As business executives, we love to talk about goals.
We scribble them on marker boards at staff meetings, write mission statements about them, and use them to evaluate employees; yet, many companies miss the importance of setting objectives for their intranets. It’s hard to understand why.
Some corporate intranets we’ve seen are as mundane and directionless as cookie-cutter websites, platforms that are defined more by style than purpose. In almost every case these portals leave critical needs unaddressed. An intranet is not a solution to your company’s problems. It’s a tool that helps your team create their own solutions. The best way to ensure success is to set clear expectations of what it is going to help you accomplish, and that means setting objectives.
Let me say right off that the worst thing you can do is just rip through this exercise with a couple other managers. Your success depends on the entire company embracing the platform, and all departments and locations should be represented in the discussion. Otherwise, you may end up investing a lot of money into a site nobody uses.
Hold a Team Meeting With Your Staff.
This can be a fun way to get employees engaged from the get-go. Get everyone together for a meeting and invite them to brainstorm. Keep the discussion focused on processes that get in their way, especially in regards to collaborative projects.
The purpose of the exercise is to get everyone thinking about where communication and collaboration improvements could be made. Write down everything on a marker board and use this feedback as a guide for the next stage of the process.
Interview a Sample of Leaders and End-Users.
Now is the time to create a list of stakeholders and end-users representing all branches of the organization and interview them. The goal is to get a clear sense of their daily responsibilities, projects they work on regularly, and challenges they face. You should also conduct the interviews face-to-face or over the phone – too much gets lost in the translation when relying on written surveys.
If you have an intranet, ask them about what they like and dislike about it. It’s good to know where the process went wrong the first time so you can do better this time around.
Establish Objectives From Employee Feedback.
After sifting through all the feedback you should see patterns start to emerge. These will become the foundation of your intranet goals.
Start by defining the umbrella objectives for the whole organization. Examples include:
- Making sure every employee receives news and announcements from the company
- Simplifying the way people find company documents and resources
- Standardize employee training processes
Once the overall objectives are set, then it’s time to examine the what each department and business location needs. Every segment of the organization will have unique challenges, and your platform should address them.
Create Tactics To Meet Your Objectives.
Once the business objectives are set, you should define what conditions need to be in place to achieve those goals.
This may sound redundant, but it’s actually vital to the process. Your tactical plan will spell out, in concrete terms, actions your deployment teams will take. For instance, if one of your goals is to “simplify the way people find company documents and resources,” the following steps need to happen:
- Someone must inventory all existing folders and documents, sorting valuable files from the junk.
- An information architecture needs to be established, and all company files must be tagged with searchable meta data.
- The development team must migrate the content to the new intranet, allowing time for testing and tweaking.
- Every employee needs login credentials and a device to get access to the portal.
Your tactical plan will become a blueprint for intranet deployment, and you can use it to assign roles and responsibilities to your team. This is the best way to ensure everyone knows their role and stays accountable to the outcome.
As we all know, it’s easy to set goals, and even easier to lose sight of them when everyone is busy. By keeping the intranet deployment focused on organizational objectives you will ensure every pixel, every widget, every feature has a clear purpose, all of them working in harmony to accelerate your business. That’s what a powerful intranet looks like.
Learn more about our Accelerated Intranet services.