Category Archives: mark morrell ltd

Intranet Pioneer: more mobile and collaborative

Welcome to the new Intranet Pioneer site.  I hope it helps you even more than before.  As well as my regular blog posts remaining centre stage I have added two areas that I can help you with.

Collaboration

A good collaboration strategy to set the right direction with a solid governance framework to sustain you on your journey are key ingredients to a successful outcome.  Using my knowledge gained from first-hand experience I can also help you choose the right tools to help you improve customer service, problem solving and idea creation.

Mobile

Using my first-hand experience and knowledge gained from helping clients implement mobile solutions I can walk you safely through the minefield of security, bring your own device, and creating apps and content that are right for each mobile device.  A good strategy to set the right direction with a solid governance framework to sustain you on your journey are key ingredients to a successful outcome.

Whether you need help with strategic advice, developing a governance framework, project planning or practical implementation, or detailed guidance and support, please contact me to find out how I can support you.

A great mobile experience needs….

In my previous post in this series on mobile ‘Good governance signals right mobile direction’ I said mobile is one of the key drivers for the transformation of intranets into digital workplaces which could become mobile workplaces but progress is patchy.  It is no surprise if I say setting the right direction for your organisation with mobile is critical.  Having some good governance principles helps you to continue in the right way and underpin your strategy.

We also need to give people a great mobile experience.  But what exactly does that mean?  Here are my thoughts on what is needed to achieve this in my last post in this series.

Mobile audience

Firstly, you need to make sure the people who will benefit the most are able to use a mobile device.  You need to be clear who will benefit from having a mobile device.  It probably will not be everyone.  Even if it is, you will need to prioritise who has the greatest need.  Factors like the number of people involved, time spent away from their place of work and what contribution they can make, will help decide the greatest need.

When you have the right people then you can find out what information and which services they most need, when they need to use them and how they need to use them, to be able to design and test for a good mobile experience.

Mobile devices

Secondly, you need to choose which mobile devices are the best tool to help people with their work.  For example, is it a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, or maybe a combination of more than one of these that is needed?  Will you let people bring their own devices to work or will your organisation provide them?  These decisions are critical and will depend on your organisation’s corporate values, type of employees, security, funding and speed of adoption.  Once these decisions have been made you can then focus on how you start to create a good mobile experience.

Once you know how to support the type of devices and size of screens being used, and the main purpose people will be using their mobile device for, you can start to create a good mobile experience.

Mobile platform

Lastly, you need to make sure you have the right infrastructure to support the needs of mobile workers in your organisation.  This means access to the information and tools needs to be 24/7 and not just normal working hours.  It means business continuity plans must include how people will still have mobile access to what they need for work.  Your organisation needs to consider the different mobile operating systems and devices it will support; what is the cost; what should be the limit; which systems and devices will have most overall benefit?

You also need to give a fast connection when mobile workers need it for their work to the information and tools.  Why would you want a mobile device if you find it takes ages to connect to any content or services you need to use?

Good mobile experience

So, what is needed for a great mobile experience?  These bullet points help summarise the posts on mobile:

  • A mobile strategy aligned to business needs
  • Supported by a governance framework
  • Helping meet the needs of people using mobile devices
  • Research and test with mobile users
  • Get the infrastructure in place
  • Have a policy on using mobile users for business purposes

If you need any more information please contact me.

Join me at Intranätverk for an engaging, fun, and participating conference

It is less than one month to the start of the intranet conference, Intranätverk.  For three days, starting from 21 May, my good friend Kristian Norling will be hosting the biggest gathering of intranet professionals ever in Gothenburg.

Kristian says “The conference is arranged because there is a need to network, listen, learn and share knowledge amongst us intranet professionals. There is also a lack of really good intranet related conferences in Sweden. To my knowledge there has been no intranet related conferences arranged in Gothenburg or West Sweden for the last few years, if ever?

We strive for a balanced list of speakers. The goal is for it to be split equally between: women and men, practitioners and consultants, young and old, large and small organizations, private and public sectors and both multinational and Swedish organizations.”

Kristian has been working with intranets since 2001 and over the years he has experienced and participated in a lot of great conferences. He will use this knowledge and experience to help to make Intranätverk a great conference with a difference that shouldn’t be missed.

I will have the privilege to:

  • participate as a delegate listening to other great speakers on subjects including intranets, mobile, and SharePoint 2013
  • present on the benefits of a digital workplace
  • help delegates with a governance workshop

I am sure Intranätverk will be a great conference.  Why don’t you join us to help make sure it is?

The Digital Workplace: How technology is liberating work

Many of you who follow my blog will know of my interest in the digital workplace.  From my first-hand experience transforming BT’s digital workplace and involvement with other organisations it is a very exciting area to work in.  So it was great to hear about this book!

Paul Miller’s book ‘The Digital Workplace: How technology is liberating work’ is an absolute must read for anyone interested in finding out how technology is changing the way we work for everyone on the planet.

The way Paul Miller writes it from his own experiences and view of life – working and personal – makes it compelling to read.  The examples Paul uses are ones we can all relate too and are real, not made up to fit a theoretical scenario.

I loved the format of the book.  If like me you sometimes put a book down and pick it up a little later you won’t lose your thread and have to read back over the last few pages.  In fact it is split into sections that are easy to use and refer back to again and again about the digital workplace.  I found the ‘top 10 digital workplace benefits, challenges, etc.’ very good for focusing on the key points of each section.

It’s good to see Paul Miller share his expertise and enthusiasm with us in this book.  I’m fortunate to know Paul so I realise every word is sincerely meant to help you, the reader.

It’s impossible to get serious about the digital workplace without reading and absorbing the ideas and examples in this book which is available to buy through Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Barnes & Noble.com.

