Implementing publishing standards that meet your organisation’s requirements helps create a consistently good experience for people accessing your intranet.
They are critical to you implementing a successful governance framework. The publishing standards will support your intranet strategy, publishing model, roles and responsibilities.
All your content owners and editors need to comply with the publishing standards. Knowing this, people will access your intranet and use it more, confident in the integrity of the content and applications and aware that you ensure publishers comply with each standard.
And that can be the weakest link in your governance framework! How do you continue to provide that consistently good user experience with new publishers?
I am talking about publishing accredited – news articles, company policies, etc. – content, not collaborative – blogs, discussion groups, etc. – in this post.
Your governance framework must cover how you manage new content owners and editors. This is the best way to sustain the baseline you have established for best practice. Without it, people will inevitably see a decline when they access your intranet. Their productivity and effectiveness risks declining and affecting their overall work performance.
There are five actions that you need to consider taking so new publishers are good publishers:
- Induction training on how to use the publishing tool. This is not just about what to use it for. It includes how to use the publishing templates. It needs to covers features like global navigation bar, content owner, review and last updated dates. By explaining why this is important it helps encourage best practice.
- Have good communications channels so new publishers can keep up to date with the latest news that affects them. Publishers should be able to ask other publishers for help and get answers. New publishers should feel they are fully informed about how they use the intranet.
- Offer clear online guidance and best practice tips on how to publish on the intranet. Reinforce this when you contact content owners and editors e.g. email, discussion group, conference call or webinar.
- Invite all new publishers to join a discussion group covering publishing topics to help develop a broader understanding. It is much easier (and cheaper) to have peer-to-peer conversations where practical tips are shared quickly with each other.
- Have one set of publishing templates that you manage. Keep publishing simple and easy to encourage best practice. One publishing process will save content owners and editors’ time. It avoids the temptation to try alternative methods or create more templates.
Find out more information on how to manage your publishing community and intranet from my new book ‘Digital success or digital disaster?‘. Read the introductory chapter to find out more. A license to share the ebook with publishers across your organisation is also available.
Posted in benefit, best practice, collaboration, communication, community, digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, engagement, governance, intranet, publishing, standards, training
Tagged benefit, best practice, collaboration, communication, community, content, Digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, engagement, governance, intranet, publishing, standards, training
An effective governance framework is essential for a well-managed intranet. It can be the deciding factor between a good user experience, greatly valued, and a poor user experience with little benefit. Every intranet is different depending on the size, type, and culture of the organisation it supports. However, there are some key governance principles that are common to their success.
Recently I spoke at Intranatverk about this based on my book ‘Digital success or digital disaster?‘ which is a practical, experience-based approach to growing and managing a successful intranet. My slides ‘7 principles of good intranet governance’ are avilable for you to share.
The alternative to governance can be chaotic anarchy. Posing risks to security and intellectual property provides an awful experience for those who still use your intranet. Where governance can start to get confusing and difficult is in how it is applied. Applying these governance principles leads to a good outcome:
- Know your organisation
- Define the scope
- Put people first
- Use all resources
- Compare and benchmark
- Do what you say you will do
- Keep it legal
Think about how you build a house with the foundations, walls, floors, windows, doors and finally the roof. It would not make sense for you to have windows, doors, and a roof only. The same applies to your governance framework.
These principles for good governance are not like a menu that you choose which items to have and leave others alone. You need to follow all of these to build a strong foundation to improve your intranet and implement your strategy.
Read the introductory chapter of my new governance book to find out more. A license to share the ebook within your whole organisation is also available.
Posted in benchmark, best practice, digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, governance, intranet, strategy
Tagged benchmark, benefit, best practice, Digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, governance, intranet, strategy
Last week, I ran a workshop at Intranatverk with an enthusiastic group of intranet people to cover what is the best publishing model for their intranet. The slides I used for the workshop are available for you to share: Four intranet publishing models.
I took this subject from my book ‘Digital success or digital disaster?‘ which covers all the other areas of intranet governance you need to develop when improving how your intranet is managed.
There were three main conclusions from people at the workshop:
- The publishing model was relevant. Most people said their intranet used the hybrid model which combined the centralised and decentralised model moulded to meet their organisation’s requirements.
- The centralised model could not be adopted if collaborative tools are used. It is impractical to expect people to comment on a blog post or contribute to a discussion thread by sending their content to another person to publish on their behalf.
- The outsourcing model is best applied in two scenarios. Firstly, when an organisation is young and small it can’t afford to employ someone full-time on their intranet but can afford an external specialist when needed. Secondly, translating content from one language to another can be expensive and hard to justify the cost of a person/people to carry out this activity perfectly. An external specialist to call upon when needed can be a cheaper and better option to consider.
