Why intranet projects fail

For every successful intranet project, there are intranet projects that fail. When intranet software is a success it can improve communication, collaboration and productivity within an organization, but to get to that stage a lot of factors have to come together.

Defining Intranet Failure 

There are many ways to define failure when it comes to an intranet project. Plus, intranet projects can fail at different stages. For example, you may fail to even get your intranet off the ground by struggling to get support from senior leadership or failing to get adoption after the intranet has launched.

Let’s take a look at why intranet projects fail, so you can take the required steps to avoid failure and ensure the success of your intranet project!

Failing to have clear goals and objectives

If your intranet is going to be a success, then you need to be able to clearly define its aims. What is your intranet going to achieve? Many intranet implementations do not put enough focus on the ‘why’. An intranet should be implemented to overcome challenges that the organization is currently facing such as reducing silos to improve communication or helping employees to feel more engaged with the business. Clearly defined aims will help people to understand why the intranet is being developed and how it is going to benefit the organization.

Having these goals and objectives is also vital to be able to measure the value of the intranet solution and prove its worth after the intranet has been launched.

Failing to gain the support of senior leadership

For any change to be a success you must have the support of senior leadership and decision-makers. This means that stakeholders must see the value in investing time and money in an intranet solution. At the end of the day, they are the people that sign off the budget, so getting senior leadership onboard is absolutely vital for your intranet to be a success. 

Lack of senior leadership support can also lead to failure even if an intranet has been launched. It is vital that stakeholders engage with the intranet themselves and set an example for employees. If senior leadership aren’t using the intranet, then why should employees?

Writing an intranet business case guide pages


Creating a compelling intranet business case - guide and template

With over 10 years of experience creating intranet platforms and supporting business case creation, we’ve pooled our knowledge to create a compelling intranet business case guide and supporting template designed to win leadership support.

Download guide

Poor communication with employees  

Change in an organization will always require explanation. Failure to explain why something is happening will only lead to poor adoption and potential failure. Make sure that employees are kept in the loop in the buildup to launch about what is going on and how the intranet is going to benefit them.

Training should be provided so employees understand how to use the intranet and how they will benefit from engaging with it. Staff should know ahead of launch that the intranet will help them to reach their goals and do their job more easily. If this can be communicated, then it will encourage adoption and increase the chances of your intranet being a success considerably.

Ignoring company culture

A successful intranet needs to incorporate the company culture and those that don’t will fail. Is your company culture set up to adopt new technology or will it require more effort? Consideration of company culture will impact the way you implement an intranet solution.

The job is never done 

Once the intranet is launched the job is not done. This is often overlooked, but a lot of work still needs to be done to ensure widespread adoption throughout the organization. An intranet should also continue to evolve with the organization. Target groups should be revisited to ascertain how they’re progressing with the intranet and any feedback should be taken on board and acted upon.

For uptake of new technology to be a success, you must work to ensure people are engaging. Remember that launch day is only the beginning.

Make sure your intranet is a success

Intranet projects can fail for many different reasons, but awareness of the pitfalls can ensure that your intranet does not meet the same fate.

The team at Unily are highly experienced when it comes to building intranet platforms and offering advice on implementation. If you would like to find out more about making your intranet project a success, then please contact our team who would be happy to advise you on the best course of action for your business.

Digital workplace adoption guide pages


Digital workplace adoption guide: everything you need to know

Intranets (as one aspect of the broad suite of digital workplace technologies) tend to suffer from low levels of usage once they’ve been launched, when the initial period of excitement has ebbed away. Download our 12-page guide as we dive into digital workplace adoption, helping you to understand how to plan for it, measure it, and put a strategic plan in place.

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