Thursday September 22nd, 2016

Supporting an Intranet Launch

No matter the project, we all want access to the best tools. Tools that help us do our jobs better, faster and more efficiently. For many of us it’s not a power tool or a gadget we need, it’s technology we require to do our daily jobs. Work culture is steeped in processes and protocol. Sometimes the simplest tasks can be highly cumbersome without the right tool to access a much-needed file or report. Work teams can struggle to stay organized without systems in place to foster healthy workflow. One solution is a well-coordinated company intranet. When an intranet is based on a stellar user experience and kept technologically current, it becomes a high-functioning tool, streamlining our daily workflow. Our jobs are made easier. This is one of the most critical business and internal communication tools, yet many are outdated.

Organizations may not be staffed with employees whose skill sets are appropriate for an intranet upgrade project or cannot afford to spend the necessary time and effort dedicated to such a critical undertaking. They may need to involve experts. Things to consider leveraging outside resources for when launching or upgrading your intranet: internal branding, user-group interviews, usability testing, video creation, visual design and wire framing. Working with consultants, who don’t have preconceived ideas about how an organization currently functions, can provide a fresh perspective and may be a smarter choice than hiring full-time employees. By leveraging these resources, an organization can save costs by not having to hire additional staff for and beyond the launch.

It’s key to recognize this initiative as a marketing launch. It requires strategy to engage the entire company. A plan should be developed to execute deliverables from pre–launch, launch and post–launch. The success is dependent on multiple factors, one of which is the users themselves. It’s important to highly engage the user (employee). Create work group and individual user-interviews to understand work functions and needs. Truly listen and engage with them. Keep them updated and involved in the development of the project. When they feel vested in the process, they will be more likely to become advocates and future users.

The results of a well-planned intranet strategy and development can foster increased workflow, collaboration and relationship building. Three powerful things we all could use more of in our tool box.