What Drives Proven Success towards an Intranet

The responsiveness of your intranet towards the organization’s changing business needs is equally important to the consideration of the design’s strategy of the corporate intranet. A successful intranet strategy should stay aligned to the employees’ needs of the organization.

Whether you are at the initiate phase of discussing the process of preparing and implementing a company’s intranet, or have a plan to replace the existing intranet system with the re-designed ones, it’s important for you to keep your eyes on the several vital factors in order to ensure the ongoing success of your intranet.

Here are some of the top characteristics of a successful corporate intranet that will give you an idea on what your intranet should be focusing on:

1. Intranet Standards

You are first advised to develop the useful guidelines and site standards to be applied to and utilized by all sites on the intranet of your organization. Let’s take an example of a Swiss-based company – Adecco, which is known as a highly decentralized company with nearly 5000+ offices in 59 countries. It has a centralized intranet team, which specifically focuses on the development and management of intranet standards. In simple words, the primary focus of the company is more on the ‘standards’ part as compared to the management of the intranet.

While the administration is centrally managed, the company ensures the usage of a distributed publishing model for more than 150 sites for users in almost 55 countries. The content is published in four major languages with the help of a centralized publishing tool.

A core international intranet team is majorly accountable for global intranet strategy and standards, core application development, overall management of the centralized portal, international internal communications, as well as intranet training and tools.

2. Engage

If your corporate intranet is much capable of engaging the users actively, it will surely benefit your organization to a great extent in future. Conduct regular employees’ surveys to inquire about what your employees want and need to boost their engagement and implement all your learnings into the site plan.

A company named Cisco uses various channels to keep their users engaged. One of the channels adopted by the company is the one that encourages the journalistic ambitions of each employee. A button labeled ‘SUBMIT’ is available at the top of Cisco’s global intranet home page. With this button, approximately 40,000 Cisco’s employees are encouraged to submit their own news stories to the home page. This drives knowledge sharing and fantastic collaboration through the home page. Also, it motivates the employees to learn new things and gain interest in certain useful activities.

3. Measure

Critical Success Indicators are the most important factors that define the success of a corporate intranet (MyHub). They help in measuring both the qualitative and quantitative performance of the intranet, which in turn, justifies the existence and budget of the intranet. An intranet gives you easy accessibility and availability of both online and offline measurement channels. These channels make performance appraisal easy and are known to be having online and offline surveys, help desk calls, focus groups, metrics or log analysis, usability testing, feedback email and return on investment (ROI).

4. Simplify

A clean and simple intranet design is another most important factor that drives success towards an intranet. Most of the organizations overload their intranet with multimedia, Java and other memory hogs, which adversely affects the design and speed of the intranet. So, make sure that your website design is clean and simple. When surfing on internet, people generally get impressed by cool gadgets, Flash animation and media-rich pages. However, this isn’t the case with the intranet users. Employees look for important information, which can be downloaded as quickly as possible. Thus, the simpler and cleaner your design would be, it’s easier for the users (employees) to download and use it. If you look at the global intranet home page of Microsoft, you’ll find that a simple design with a few graphics and no animation will actually work better than a design equipped with lots of unnecessary multimedia and other memory hogs.

Conclusion:

Proper planning before launching a redesigned or an entirely new intranet is a key to a productive intranet. The users and stakeholders should participate in the planning process and document all the necessary measurable goals in order to drive proven success towards an Intranet.

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