The publishing model you choose needs to meet your organisation’s needs. It also needs to fit within a wider governance framework that includes your publishing roles and responsibilities, standards, and support.
All these are needed to give an overall great, consistent, experience for anyone using your intranet. Achieving this helps people to be more productive and effective and so benefiting your organisation.
Posted in best practice, digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, governance, intranet, publishing
Tagged best practice, Digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, governance, intranet, publishing, standards
With every intranet I have helped to create, encouraging people to be more effective and improve their productivity, two things have been at the forefront of my mind. You need to:
- Be clear who is responsible for the content, design and structure of it.
- Have a governance framework that supports stakeholders, partners and publishers.
While it is vital you have a big impact when you launch a new intranet, it is not just about creating a great design on day 1. It is the ongoing need to appeal to people to continue using it. Content and applications that people need are, of course, helpful but having good governance is the only way to make sure the benefits of day 1 continue consistently through to day 100 and onwards during the lifetime of your intranet.
After nearly 20 years working with intranets, I appreciate how important it is to have a governance framework that:
- Keeps your strategy moving in the right direction
- Sets out who is responsible for managing it
- Matches publishing standards with business requirements
- Supports content owners and editors
These can be the crucial factors that help your new intranet. Quicker adoption, increased usage and higher satisfaction are all achieveable if you take the right approach with governance.
I find these factors encourage people using your intranet to be more effective and improve their productivity, bringing greater benefits to your organisation. It helps your stakeholders to see how your intranet can be a critical business tool that supports their key priorities!
Posted in benefit, best practice, governance, intranet, SharePoint, standards
Tagged benefit, best practice, engagement, governance, intranet, sharepoint, standards, value
In Gerry McGovern’s latest post he says ‘Digital transformation is cultural transformation first and foremost. Some time ago, I dealt with an organization that had just installed collaborative software. The problem was that the employees saw no benefit in collaborating. Surprise, surprise, collaboration didn’t happen. Collaboration, first and foremost, is a cultural thing, not a technological thing.’
While I agree with Gerry as far as he goes, I also believe the type of governance deployed for collaborative content can be a major barrier to people adopting these tools. Too often the governance used for accredited content e.g. policies and news articles, that are official and factual is also tried (and fails) for collaborative content.
A more ‘light touch’ form of governance is needed to remove the barriers that prevent people wanting to share their ideas or offer suggestions that may help someone with a work problem. Here are some examples of what I mean:
- Posting on a blog or contributing to a discussion group should not need you to ask for permission before you start. It should be ‘on demand’ so there is no delay between when someone needs to use a collaboration tool and being able to. Often the need is urgent and passes quickly so any barrier preventing its use could mean the content is lost forever.
- You should not need formal training before you use the collaboration tool. A) the tool should be so easy to use it isn’t needed and B) understanding how to comply with the publishing standards such as ownership and content review dates shouldn’t be required.
- Usability and design shouldn’t be something you need to bother with. The important thing is your content. Make sure the template you use has the right functionality that people can just start using and understand easily.
- Adapt and embed as many of your publishing standards that are relevant to collaboration into the templates e.g. navigation menus, field for contributor to enter their personal details.
Taking this approach shows how the culture has changed from a ‘command and control’ view of governance many years ago for a limited amount of corporate content. Now, many people can use a wide range of collaboration tools to publish their views and opinions and be comfortable with the experience and knowledge that the content is managed appropriately.
The governance adopted fits the cultural revolution and helps, not hinders, it. Long may that continue!
Posted in best practice, blog, collaboration, digital workplace, governance, intranet, podcast, standards, usability, wiki
Tagged best practice, blog, collaboration, digital workplace, engagement, governance, intranet, standards, wiki
When Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) announced the best intranets of 2015 (hats off to Verizon as 3 times winners!) they said “While intranet teams continue to grow they simultaneously streamline processes and work faster, resulting in innovative designs. Common feature trends include: responsive design, search filters, flat design, and mega menus, to name a few.”
What did become clear to me is these intranets did not win by luck. What NN/g didn’t say this is also because they have good governance, applied effectively, to build the foundations for well designed (and managed) intranets.
What do I mean by good governance? Here are a few practical examples:
1. Have a clear strategy and direction set. This should be approved by your stakeholders who help its implementation by openly supporting it.
2. Have a governance hierarchy setting out the roles and responsibilities for people involved with the intranet.
3. Develop publishing standards, especially for Usability, based on business requirements.
4. Most importantly, have the means to combine all these features of governance in a great way that results in the wonderful examples we can see with the winners.
These intranets didn’t win by accident but through managing their intranets well. Good governance leads to great user experiences!
Posted in best practice, governance, intranet, standards, strategy, usability
Tagged best practice, governance, intranet, standards, strategy, usability standards