Intranets are now at a jumping off point to become digital workplaces. In 2015 organisations are no longer just talking about ‘digital’. People are increasingly using different methods to connect whenever they need to. When they connect it is to find information, use apps, share some news or ask for help with a work problem.
In my last post I recommended you have clear business requirements, the right direction set with a strategy, support from your stakeholders, and measures agreed that can demonstrate the benefits of your approach.
You also need people to have a consistently good experience every time, with every device, from every place to successfully transform your intranet into a wider digital workplace. What can you do make this happen? I recommend you consider the following:
Within a governance framework you need to implement publishing standards for everything people use across your digital workplace. People need to be familiar with what they access, no matter what device they use. This saves time with people not stalling while they check everything before they start using it.
This is easier said than done though! Firstly, you need to identify your business requirements for your publishing standards. Once this has been done, you can then develop what publishers need to do to implement each standard.
The difficult bit is getting your publishing standards applied to all your content and apps, whatever device someone is using to access them. But you have to do this to be consistent. Without achieving this, people may doubt what they are using because it may look different and the experience vary too much. For example:
- Ownership: Every piece of content and app has an owner who can be contacted for further information. Think about how you need to show this for each device people may use.
- Timeliness: Every piece of content has a review date that gives people confidence they can rely on it being accurate and current. Again, think about how this can appear for every device.
- Findability: Every piece of content and app, in whatever format is needed for each device, is indexed by your search engine so it can be found quickly. Making sure it is properly tagged by your publishers will also help people find what they need more easily.
- Usability: Every piece of content and app should consider mobile users first. That can be a big change of focus. More and more, people will use a smartphone or tablet to access what they need. Test your content and apps with these devices to get the user experience right.
- Navigation: Every piece of content and app needs to be linked together so you can quickly move from one to the other. Menus need to work with every type of device and will need testing before implementation. You don’t want oasis of content that are disconnected from each other by a digital desert.
You will need to include in your governance framework how you can achieve this. Publishers will need to be trained on how to use the publishing tools obviously. For collaboration tools that really should be by following simple guidance because they are very easy to use.
However it must also cover what your publishing standards are, why they need to be implemented and most importantly, how that will be achieved. You need this for a common platform of knowledge and understanding across your publishing community.
Follow up the training for your publishers by educating them with simple processes to publish content, develop apps, etc., and support their publishing needs with guidance, Frequently Asked Questions, discussion groups.
Taking this approach will help give people a consistently good experience every time, with every device, from every place to successfully transform your intranet into a wider digital workplace.