Digital Workplace Insights

Planning your Intranet workshop

The company Intranet is much more than a digital destination for accessing content, downloading documents and searching for information. Your new Intranet can transform how people think and act within the organization, through encouraging them to engage in conversation, access timely operational and transactional content and ultimately endorse positive change across the organization.

The new Intranet must empower all geographically dispersed staff as well, deliver timely and relevant content to multiple audiences, and enable you to manage both unstructured content (documents, media & web content) and structured content (transactional data from 3rd party applications, like HR, CRM and BI) quickly and easily.

The new Intranet must encourage participation and be a user friendly, intuitive and interactive destination that celebrates the people working across the organization. One that supports them in making positive decisions and outcomes.

Defining the Intranet Team

There is no perfect Intranet team, so don’t panic about who should attend the initial workshop. Like any other project, who will be the primary stakeholders? Who do you need to ensure that the Intranet can have the best possible success when it’s delivered to the organization?

Create a representative team. Select people who are either heads of departments, or people who report to the head of a department. Involve the departmental streams that are responsible for other organizational-wide initiatives as these people are familiar with what is required to achieve team alignment and buy in.

Encourage open discussion within the workshop, with the goal of identifying the critical items that the new Intranet should aim to solve. Gain consensus on what are the top priorities and then document them through user stories; tell the journey of someone within the organization. What are they tasked with, and what can’t they currently achieve that a new Intranet will aim to solve?

The new Intranet must encourage participation and be a user friendly, intuitive and interactive destination that celebrates the people working across the organization. One that supports them in making positive decisions and outcomes.

Leave the agenda at the door

Rarely will someone be an Intranet expert within your organization. Intranets are mysterious and foreign things that just seem to work, or not work, and give you particularly useful stuff when you go and look inside one.

Treat your first Intranet workshop as a discovery session. Everyone will have an opinion about what the Intranet should provide. Some will be more vocal than others. Importantly gaining consensus on what business pain the Intranet is aiming to solve enables all of you to agree on a roadmap to start a discussion with vendors.

Determining your Project Timeframe

Some Intranet projects take weeks, while others take months to a year to complete. There are several factors that define this time horizon, many of which are controlled by you.

Your expectations and budget will largely define your Intranet project timeframe. Be conservative about what you and the organization want to achieve with the new Intranet.

Some organizations demand everything and the kitchen sink, and then wonder why the vendors they engage with provide a project fee that you may consider as being astronomical. Consider the basics as the new Intranet will be a big step for everyone in the organization to work with initially.

Once you’ve determined the basics, the Intranet team should document user stories to help define the journey of the typical team member using the Intranet. These stories will greatly assist the Intranet vendors in proposing a project that defines a cost and timeframe.

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