An intranet can help to support business operations by improving workplace communication, collaboration and efficiency, but getting started with creating and implementing an intranet can be difficult and even daunting. Especially if the organization doesn’t currently have an intranet, as you really are starting from scratch. So, where should you start with an intranet?
There are a number of things you need to do before you start to implement a company intranet if you want the process to be successful.
The aim of the intranet needs to be defined before the process begins, so you know exactly what you’re looking to achieve from implementing an intranet. It is very important to not plough ahead with the design phase until the goals and objectives have been clearly defined.
The reason you’re considering an intranet is probably due to a problem that has been identified. For example, the challenge could be to do with improving internal communication, breaking down information silos that are currently hampering collaboration or driving better employee engagement across the business. Talk to staff and key stakeholders to see what they want to get from the intranet.
Once the purpose of the intranet has been decided it will guide all future work, so it is the best place to start!
You’re going to need people to implement an intranet and this means choosing a project team with the skillset required. It’s good to choose a team from across the organization, so firstly each sector is represented and secondly you have advocates of the intranet spread through your business to encourage adoption.
When implementing an intranet there are 3 things you can do:
Custom building an intranet may sound appealing as it gives you total control, but it requires extensive technical knowledge and advanced expertise to do it properly. If you do not have the technical skills needed, then you could end up with an intranet that simply isn’t fit for purpose.
The issue with developing an off-the-shelf intranet from downloaded software is that the intranet’s capabilities are often limited and simply will not give you the functionality required. To improve functionality may require additional investment that could add up to substantial costs not planned for in the original budget. In addition, this intranet option still requires technical knowledge to set it up properly.
Choosing a cloud-based intranet solution has a number of advantages. They will build a customized intranet solution for your organization’s specific needs and requirements. They will then provide an online hosting service to host your intranet site, taking the pressure off your servers. Choosing an expert intranet provider can also speed up the deployment process, which will certainly take the pressure off you.
It is very important to demo the intranet to see what works well and what could work better. Most intranet providers provide the opportunity to demo their intranet product for free. Invite your project team to attend the demo, so that you can get plenty of feedback and highlight any potential issues early on in the process.
Before launching your intranet, it’s important to let employees know what’s coming and support adoption by offering staff training. A staff training program is needed to make sure that the intranet is used and engagement is high.
Hopefully after taking a look at these steps you have a better idea of where to start when implementing an intranet in your organization and what it takes to lay the foundations for a successful intranet.