How to create your employee intranet roadmap step-by-step

Capturing the vision and purpose of your employee intranet sets the tone for success. The Roadmap serves to clarify where you are and where you want to be.

By Cathy Dew

We talked about why you need a roadmap and even described what’s in a roadmap. In this blog we will walk through the specific phases of developing the roadmap and what you can expect as process and artifacts along the way. This is your step-by-step guide to getting to a documented strategy, a Roadmap, for your employee intranet.

1. You are here

The first step is to determine just exactly where you are. The goal of this phase is to get a complete, honest understanding of where you are today. If you have an existing intranet, great. Let’s understand how is being used. If you don’t, no worries. Content and documents are being shared and accessed somehow.

It’s important to ask and answer these questions.

  • How is information being shared now?
  • If there a current software implementation, for example, SharePoint (and Office 365)?
  • How are documents managed? Are you using a file share drive? Drop Box? Something else?
  • If your organization has multiple locations, how do employees communicate?

This is a relatively short phase where you need to be prepared to ask and answer a bunch of questions. to get the lay of the land at Endpoint Clinical.



2. Mini-assessment

Now that you have a basic understand of the “as is” environment you can start to assess exactly how things are going. Start with an honest assessment of what’s working and what isn’t in the current setup. If you have an existing intranet, you need to find out how well it’s working for your employees. If you don’t have an intranet yet there is still a lot you can learn from a survey. Documents are stored somewhere and employees are looking for them or requesting help via phone and email. Company news and communications are happening in some fashion. How is that going?

Consider developing a short survey to find out what’s resonating with employees. What do they like about the intranet? What’s cumbersome, awkward or just plain missing? Try and capture enough quantitative data so that you can get a summary view and rating for various aspects across the organization.

For qualitative data, consider a doing an in-depth interview with a representative set of employees. This can be done in-person or through video conferencing. If you have an existing intranet, ask the employee to show you exactly what does and doesn’t work from their perspective.

Based on this feedback, you will get a pretty good idea of pain points as well as what’s missing. If you leave a few open-ended questions you will have some clues to future features that would make your employee intranet great. Artifacts from this phase include an inventory or current processes, pain point and a wish list.

3. Identify a team

Now that we have some anchoring in organization and have an idea of challenges and opportunities, it’s time to validate and expand that understanding. Your next step is to identify a small team, four to eight, representatives across the organization to be your idea team. Make sure to get representatives in different functional areas and roles and positions. The point is to infuse the creative process with different perspectives. Ideally these individuals are enthusiastic about the possibilities of an intranet and will become champions as you get to implementation and rollout.

4. Vision + strawman

Next, we get this group together, in-person plus video conference for offsite folks, for an interactive session to paint the vision for your intranet. An expert, charismatic facilitator with solid information design skills is the perfect choice. They will lead your team through a guided brainstorming an exploration session to develop a definition of the intranet. Meet in a spacious room with lots of glass boards and a supply of colored sticky notes and you’re on your way.

Each of these questions should be answered. Consider using personas and user stories to help walk through various scenarios. In the end you should be able to answer these questions:

  • What are the goals and top three objectives for your employee intranet?
  • What are the required, nice to have and blue-sky features that will get you there?
  • What is the experience for each employee persona?
  • How do you refer to the Intranet, does it have a name?
  • How do you engage staff across the organization?
  • What access is optimal and what types of devices?
  • How important is each capability in terms of delivering the vision?

5. Technology exploration

Now that that we know what we want, we need to determine technology options that will deliver. There will be trade-offs depending on the platform that need to be articulated. We will work with IT to define security and access requirements and determine how the various platform options support those constraints.

Did you know that 80% of Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint. With Office 365, which includes SharePoint Online with the new Modern UI, you should consider it as an option.

Regarding technology, our approach is to leverage standard technology and platforms as fully as possible. We normally recommend one of the following variations for Intranet installations.

  1. The first is a complete SharePoint solution for all aspects of the Intranet including Communications, Team Collaboration, Connect, Enterprise Search, Personalization, Content Management, Document Management, Administration and other support features.

  2. The second approach is to use SharePoint for all Collaboration, Project and Team Site interaction and then use a best in class CMS for the Communications aspects of the Intranet. Our preferred solution is Kentico, recognized by Gartner for its value as a leading CMS. We would be open to other CMS solutions if a dual platform solution is preferred.

  3. The third option is to leverage one of the Intranet-in-a-box solutions. There are a number of these available at a variety of price points. 2Plus2 is discussing partnership opportunities with two vendors.

6. Timeline + budget

At this point you can develop a timeline, resources and budget for the implementation of at least the initial phase of the intranet. You most certainly already have future features identified that comprise subsequent phases. It’s important to position your intranet as a long-term project in that there will always be new features, capabilities and technologies that continue to enhance the employee experience with the intranet. The roadmap will need review and possibly updates every couple of years.

7. Pull it all together

Finally, you need to get management to review and approve the plan to proceed. 2Plus2 will create a report (and presentation) of the results of the roadmap process and recommendations. The goal is to bring the organization to a shared understanding of the vison and implementation plan for the intranet.

Congratulations, you are ready to embark on your employee intranet journey.

Let 2Plus2 be your employee intranet partner, starting with a roadmap. Having an intranet specialist to guide your intranet development process will undoubtedly help give you answers on this front. An intranet can and should be a multifaceted resource with a slew of different functions and tools for your employees to use. At 2Plus2, we specialize in helping enterprises like yours build powerful and versatile Employee intranets. Go online to schedule a free consultation with our team or call 510-652-7700 today.

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Cathy Dew
Cathy Dew – CEO + Information Architect
Cathy focuses the company on our mission – Real results. Every time. Information architect and strategist, Cathy is passionate about making software work well – the function, the feel, the result.
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