Tag Archives: homepage

SharePoint: what does good look like?

A little while ago I asked ‘Is SharePoint ‘good’ or ‘bad?‘.  I believe it is how an organisation implements SharePoint that helps you feel if it is good or bad.

Building on this theme I will be presented the keynote address at IntraTeam’s event in Gothenburg on 4 December ‘SharePoint: What does good look like for?’.

I will cover how your approach is critical to achieving a good SharePoint experience – for you as well as for people using it – with the need for a strategy that sets the right direction and a governance framework to help you keep moving in that direction every day.

I will also be showing examples of what I believe good looks like with SharePoint.  I can’t share all of these publicly with you I’m afraid – you will have to be at the event to see all the examples – but I can share some here.  I hope you find them useful along with my steps to a good SharePoint experience.

If you need any further information or help with SharePoint please get in touch.

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.

Design an intranet home page and win a Kindle!

You have the chance to design what you believe is a useful hompage with the added incentive of winning a Kindle.  Surely this is one of the easier decisions for intranet professionals to make!

When I look  back at the BT Intranet homepage versions over the years I was there and the many other homepages I have seen that other organisations use, I wish I could have done this when I started to think about improvements.

While it is functionality that brings people back to a homepage again and again a design that is pleasing to the eye and helps bring to bring branding, content and layout together is the best combination for a useful homepage.

So, don’t delay, design it today!

Intellact: BT’s customer insight and information site

There are a few ‘killer applications and content’ which have driven the usage of BT’s intranet.  As well as the BT Homepage – our corporate portal, BT Today – our new sites and Directory – our people finder, Intellact, BT’s customer insight and market portal has been key to achieveing this.

Intellact provides a wealth of insight on the communications industry. Thousands of people in all parts of BT use these services to:

  • Help understand customer needs and satisfaction.
  • Monitor the global press – daily updates on business trends.
  • Support business propositions.

Comprehensive, up-to-date, high quality research helps people make their decisions with:

  • Business news
  • IT research and advice
  • BT commissioned market research
  • Broker research
  • Industry sector research
  • Internet audience measurement

Business news is updated several times per day on Intellact.  You can sign up to receive an email that reviews the days top news from UK and international newspapers, journals and newswires.

Intellact offers an unrivalled collection of published research covering ICT and other industry sectors with the option to contact analysts for further details. 

Intellact can be searched in various ways and you can set up alerts so when a new research is available you are informed so you don’t miss anything.

Intellact helps BT give people what they need for their business needs and a competitive edge to BT.

Have a look at these Intellact examples.

Designing intranets: a ‘must read’

I have just finished reading ‘Designing intranets – Creating sites that work’, the latest book written by James Robertson.  For those of you who have seen James present or read his blog posts, you will know he gives a clear view to help you – whether you agree with it or not.

James is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world on intranets. He has used this experience to write this book.

Whether you are new to intranets or, like me, involved as an intranet manager for years, this book will be very useful to you.

This book will cover all you need to know to be able to create intranet sites that work. And it is the ‘sites that work’ words that make this book different to others. It is more than just a pleasing design. It is what else is needed to be researched, planned and created too that will make your time and effort better spent. Even more, you want the people using your intranet to get the best out of it. This book helps you to do just that!

I have found it helps reinforce why BT’s intranet is like it is and why the things I do are important such as:

As I write this blog post ‘Designing intranets’ is by my side. Some parts of James’ book are looking well used already as I’ve thumbed through them several times for tips to help me!

Why not treat yourself? Read James’ book and help make your life easier and your intranet better by reading James’ book.

An A-Z of BT’s Intranet

In my last post ‘Great intranets help make efficient people’ I talked briefly about the BT A-Z.  BT Intranet users find this a very useful service helping them to quickly find a site.

Research of people in BT finds they navigate to what they need from the BT Homepage by using the search engine, deep linking from the many headings grouped functionally or use the BT A-Z.

People who use the BT A-Z have a reasonable idea they know the site exists and what its name could be.  Cross-referencing of sites helps people to find it under more than one letter.

I’ve shown what the BT A-Z is in these examples.

The BT Homepage sets out the BT A-Z in one horizontal line with plenty of space between each letter to save users one click if there was just a BT A-Z heading and be able to easily get the letter they need (slide 1).

For each link in the BT A-Z, there is a heading followed by a simple explanation of what it points to so people know before they click on it if it is likely to be what they are looking for (slide 2).

