Blog

What Does It Take to Develop a Great Employee Intranet?

By Cathy Dew on April 26, 2018

 

In recent blog posts, we have been defining some of the key terms related to intranets, explaining why intranets are so valuable for businesses, and outlining some of the must-have features that make up an intranet. Now that we’ve covered all this abstract information, though, it’s time to move on to the next stage of the process: taking that information and applying it practically.

 

Getting Started: How 2Plus2 Can Help

The core question we will be trying to answer in our upcoming series of blog posts is “How do I create a great intranet for my enterprise?” If you’ve been reading along and have been intrigued by the features and benefits of intranets that we’ve discussed so far, then you might be ready to dive right in and start building your own. Just in case you missed them, here is the first in this series, Why You Need a Great Employee Intranet and the second in the series, What Are the Key Features of a Great Employee Intranet.

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2Plus2 can help you on that front. Using a branded methodology called Delivery Plus, we dig in and learn about your business. We find out what your challenges and pain points are, analyze them to find the best solutions, and design powerful employee intranets that provide all those solutions in one place. From the big-picture planning to the granular backend details, we can get your business to the point where it is ready to roll out intranet access to all employees on any device.

The process of “getting there,” of course, will involve multiple steps and phases. These phases will be the focus of our upcoming blog series because they are the elements that are essential to creating a great intranet. They include creating a roadmap, driving employee engagement, identifying the best tools and platform for the job, and then generating living content.

 

1. Developing an Intranet Roadmap

A huge part of the Delivery Plus methodology we use at 2 Plus 2 depends on a detailed intranet roadmap. Just like you can’t build a house without a blueprint, you can’t create an intranet without a roadmap.

The roadmap, in the simplest of terms, is a strategy that incorporates your goals, your budget, and the technology necessary to bring everything else together. Think of it as a business plan for your intranet. Based on your pain points and goals, you can identify the features you want your intranet to have. From those feature requirements, you can determine the technology and tools necessary to bring your dream intranet to fruition. Now you can estimate costs and create a schedule for development and implementation.

Your intranet roadmap shouldn’t be basic or rudimentary. Instead, it should be an in-depth, detailed document that maps out the next few years of implementation rollout, configurations, upgrades, priorities, content development, and overall management. Speaking of management, you’ll need to identify people throughout your team who can help develop intranet content, train users, update pages, and more. Finally, you’ll want your roadmap to include details about data governance—a crucial focus for legal compliance.

In future blogs, we’ll discuss the ingredients of your intranet roadmap in greater detail. We’ll also look at the logistics of developing your roadmap and acknowledge the challenges of taking on such a massive, long-term project.

 

2. Driving Employee Engagement

Let’s make one thing clear: your intranet is about your employees. It is for your employees, it will be used by your employees, and it will primarily be managed by your employees. In other words, you can’t have an intranet without employee engagement. In fact, Forbes has declared 2018 will be the year of Employee Experience (EX).

From the start of your intranet project, you need to involve your employees. Engage with them during the roadmapping process to learn about their pain points and make sure they get integrated into the intranet plan. As you start developing the intranet itself, ask employees to give it a test drive and share feedback. The more you can involve your employees, the quicker they will be about adopting the intranet and using it as a go-to tool.

In our employee engagement blog series, we’ll look at the importance of start-to-finish employee involvement. We’ll talk about strategies for collecting feedback, training employees to use the intranet, establishing “champions” for adoption, and implementing features that users will love.

 

3. Choosing the Right Tools and Platform

Choosing the right platform to launch your intranet can be one of the toughest parts of the process. Simply put, a lot of people don’t have much experience with this type of technology, which makes shopping for it especially hard. Our “Tools and Platform” blog series will help take some of the confusion out of the equation. We’ll focus on must-have components for any intranet (CMS, collaborations tools, document managements, we’ll address strategic technology (considerations like security, integration with other software applications, and overall scalability), as well as on the increasing importance of mobile compatibility. The goal, in the end, will be to help you understand how to shop for intranet tools and platforms, how to assess different software, and how to choose the tools that best meet your needs and budget.

 

4. Committing to Content

Just building an intranet that has the features you want and the technical aspects you need isn’t enough. Once the skeleton of the intranet is in place, you must populate it with content that your users want and need. A huge focus in this department is on content freshness. While there may be some evergreen content on your intranet, the vast majority of it is going to be current, relevant, and new. From recent announcements to policy changes to FAQs for the latest software that your business is using, your intranet needs to reflect a commitment to living content. Understanding this necessity and developing a nuanced content strategy—one that outlines plans for both global and local content—will be the focus of our “Committing to Content” blog series.

 

Get Help with Your Intranet Today

At 2Plus2, we are hopeful that our exploration of intranet development strategies on this blog will help you build a powerful intranet for your business. If you need our help at any point, though, or if you would like us to implement the DeliveryPlus methodology to plan and create your intranet, we are always happy to lend a hand. 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.