The two P's and a T of social intranets

This was as close I could get to 3 P's on Flickr.
Catchy title eh? I was hoping I'd be able to write the 3P's of social intranets but sadly it wasn't meant to be. So what you may ask am I banging on about.

What I'm so eloquently referring to is this excellent post on the Intranet Connections blog which looks at the two P's and the T of social intranet strategy. From the introduction to the blog post:

"A social intranet is only one part technology, and two parts people and process. In fact, technology is only an enabler, and may only be worth 20% of the total value of an intranet"

I feel like I've banged on about this for years now, as good as technology is sticking a new piece of technology in front of someone and expect them to use it and love it straight away is borderline delusional. Yes there might be the odd person or two who immediately sees the benefit of using a particular technology. But when it comes to intranets and especially social intranets people will either love it or hate it. So making People a priority when developing a social intranet should be your top priority.

This will mean ensuring your social intranet is accessible and open to all users and crucially that it has active support from senior executives (management). From the blog post:

"...the most successful intranets have one common ingredient: active executive support and sponsorship. Without active executive support, a social intranet will fall short of its potential"

Get this part of the social intranet journey right and you're heading in the right direction. The next P discussed in the blogpost is Process. Process is about ensuring there are adequate polices, procedure and governance in place so that users know what they can and cant do. As someone once said to me, governance is about controlled freedom. That is you allow users a certain amount of freedom in the knowledge that there are controls in place to manage what they're doing. Process also means that everyone is aware of their role in managing the intranet and what their responsibilities are.

The final element of a social intranet strategy is about Technology. This is about identifying the technology that best matches what you're looking for. That might be that it solves a particular issue or it provides something that your current intranet doesn't. If you're building a social intranet then it's likely that the technology will facilitate blogging, the creation of wikis, activity streams and status updates.

Put these three elements in place and you're well on the road to a social intranet. I also feel that these elements could be used when deploying any intranet tool. The issues are just the same irrespective of whether the intranet contains social elements or not.

[Photo credit - 3P's from Flickr]