The new age of intranets!

A flying dolphin...that's definitely new age!
CMS wire has written an article called "The new age of intranets: Planning & Corporate Communications" which I think will resonate with anyone who currently manages an intranet.

In the article the author describes the following situation:
When the corp comms group owns the intranet — as is true for many enterprises — they aim to provide an intranet filled with engaging, relevant content that truly enhances the experience for employees. On an easy-to-use platform that lets the team focus on communications and not the hassles of daily updates.

Those of you who are actually in charge of intranet content as part of your job are laughing right now. That’s a unicorn, right? No such thing.
I think a lot of intranet managers would agree that yes, this is a unicorn. So how can those individuals who are involved with corporate communications and marketing work effectively with the (intranet) technology they have available to them and present an intranet that contains both engaging content and works well for users?

The author suggests you start by asking yourself several very simple questions and these would be useful not just for communication professionals, but for intranet managers:

  • What is the current state of your internal comms tools? Think beyond your intranet.

  • What are the guiding principles? What is the purpose you wish your next intranet to serve? 

  • What tasks do you need to start doing to achieve the vision? Often these are cultural questions. 

  • Similar to the previous point, what do you need to stop doing, to achieve this new vision of the intranet? How are you getting in the way of yourselves?

By asking your users these questions, you can quickly identify whether your current intranet is actually doing what it's supposed to be doing and perhaps more significantly whether your intranet strategy matches your organisations strategy.

The author then looks at the next steps organisations can undertake when thinking about a new intranet, these include the following:

  • Think bigger -  Give yourself a little distance from your current day-to-day experience with your intranet
  • Be creative -  If you can get a clear picture of what you want and need, you will have a significantly better chance of getting there than if you start with everything you can’t do — whether due to technology, time constraints or costs. 
  •  Ignore technology, at first - Definitely don't start by picking your platform.
  • Build the team - make sure you have the right team members in place
  • Take things step by step - Break any intranet project into phases

These are some great suggestions for how you can improve an intranet, and the corporate communications are in a great place to promote the benefits that an intranet can bring!