Continuous improvements – the key to intranet success
We are committed to driving intranet success for our customers – and from a general perspective, there is definitely room for improvement. Surveys show that only one in four organizations are satisfied with the result of their intranet.
Continuous improvement of an organization's intranet is crucial for keeping the solution up to speed with organizational changes and new business needs. However, this can be a daunting task if not approached in a structured and strategic way. In this blog post, we'll outline a step-by-step guide on how to work with continuous improvements to the organization's intranet.
1. Make sure to have an intranet strategy and vision
Before starting any improvements, it's essential to have a clear intranet strategy and vision. This means understanding why the intranet is necessary, what it should achieve, and how it aligns with the organization's goals. This vision should also include the long-term objectives of the intranet and how it can adapt to changing business needs.
Our recommendation is to outline your intranet strategy and vision and document the result. Share it with relevant stakeholders, including the intranet governance team, to ensure everyone is aligned.
2. Do not get lost in the details
It might sound like a good idea to create detailed specifications on how the intranet features should work, but in most cases, it is not. Instead of inventing functionality designed for your organization, we recommend you trust the intranet products and platforms that have been around for at least ten years. Since these work for your neighbor’s intranet, they will probably also cater to your solution.
3. Aim to launch a good enough solution
It is better to launch a good enough solution after a 3-4-month project than to spend a year developing a big-bang solution that aims to fulfill most of your business needs. During a far-stretched project, the organization and its objectives will change and so will the intranet requirements. So there is a risk that a more extensive project will lead to the launch of a solution that is obsolete, or at least unfitting for the business.
4. Establish an intranet governance team
An intranet governance team is a group of stakeholders responsible for managing the intranet's content, functionality, and usage. This team should include representatives from different departments and levels within the organization to ensure that the intranet's requirements are understood, and decisions made align with the overall strategy and vision.
The work of the governance team should be focused on driving user adoption and continuously improving the solution. We suggest that the team should be formed covering representatives from different departments and levels within the organization. Make sure to establish clear roles with documented responsibilities.
5. Set targets for the intranet and monitor progress
Having clear and measurable targets for the intranet is essential for driving continuous improvements. These targets should be linked to the intranet's strategy and vision and should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Regular monitoring of progress towards these targets is essential to track improvements and identify areas for further development.
We advise you to document targets and, if possible, input these into the intranet for more effective comparison and evaluation. Use analytics tools to monitor progress towards these targets and share regular progress reports with the intranet governance team. Some important aspects to evaluate are usage, reach, user behavior and content status (under-used, past review date, waiting for approval, etc.).
6. Evaluate results and compare them to targets
Once targets have been set and progress monitored, it's essential to evaluate the results and compare them to the established targets. This analysis should identify areas where the intranet is performing well and areas that need improvement.
Use these evaluations to identify areas that require improvement, and prioritize these improvements based on their potential impact and alignment with the intranet's strategy and vision.
7. Set up a feedback channel for end-users
End-users are the primary users of the intranet, and their feedback is invaluable for driving improvements. Setting up a feedback channel for end-users, such as a suggestion box or survey, allows them to provide feedback on what they like, what they don't like, and what they would like to see improved.
8. Prioritize improvement suggestions
Once feedback has been collected, it's essential to prioritize improvement suggestions based on their potential impact and alignment with the intranet's strategy and vision. This prioritization should be done in consultation with the intranet governance team and should consider the resources required to implement the improvements.
9. Have a roadmap for future development
A roadmap for future development outlines the intranet's planned improvements and the timeframe for implementation. This roadmap should be linked to the intranet's strategy and vision and consider feedback from end-users and prioritized improvement suggestions. The roadmap should also consider the resources required and the dependencies between different improvements.
Make sure to share the roadmap with the intranet governance team and other relevant stakeholders to ensure alignment and buy-in. Also, publish a high-level roadmap on the intranet so end-users can take part in any planned improvements.
10. Drive adoption of new capabilities
When new capabilities are implemented, it's essential to drive adoption among end-users to ensure that the intranet's potential is fully realized. This adoption can be encouraged through training, communication, and incentives, such as recognition or rewards for using the new capabilities.
Monitor usage of new features and collect feedback to ensure that the new capabilities are meeting user needs and driving the desired outcomes.
We believe that continuous improvements are a vital key to intranet success. The day you stop adjusting the solution to fulfill new business requirements, it is on a journey to become a ghost town. But if you adopt the step-by-step guide above you have increased the odds of getting notable and desired results.
So instead of going for an intranet big bang in a year or two, launch a good enough solution and make sure to improve over time.