You should also visit the Digital Workplace Forum to find out out more information and how it can help you and your organisation.

The SharePoint 2010 checklist for everything you need

If you are deploying SharePoint 2010, you have probably considered the technical aspects, how it will support workflows, document management and sales for example; all key elements to drive the business.  But have you considered how content will be migrated, accessed, maintained, enhanced and improved in the platform, while encouraging collaboration?

I have combined my strategic thinking with implementation skills and first-hand experience of implementing SharePoint 2010 to build the definitive checklist.  It gives you everything you need to check with and you can contact me for more help.

This SharePoint 2010 checklist will encourage adoption and best practice, helping business’ information compliance and security goals are met.  It has everything you need to check you have an effective content strategy for SharePoint.

It will help if you have some form of intranet governance framework – strategy, plan, roles and responsibilities, standards, etc. – in place first. But don’t worry if you don’t or you want to improve it.

For more information on SharePoint 2010:

How to gain the full benefits of SharePoint 2010

How to develop a SharePoint 2010 strategy

How to build SharePoint 2010 governance

How to measure the value of SharePoint 2010

Help with intranets, digital workplaces, collaboration and SharePoint

Thinking about what is the best way to implement SharePoint 2010?

Are you looking for good examples of managing intranets?

Are you planning how to transform your digital workplace?

Maybe you want to use collaboration tools to increase employee engagement?

Now you can find helpful information on all these areas in one site.  It combines my first-hand experience managing BT’s intranet with my knowledge and help improving other intranets to show how you can improve your intranets and digital workplaces.

If I can help you further please contact me whenever you want to.

10 ways to increase intranet adoption

Since 1996 I have been pioneering the best ways to increase adoption of new tools on the intranet.  For the 9 years as the BT Intranet manager and since then as a consultant, I have experienced different ways organisations have encouraged adoption of technology.  My top 10 ways are:

Research what people need

Ask what their biggest pain points are.  What could be made easier?  What is missing from the intranet?  What is good and they want more of?

Prioritise improvements

How important is the task to the person and to their organisation?  How many people are affected by this?  How frequently is it happening?

Early adopters to become ambassadors

Identify adopters who have the most urgent need to try something new to solve a business problem.  Involve adopters in proposed changes as early as possible to get their buy-in.  Satisfied adopters will be your best ambassadors and spread the word.

Make the first experience a good experience

You need to encourage not discourage usage to avoid unnecessary costs in extra effort.  Act on early adopters’ feedback.  Test with usability experts.  Compare with existing best practice.

Advance communications so no nasty surprises

Manage peoples’ expectations.  Clearly explain what it is you are offering and where they can get advice, training and help.

Consistent navigation

Give people a bridge from wherever they were on your intranet to get to another part more easily.  Show the same headings and position on every page.  Find out what are the best navigation headings that would help people most.

Personalise and target information

Give people the relevant information they need.  Give people the applications they need to use.  Give people confidence their personal information is secure.

Embed standards into templates

Reduce the barrier for publishing. Make it as easy as possible to do.  Focus on what is important – the quality of the information – not how to use the technology.  Consistently apply governance.  Embed standards in the templates.

Compliance tools give users confidence

Standards need to be enforced when publishers’ behaviour falls below best practice.  Compliance tools enforce important standards – business, regulatory and legal requirements –  and minimise time and administration.  Users’ confidence in the integrity of the information must not  be compromised.

Clear responsibilities and roles

Who is responsible for managing the intranet strategy, standards, IT infrastructure?  What should everyone involved – publishers, contributors – need to do?  Align intranet roles with performance management and job descriptions.

How do I engage employees and improve collaboration?

It’s  the type of question I am hearing more frequently.  It’s being asked by intranet people, CIOs, senior business operations managers and even a few CEOs.  It’s important that it is answered clearly and fully.  The alternative of ignoring it is to risk a repeat of what happened to knowledge management in the late 1990s when it was ‘the thing’ to talk about and be seen to be doing but sadly, in many cases, never able to meet its full potential helping businesses.

I don’t claim to know all the answers and there is more than one way to address this question.  In fact it is a deeper and complex subject which needs covering for this question to be answered fully.

Based on my knowledge and experience in my new role as an intranet pioneer and as BT’s intranet manager with intranet governance, social media, engagement and digital workplace I will post my suggestions on how you can:

  • engage people in your organisation
  • encourage better collaboration
  • get the culture right
  • adapt to changing ways of working
  • make an impact on the bottom line that your business watches

Digital workplace is now in Wikipedia

While I was writing my previous posts on the digital workplace I was surprised to find no article about the digital workplace in Wikipedia.  So, I have decided to put that right!

You can find my attempt at explaining what the digital workplace means in Wikpedia now.

Please read the Wikpedia article on the digital workplace and, more importantly, contribute to it so it grows into the definitive explanation everyone can refer to.

I am now intranet-pioneer.com

It is now easier for you to find my site and blog. You just need to go to intranet-pioneer.com.

Why intranet-pioneer?

Well, I believe I am an intranet pioneer combining strategic thinking with implementation skills.  Over many years I have developed intranet strategies and have first-hand practical experience of implementing major technology and change projects.

As the former BT Intranet manager, I transformed BT’s intranet into one of the best intranets globally for governance, engagement and collaboration also measuring the full value BT’s intranet contributed.

Now I have my own business, Mark Morrell Ltd.  As an intranet pioneer I can help you with your intranet strategy, governance, standards and use of collaboration tools.  I can also share with you my knowledge and experience of SharePoint 2010, the digital workplace and other intranet topics.

And the ‘-‘ makes it better for search engine optimisation in case you wondered. :-)

My special thanks to Jane McConnell for all her help.