I have built and designed more than 80 intranets and gained valuable insights from each project. In this post, I want to share some best practices for designing your intranet and what it involves, because I have noticed many implementations that are not optimal, scalable or sustainable, and that result in extra costs for maintenance and support.
So see these posts as a handbook if you ever get stuck and wondering what you should do
What's needed to succeed
There are a few things that are needed to succeed when building your Intranet, The way you want to drive this kind of project is to have a a flexible and iterative approach. As such a project no matter the size of the company does not to be developed for a year before being released but your can release it in stages and having continous improvements. As you want to get in the users feedback and implementing those as we want this to grow and improve organicly.
This doesn't mean that it doesn't requires careful planning, coordination and execution because it does.
As the Intranet is a the hub that connects employees within an organization and facilitates communication, collaboration and information sharing. You want your users to come here, get the information that they need with as few clicks as possible and not be a dreaded process to do so! We want to get rid of the old stigma that the Intranet is something you don't to visit. This is where Viva connection comes in play.
To succeed when building an Intranet, these are a few things that are needed:
A clear vision and strategy: The Intranet should align with the organization's goals, values and culture. It should also have a well-defined purpose, scope and target audience. The Intranet should be designed with the employee experience in mind, the information presented to the user should relevant for them as this is needs and expectations of the users.
A dedicated team and stakeholders: The Intranet project should have a strong and committed team that includes representatives from different departments, roles and levels of the organization. My prefered method of building a team for designing and building a teams
While a team of stakeholders are should include these heads of departments:
- Head of HR
- Head of Communication
- Head of IT
- Head of CISO
The team should have the necessary skills, resources and authority to manage the project effectively. The team should also have a clear leader who can provide direction, guidance and support throughout the project lifecycle.
- A user-centric approach: The Intranet should be built with the users in mind. The team should conduct user research, surveys, interviews and testing to understand the user needs, preferences and behaviors. The team should also involve the users in the design, development and evaluation of the Intranet, and solicit their feedback and suggestions regularly. The Intranet should be user-friendly, intuitive and accessible to all users.
- A robust technology platform: The Intranet should be built on a reliable, secure and scalable technology platform that can support the functionality, performance and growth of the Intranet. The platform should also be compatible with the existing systems and applications of the organization, and allow for easy integration and customization. The platform should also enable the team to update and maintain the Intranet easily and efficiently.
- A continuous improvement process: The Intranet should not be seen as a one-time project, but as an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring, evaluation and improvement. The team should measure the usage, impact and satisfaction of the Intranet, and identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Intranet. The team should also implement changes and enhancements based on the data, feedback and best practices of the Intranet.
Stakeholders! An modern intranet isn't owned by IT anymore. It's owned by the whole organisation and each part owning their own space.
Stakeholders in designing an intranet should be Communication Department