Intranetters meeting - London Underground

Earlier this week I attended my first ever Intranetters group meeting. The Intranetters group describes itself as "a community of intranet/comms/media people from organisations around the UK and Europe, all involved in the area of intranets" The group has regular meetings to review Intranets and to discuss challenges that are affecting individuals who manage Intranets. I'd been a part of this group ever since I joined my current firm but for some unknown reason I'd never received any of the updates from the group so never attended a meeting.

The meeting was held at the headquarters of London Underground (LU), where if you didn't know their meeting rooms are named after the tube lines, and included presentations delivered by Liz Moody of LU, Brian Dobson of Transport for London (TFL) and a presentation from Romec which unfortunately I missed. First up was Liz Moody from London Underground. Liz put the improvements to the London Underground into context by outlining some of the reasons why LU have an Intranet. These ranged from employee engagement to the place for access to business processes.

Liz went on to outline some of the issues with the old intranet, there were quite a few of these including duplicate content, too many pages, poor governance and the site not being DDA compliant. Liz then outlined London Undergrounds vision which included the following:

  • User centred information & design

  • Managed content

  • A maximised comms opportunity

  • More integration with other Intranet sites

  • Best practice in relation to FOI & other related legislation

  • Best practice in terms of Knowledge Management
I have to admit the new site looked great and it was interesting to hear from Liz about some of the challenges the Intranet team at London Undergroun face in making content available to London Underground staff. If you think about how many staff are on gates, on platforms etc for them accessing the Intranet can be an issue so making the Intranet as easy to use as possible is a key priority for the Intranet team.

Next up was Brian Dobson from TFL who talked in some detail about an Intranet Benchmarking Foundation (IBF) review that had been undertaken by TFL and London Underground. The review looked at the TFL and London Underground Intranets although they'd only chosen to look a the usability of the Intranet. Brian firstly explained how usability was broken down into the following areas:

  • Content

  • Design

  • Findability

  • Coherence

  • Engagement

  • Accessibility

  • Effectiveness

  • Efficiency

The IBF review meant a team from IBF being on site looking at the Intranet, asking questions of the stakeholders and then preparing a report for the organisation. Unfortunately Brian wasn't able to share too much information with the group but suffice to say London Underground and TFL did quite well in the review and it certainly looked like something well worth doing if you can afford the £18k IBF joining fee!

I've actually looked at becoming a member of IBF as they do seem to be a very well organised organisation. In addition to benchmarking of intranets they also run the very popular IBF 24, which I've signed up to and am very much looking forward to.