Last week the people of Scotland took part in an historic vote to decide on the level of democratic governance they felt best met their requirements. Did they want to have a full devolved level of governance where they made all their own decisions? Or did they want to have a framework balancing the right level of central direction or strategic governance while meeting local requirements?
I thought it sounded familiar and I realised how our intranets have a similar approach. If your intranet is out of touch with what your organisation, users, and publishers need to help them then you haven’t got the balance of governance right.
So, what are the lessons we can draw from this to help how we manage our intranets – whether they are based in Scotland or global?
- Keep in touch with everyone involved in how your intranet is managed and used.
- Find out what they require and plan how to meet their needs. No last minute pledges that are not fully thought through!
- Have a framework with roles, responsibilities for all levels that can be flexible to meet new priorities.
- Make sure your approach to governance is in tune with the culture of your organisation and mood of people using your intranet.
- Don’t be afraid to ask people what their view is and hold the equivalent to a referendum to find out.
Posted in governance, intranet, publishing, standards, strategy, user testing
Tagged governance, intranet, publishing, standards, strategy, users
After you have developed a clear intranet strategy as explained in my post ‘How to develop an intranet strategy‘ you then need to follow this with an implementation plan, publishing standards and a governance framework.
While every intranet is different there are some common factors that need to be considered so your intranet supports your business requirements:
- The size of your organisation will affect how you manage your intranet. If it is based in one location and you know everyone by their first name then it is likely you can manage your intranet on your own. If it has many thousands of people in many locations you will need a different approach and involve other people to help you manage your intranet.
- The type of organisation will affect how you manage your intranet. Is it streamlined on administration, informal decision-making? Or is it more formalised, committee driven, when making decisions on how publishing standards and intranet roles and responsibilities?
- The culture of your organisation will affect how you manage your intranet. Is it a very top down, command and control, culture with feedback discouraged? Or is it more open, democratic and consensual? Whether it is either or a mix of both will influence your approach to managing your intranet.
My first-hand experience and from working with clients is that intranets can be managed well no matter what size, type or culture your organisation has. It is how you approach this which is the critical success factor!
You can out more information on how to manage your intranet to help you.
Posted in best practice, content management, governance, help, intranet, plan, publishing, standards, strategy, training, value
Tagged best practice, content, governance, help, intranet, plan, publishing, standards, strategy, usability standards, value
Recently I posted on how to develop an intranet strategy and how to develop a digital workplace strategy. One of the key factors either strategy must consider is the growing needs of people who use mobile devices to access information needed to help with their work. I believe it is so important that it justifies its own strategy to help achieve the full benefits.
When developing a strategy for people who are mobile it is important you consider the following factors:
- Research with mobile workers what exactly their requirements are. Don’t guess! And don’t accept the experience is good enough just because the content or app can be accessed from mobile devices.
- Involve mobile workers in testing as you develop your intranet to make sure it will be a good experience for mobile devices before it is launched. Don’t assume it will just be alright on the day.
- Be clear how many different operating systems your organisation can justify supporting. While wanting to support the different operating systems for mobile devices it is stupid to aim to support every system. A balance between IT costs and capabilities with mobile users’ needs to be agreed.
- Decide on your approach to responsive or device specific designs for mobile users. Do you want/need to publish the same content in more than one place? Is the management of one piece of content too heavy for all types of devices that need to access it?
There are some key principles which you can apply to help you create a mobile strategy for your organisation. Find out more information on how to develop a mobile strategy.
Recently I posted on how to develop an intranet strategy and about Jane McConnell’s report ‘The Digital Workplace in the connected organisation‘. So it is perhaps inevitable this post is about how you develop your strategy for a digital workplace.
A digital workplace strategy is different to an intranet strategy for the following reasons:
- A digital workplace is much wider than an intranet. It may well have the intranet at its core but knowledge sharing and completing online processes are also covered by a digital workplace.
- A digital workplace will have a higher profile so more senior managers in your organisation will need and/or want to be involved as they can influence its direction.
- The impact of the digital workplace as a business tool will have a wider and sometime unforseen impact on the organisation and employees who use it.
- There will be more ‘sacred cows’ and ways people behave which they are very protective or defensive about which you will need to prepare good sound reasons for their removal or need to change.
- There will be a stronger expectation for you to justify and be able to show the benefits to the organisation for developing a digital workplace that you must include in your strategy.
There are some key principles which you need to include with your approach when creating a digital workplace strategy. For more information read how to develop a digital workplace strategy.
Intranet strategies can vary from one type of organisation to another. I have found from working with clients there are several common reasons why this is so:
- Size: A small start-up company with a close-knit team will have a different approach to a global organisation with over 100,000 employees in many locations.
- Type: What makes sense for a large manufacturing company won’t necessarily work for a government body or a small business.
- Purpose: What is different about your organisation? What is its purpose e.g. online marketing company, charity or public sector?
- Complexity: A global based organisation in different time zones with many activities compared with a small team who know each other by their first names.
- Culture: Is it a command and control approach or a more transparent, collaborative, open to criticism way that your organisation adopts?