On the left hand side of every page of the BT A-Z are icons which help to show to users what to expect when they click on the link (slides 2-4).

As well as giving people a full list of sites, if you know it is just information or a service you need for that letter you can choose that option from right hand menu to reduce what you need to check (slides 3 and 4).

If you have mobile/PDA access, you can still use the BT A-Z and see a list of sites to click on with (most important!) a mobile icon against those which will support that type of access (slide 5).

Getting the best value from managing BT’s intranet and portal

I have been invited to speak at a pan-European Conference on Intranet and Portal Management.  It will cover portal and intranet evolution, enhanced internal communication and collaboration, and steps towards an Enterprise 2.0 platform.

I have been asked to talk about ‘Getting the best value from managing your intranet and portal’.

For those who are interested but are unable to make the conference you can find my slides here.

Please spare a thought for me.  I will need to wake up at 04:30 to catch a train, plane and taxi to the venue in Berlin for my presentation at 11:15 local time.  I hope I stay awake during my presentation…………………and the audience do too! :-)

I’m just trying to keep the customer satisfied

It’s a great Simon and Garfunkel song (am I showing my age?) and covers what I do for my customers = BT Intranet users trying to meet all their expectations and keep them satisfied.

I’ve got the latest results back from our annual survey of BT Intranet users.  The survey was carried out again by GfK NOP on my behalf. 

This survey is a vital part in BT’s plan for improving our intranet.  With raising expectations from internet usage (Why can’t we have Google?) and the pressure to be productive by doing things better and quicker I feel you need to run fast to just keep still with levels of satisfied users.

On a first reading I was a bit despondent but realised users expectations may be unrealistic.  I was relieved to see the levels of satisfaction remain high compared with last year’s research:

  • 79% satisfied with the BT Intranet (down 4%)
  • 40% extremely/very satisfied with the BT Intranet (down 2%)
  • 7% are dissatisfied with the BT Intranet (up 1%)
  • 78% satisfied with BT Homepage (down 1%)
  • 43% extremely/very satisfied with BT Homepage (no change)
  • 7% dissatisfied with BT Homepage (up 4%)
  • 47% agree the BT Intranet improves everyday working life (down 1%)
  • 57% agree the BT Intranet helps me to be more efficient in my job (down 2%)

The parts of BT Homepage changed got the highest level of satisfaction.  I know that navigation and usability are both drivers of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. 

Awareness and usage of social media has both increased which is great news.  Interestingly I found out two key stats:

  • nearly 90% of BT people under 25 use social media while
  • less than 50% of BT people over 50 use social media

So, I’m building the recommendations into my intranet plan for 2009/10 and reviewing our strategy.

Try a self-managed intranet

In BT I lead a small central team.  I’m responsible for the strategy, governance and standards and how they are applied to content published on BT’s intranet using a menu of templates that I manage.

So who is responsible for publishing, reviewing, updating and removing content?

“You!” is the answer to any publisher in BT.  There is NO central publishing team to do this on behalf of anyone.

Publishers are responsible for any content they own meeting our standards based on business, legal, regulatory and users’ needs. 

They are trained on awareness of publishing standards and how they apply before they publish choosing from a menu of templates that already meet standards.

Automated tools will check content weekly and remind the publishers who own it if it doesn’t meet our standards what needs to be done.  If no action is taken it is escalated to the publisher’s line manager and if action is still not taken, it will be removed from use and deleted.  This avoids users making decisions on out of date content or because it is too difficult to use.

So, the content is owned and managed by every publisher with templates, training and automated tools to make it as easy as possible to meet the standards all users expect so they have a great overall experience.

My team can concentrate on what we can add most value to for BT and our intranet.

BT Homepage: agreed by users

After testing with users on the changes to BT Homepage I have been able to launch it with the changes to some sections of the top page and site.

While some users when asked for their views wondered what all the fuss was about for the small changes proposed, most appreciated being given the chance to give their views and liked the changes.

I have greater confidence that I’ve made changes which users want and need to give them an even easier way to find what they need for their work.

A lesson I have learned is to try to make changes small rather than keep them back until a major change is needed.  It avoids users being disorientated with all the changes.  Of course keeping the number of times changes are needed to a minimum helps too.

Testing with users involves them more and suggestions made will help me make further small changes in 2010.

Here is the final version in normal colours and in Team BT/2012 Challenge colours when quarterly updates publicising progress and how people get involved are made.