Tag Archives: measure

Is this your ‘once in an intranet career’ opportunity?

Intranets are now at a jumping off point to become digital workplaces. In 2015 organisations are no longer just talking about ‘digital’.  They are now starting to take steps, sometimes slow and tentatively, towards transforming their online content and apps into something that is better coordinated.  People are also becoming better connected with their digital workplace or intranet whenever they need to be.

While this is great news for intranet practitioners, there is also pressure to make sure you take the right direction and invest in the right technologies, skills, and resources.  This is a ‘once in an intranet career’ opportunity to turn all your long-held dreams into the digital reality you have wished for.  It can also place a great amount of responsibility on you to get it right.

So, what do you need to do?  How can you turn this into your proudest moment in your career rather an underwhelming disappointment?

To successfully transform your intranet into a wider digital workplace where people can collaborate, have mobile access and apps on demand you need to consider what steps to take.  These should include:

  1. Vision: What does the future look like?  What will your organisation become in the future?  How will your intranet/digital workplace support it?  You need to be able to clearly answer these questions from your senior leaders.
  2. Direction: What is the right direction from your intranet?  How will you get from today’s intranet to the future digital workplace?  You need to be aware what your organisation’s strategic priorities are.  You need to see how your digital workplace can align with and support their achievement.
  3. Requirements: What are your organisation’s requirements?  Have you an existing strategy for your intranet?  You need to identify what exactly your senior leaders – stakeholders – need from you.  You also need to seek support from senior leaders for your plans.
  4. Plan: How are you going to complete your journey from intranet to digital workplace?  You need to be able to work out the resources needed, prioritise your activities, and timescales to achieve everything.
  5. Measure: What is the current position?  How does the transformation compare when it is completed?  You need to demonstrate the changes you have made.  You should measure the full value gained – not just the narrow ROI formula – to show how your organisation benefits from a digital workplace.

For me, these are essential steps to take when transforming your intranet into a digital workplace.  This could be the most important thing you do in your intranet career.

Make sure you research to learn from other transformations, both good and not so good outcomes.  Seek advice from people who have experience or you trust.  If in doubt, seek expertise to help you get it right.

You probably won’t get a second chance if it goes wrong so make sure you prepare thoroughly so you will succeed.

It’s time for a change

I have been fortunate to work with and view many sites, intranets, digital workplaces, mobile and collaborative spaces since 1996.  Many technology features and fads aimed at helping people have a good experience have come and gone. However, throughout this time, having a clear strategy with good governance to support your intranet, has consistently been shown to help meet your organisation’s key priorities and add measurable value.

Your strategy sets the direction you need to move in with a clear scope and set of aims to be achieved, aligned with other related strategies and overall strategy for your organisation.

Your governance framework helps your strategy continue in the right direction.  It will show how you manage everything and how everyone can work together. It will cover scope, purpose, roles and responsibilities, publishing standards and support, and resources needed.

The main reason for a strategy and governance framework is the benefits to be gained from applying it well. The time and effort are the same but the impact can vary so you don’t always achieve a consistently good experience.

Measuring all the benefits and showing the value to your organisation of a critical business tool will improve your credibility and help to justify future investment.

With that in mind I have re-designed my site to focus on Strategy; Governance; and Measuring Value.

Please contact me if you want to find out more.

Measuring the value SharePoint 2010 can bring to your organisation

You have developed a strategy.  You have built a governance framework.  You got the buy-in from stakeholders.  You factored in the benefits and drawbacks of different approaches.  You have started implementing SharePoint 2010.

So now, how do you to measure the value to show the investment made has been justified?  Easy to say but harder to show!

I believe you can measure the value at three levels.  These are:

1. Improved productivity

  • SP2010 can help speed up how quickly a business problem can be solved.
  • You can measure how many fewer people are now involved.
  • Compare the time taken now with solving similar faults to what was previously taken.
  • Maybe the skills and grade of people needed previously to solve the problems are not needed now.
  • Using SP2010 tools to improve the quality of the content, preventing mistakes made in the past, such as accessibility and link checks.

All of these can lead to large amounts of financial savings.  The challenge of course is to show what people did with the time saved.  More effectiveness rather than more efficiency needs to be demonstrated.

2. Reduced costs

  • SP2010 can reduce the cost of licences, technical support, servers, and helpdesks used with existing publishing tools.
  • Reducing the variety of tools used the licences (and administration) can save money.
  • As existing tools get old they may need increasing support to keep them running.
  • Servers need updating which costs too.
  • SP2010 should be easier to use than existing tools saving training, helpdesk and online guidance and support costs.

You need to make sure SP2010 is a good fit for your organisation’s needs to save costs.  That means getting your strategy and priorities right first!

3.  Increased revenue

  • People can be more productive saving time and effort with sales bids.
  • People can create and share knowledge more easily giving organisations a competitive edge.
  • Customer service improves with problems solved quicker leading to increased customer loyalty.
  • Better customer solutions with better collaboration through using SP2010.

If your SP2010 strategy is closely aligned to your organisation’s strategy it can exploit this opportunity to add overall value that shows through on the bottom line.

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.

Benchmark to get the best value

I read with great interest Jane McConnell’s blog post on “Vanity” or “Specific value” benchmarking?’. BT has benchmarked its intranet for the past 4 years with the Intranet Benchmarking Forum (IBF). In fact as I write this two IBF people are doing an expert evaluation of our intranet!

BT’s intranet is benchmarked in four broad areas; strategy and governance; metrics and performance; communications and culture; design and usability.

The main aim is to find out where BT sets global best practice and where it can be improved. To assess whether it is meeting the needs of BT and people who use our intranet. All good stuff but…………

It can sometimes be difficult to find out apart from other IBF members where that best practice is and whether it is transferable to BT’s intranet.

It can also be difficult to use the data to justify further investment in BT’s intranet. The IBF do have a financial value benchmark area but that costs more.

So, I’m trying to address Jane’s three questions.

1. I would like to share my benchmarking data with other intranet managers of global organisations with advanced intranets. Any one interested?
2. Identify more of the full value an intranet provides in a form that can be used and understood by people who make the big financial decisions on future intranet investment. Any ideas?

I’ll share the key findings on BT’s benchmarking when known in April.

I know what BT’s intranet is worth. What about yours?

Last August I posted about BT testing out a new methodology that gives a fuller picture of the overall value your intranet gives your organisation and promised to update you on progress made.

Well, it has taken a long time BUT it has been successful!

I now know how much BT’s intranet is worth in £s, how that is worked out, the different levels of value and can start to use it for future investment funding decisions.

BT has measured the exploited and unexploited value of our intranet in terms of the business processes it delivers. It breaks down into three main types of business value:

  • cash saved and revenue generated
  • time savings converted into cash
  • less tangible benefits such as risk reduction, increased satisfaction and emissions savings

I can’t reveal the exact figures as they are sensitive – sorry. What I can say is that for every £1 invested there is £20+ exploited value achieved and £5 unexploited value still to gain. As BT invests many £millions you can see what a breakthrough this can be in the value everyone can see in our intranet!

BT worked with IBF to develop their financial value tool and have shown the methodology to be sound. The results are as accurate as the information you provide on costs, etc, for the tool to assess.

In the 1990s methodology was developed to measure the value of brands and shown as an organisation’s financial asset. This can now start to happen in a similar way over the next few years with intranets.

Wouldn’t it be good to know what your intranet is worth and contributing directly to your organisation’s bottom line?