I signed up today to go to Intranet Now, the conference / unconference about intranets and the digital workplace. I am looking forward to going because it is:
- about the Intranet NOW – practical case studies, real experts, and advice;
- serious about how the intranet serves its business;
- concerned with engagement, collaboration, and communication;
- not dominated by any one technology but illuminated by examples of good practice from many;
- a place to learn from others (sharing mistakes as well as successes);
- curious and open to new ideas with room for experimental and left field ideas;
I also want to find out if the governance of intranets and the digital workplace is improving and if so, how that is being done.
It will be a great chance to meet new and existing friends face to face instead of virtually for a change.
There is an early bird discount on Intranet Now tickets until 24 July so don’t delay, get your tickets today!
It is not often that I recommend on my blog information to read that I believe is helpful and easy to read. Today is an exception (not just because I played a very small part in its creation)! :)
ClearBox Consulting with Kilobox Communiqué noticed that while on the top level of intranet sites there is good quality content, as you get into the lower levels standards start to drop. Often people have been trained on the publishing tool but had little guidance on how to get the most from an intranet as a channel e.g. how to write headlines, how to phrase links, etc.
They have created an excellent set of 10 FREE guidelines, each 1-2 pages long, covering the following topics in plain English:
- Effective headlines: help people choose what to read
- Images: attracting interest and conveying meaning
- Links: how to link to pages and files
- Layout: how to structure articles for scanability
- How to help people search for, and find, your content
- Content: write for your audience, not for your boss
- Documents vs pages: when to use PDF, Word, and other formats
- Engage: writing to start a conversation
- Channels: how to reach the right audiences with your content
- Mobile content
I recommend you read and share these with your publishers to help improve the overall experience people have with your intranet.
Thanks Sam and Wedge!
Posted in best practice, communication, content management, engagement, help, intranet, mobile, publishing
Tagged best practice, communication, content, engagement, help, intranet, mobile, publishing
I reviewed my predictions for 2013 and believe they are happening more as we move towards 2014. So what has 2014 got in store for us? Here are my five predictions:
Organisations will more seriously consider what approach will best meet their requirements. Factors that will need to be considered before a final decision is made are:
- How much will it save compared with the costs of keeping it within the firewall?
- Will you have better business resilience? Will it remove the single point of failure problem?
- What will be the levels of service?
- Who do you trust with your data?
- Will your content be secure?
I know a lot has been said about mobile and how it is driving the transformation of intranets towards digital workplaces. But how many employees still only use their smartphones for emails and texts? Organisations need to get serious about realising the benefits and consider:
- Increased productivity by people able to find information, complete tasks, share problems and knowledge when they need to without delay
- Save accommodation costs and reduced dedicated workspace so people share as and when they need it
- Support new ways of working with distributed teams and managers enabling and facilitating rather than controlling or limiting activity
- Fear of the unknown is not a good business reason to stop employees using mobiles for their work
- Bring your own device is a solvable problem when everyone wants to reach agreement over intellectual property, security and building trust and behaving sensibly
I am starting to see real examples of collaboration which showing through on business’ bottom line and getting the attention of senior manager. This will bring benefits as it is taking more seriously and investment decisions are easier but the pressure to continue delivering larger savings will also increase. Examples include:
- Project teams sharing and creating online documentation without having to meet face to face or email each other
- Solving problems more quickly using tools to find people with similar skills and experience
- Sharing knowledge that helps others to solve problem and the organisation’s culture increasingly supporting this way of working
Organisations are realising, especially if they are implementing SharePoint, that all the areas where content is published need to be managed. The problems of gaps in information managed and risks it can create are being recognised more. More robust frameworks are being developed and used. Examples include:
- Different types of content such as accredited e.g. policies, news articles, and collaborative e.g. comment in discussion group, blog post are being accepted
- All the different areas for content are being joined up e.g. content management, document management, project spaces, and news.
- A hierarchy which sets out roles and responsibilities help identify overlaps and gaps in managing information
- Publishing standards are being applied in smarter ways taking less time and effort with digital workplace teams
As intranets are transforming from their original purpose as communications tools towards digital workplaces that are critical business tools that people in that organisation increasingly need to rely on for their work, so their value is increasing and the need to measure that value. Examples are:
- Productivity savings are accepted in principle now even if the amount is not agreed by everyone
- The impact on property usage and type is becoming more linked to new ways of working
- The value an organisation places on a person’s digital assets e.g. knowledge in documents is starting to match that of any physical assets e.g. computer
- Business resilience is critical to organisations and along with plans to use the cloud are plans to benefit from a more distributed workforce that no longer has to be in just one location
This is my last post of 2013. I hope anyone reading this has had a great 2013, will have a relaxing break over the Christmas period, and be hoping for more success in 2014!
Posted in collaboration, communication, content management, digital workplace, governance, intranet, mobile, news, SharePoint, standards, value
Tagged blog, bt intranet, collaboration, communication, content, digital workplace, governance, intranet, mobile, publishing, sharepoint, standards, value
In my last post ‘BT field-based workers use the digital workplace‘ I talked about the benefits and drawbacks of people who work remotely adjusting to huge changes in the way they work.
It made me think of when I have discussed with clients or people at workshops or after presentations who had the view the digital workplace only affected people in offices or more specifically ‘knowledge workers’. They were surprised this wasn’t the case.
So, let me say now very clearly (big drum roll please) the digital workplace is for all employees. In fact it can extend to their customers, suppliers, and other third parties who they share a working relationship with.
A digital workplace’s prime aim is to help and support employees whether office, mobile or home-based, to be more effective. That will mean being more productive – no delays finding what you need, completing tasks when you need, sharing knowledge online with other people – and effective so your organisation benefits too.
Examples of how other employees, not office workers, can benefit from using a digital workplace are:
- Retail staff using tablets to stock-take on products and order more.
- Retail staff at check-outs having latest news shown on equipment they also use for payment of products.
- Mining of minerals using vehicles and tools operated from remote locations away from the mining area.
- Meter readings for customers’ use of utilities e.g. gas, electricity, and water uploaded in real-time for bills to be created and issued while the person is still continuing to visit other customers.
- Parcel deliveries tracked using GPS by customer service to monitor and send updates to the delivery person’s mobile device.
- Field engineers able to use mobile devices to receive customer information before visiting and update with the outcome before moving on to their next customer.
These are just a few examples to illustrate the point I am making here. The digital workplace affects all employees. The level of impact will be different depending on the work but it is hard to think of work that is NOT influenced in some way by a digital workplace with news, collaboration, online tasks and processes.
What examples can you think of?
Posted in benefit, collaboration, communication, digital workplace, engagement, intranet, mobile
Tagged benefit, communication, digital workplace, engagement, mobile, value