An intranet lives and dies by its governance, its usability and its usefulness. None of those things come packaged in an off-the-shelf platform such as SharePoint or Sitecore. These packages provide the tools to enable these things but they need knowledge, experience and creativity to engender user adoption and return on investment.
Perhaps the most obvious mistake made by an organisation is to believe that they can tender for an intranet ‘project’ via an RFP process. As soon as the intranet is visualised as a project with a clear end date after which it will look after itself, we know that its success is unlikely. An intranet has to evolve to remain relevant and that evolution is most critical during the first few months after users begin to engage with it. We call this the transition phase and it’s often the phase most overlooked.
Transition requires high-touch between experts and users to ensure that governance is ingrained from the start and to help users overcome the first hurdles of familiarity. As users gain confidence they will uncover ways that the intranet could be more useful, efficient and frictionless, and it’s vital to capture this feedback and help the users enunciate their ideas in such a way that they can be prioritised and acted upon. When users see their ideas turned into experience-enhancing reality they are more motivated to use the intranet and will create new ideas that can unlock new ways of working and often drive improved return on investment beyond the initial imaginings of the team that envisioned the solution.
Transition can extend for quite some time but at some point, users will become expert in the system and, thanks to strong governance, the intranet’s usefulness will be unquestionable. It’s now vital that the intranet is reliable, always available and that search results remain relevant as content grows, that information architecture supports changing use and that suggestions for improvement are still recognised, prioritised and acted upon. This is where a pro-active managed service delivers long-term value from your intranet investment and ensures continued user satisfaction and growing adoption from happy users. By keeping the intranet relevant, performant and reliable, the return on investment continues to grow even as costs decline.
How ClearPeople can help
We would be delighted to speak to you about how to plan a successful intranet project, or any technology project, that places special emphasis on transition and on-going managed services, and to help you understand how to budget for these vital services. We have developed some creative payment models to help manage the cost of these services such that your payments fit a timeline that aligns with where the return on your investment in a new intranet is tangible.