Wherever I go people ask me “Is SharePoint ‘good’ or ‘bad’?” and “How do I manage SharePoint successfully?”. My answer is covered in a new chapter to “Digital Success or Digital Disaster” that explores the pitfalls and benefits of using SharePoint to underpin your intranet, and shows how you can implement it successfully.
Everyone has heard horror stories of how intranets have failed or succumbed to the perils of SharePoint. But people have seen examples of how SharePoint has transformed intranets successfully. Somewhere in between is the reality that most of us experience.
SharePoint has been described as being like the best sweet shop in town. Anyone can have all the sweets on all the shelves to try. The problem is that you are outside the shop saying “Be careful what you try. Too many sweets can be bad for you.”
That analogy has proven to be oh so true, time and time again. Even after many new versions and enhanced features in SharePoint, improving what it offers, intranet practitioners can still have a feeling of trepidation when confronted with SharePoint, especially for the first time.
So how is the best way to use SharePoint? What features can meet your requirements? How does moving to Office 365 work?
Al of this can be done following my approach in “Digital Success or Digital Disaster” without too much hard work, missed deadlines or sleepless nights!
Posted in best practice, content management, digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, governance, intranet, Office 365, SharePoint, standards, strategy, value
Tagged Digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, governance, intranet, sharepoint, strategy
Two years ago I published my book ‘Digital success or digital disaster?‘ that unlocked how you can successfully manage your intranet by following the examples and practical advice given in each chapter.
I avoided describing specific technologies however, one technology is quite pervasive – Microsoft SharePoint – and I have encountered it many times, both good and bad, in my work. Wherever I go people ask me “How do I manage SharePoint successfully?”.
My answer is covered in a new chapter that explores the pitfalls and benefits of using SharePoint to underpin your intranet, and sets out ways to make sure you implement successfully using the principles that I set out apply to intranets.
Everyone will have heard of a horror story of how an intranet has failed or succumbed to the perils of SharePoint. But people will also have seen examples of how SharePoint has transformed an intranet quickly and with little effort.
Somewhere in between these two versions lies the truth that most intranet managers have experienced. It seems to take a lot of effort, hard work and time to implement SharePoint. And that just seems to be the beginning of the daily challenges you have to act upon.
SharePoint has been described as being like the best sweet shop in town. Anyone can have all these sweets on all the shelves to try. The problem is that you are outside the door to the shop and saying “Be careful what you try. Too many sweets can be bad for you.”
That analogy has proven to be oh so true, time and time again. Even after many new versions and enhanced features in SharePoint, improving what it offers, intranet managers still have a feeling of trepidation when confronted with SharePoint, especially for the first time. So how do you educate and communicate with people who use SharePoint? How do they use the right features in the right manner? How do you adopt the right approach so everyone benefits?
It can be done but it is not easy. I know from my experience shared in this new chapter. I will show you the secret of a well-managed intranet using SharePoint, setting out the steps you need to take to achieve this without too much hard work, missed deadlines or sleepless nights!
Posted in benefit, best practice, digital success or digital disaster, governance, intranet, mybook, publishing, SharePoint, standards, strategy, value
Tagged best practice, Digital success or digital disaster, governance, intranet, sharepoint, standards, strategy
When an intranet loses its usefulness over time, and people become disengaged and end up working around it rather than through it, I often find that governance has been neglected.
Even a strong and appropriate strategy will founder if the governance isn’t in place to execute it. Governance is the foundation for a great intranet, and by ‘great’ I mean an intranet that everyone find easy to use, helps them with their work, and supports their organisation’s goals.
I have blogged about intranet governance but my book offers a lot more than I could ever drip-feed via short posts. This book helped crystallise my thinking around governance, and delve deep into my past experiences as intranet manager and consultant.
Take a look at my book called ‘Digital success or digital disaster?’ if you have a problem with your intranet, collaboration site, digital workplace or mobile workspace that needs better governance.
It is published through Intranätverk and offers you my experience, guidance, and tips for you to consider as a toolkit to improve how you manage your intranet.
Posted in best practice, collaboration, digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, governance, intranet, standards, value
Tagged Digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, governance, intranet, standards
My thanks to @dianarailton who tweeted an article ‘UK retailers still failing to meet web accessibility standards‘. With so many barriers in stores if you are disabled, shopping online from the comfort of your home is an attractive option. Furthermore, under the Equality Act 2010 all retailers must provide access to their goods online as well as in store.
There were several common themes why all of the web sites failed to meet the Level AA of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines. This means that disabled people would face difficulty in buying a product on each site, with half of the sites completely inhibiting people at certain points in their journey.
The Equality Act 2010 applies to intranets as well as external sites in the UK. Other countries have similar laws their intranets need to comply with.
Are you serious about engaging with people and collaboration?
How can an organisation engage with all its employees if a minority cannot use the intranet? How do employees collaborate using the tools on the intranet if some people cannot access them? First, your intranet must be accessible for this to achievable.
When I hear people talk about making their sites accessible, some still think as long as the design can be read by JAWS for people who are blind. It does! But the scope is far wider than that for a site to be truly accessible to everyone.
It is accepted that 10-20% of people have some form of disability. This includes people whose finger joints become stiff or eyesight needs glasses and the size of text to be enlarged. Most of these disabilities happen just through the normal ageing process and wear and tear on life at work and home.
For your intranet to be fully accessible these barriers that prevent employees fully engaging and collaborating must be removed.
How to make your intranet accessible?
Wearing my governance hat I believe you need to take the following steps:
- Have a governance framework that covers how content is published and who is responsible for creating and managing it.
- Have an Accessibility publishing standard that refers to the WCAG guidelines and explains how a publisher creates accessible content.
- Have publishing templates that mean content can be enlarged to allow everyone to read it. Have images with mandatory fields to describe what they show as alternative text for people unable to view the images.
- Provide training to help educate your publishers to understand why this is important and how they comply.
- Audit random samples of content to ensure it complies with the Accessibility standard.
If you put all these steps in place you will have a solid foundation for your intranet. You can encourage people to engage with your organisation and to collaborate with each other.
You can then be confident you can reassure your stakeholders this will happen.
Posted in best practice, collaboration, engagement, governance, intranet, publishing, standards, web accessibility
Tagged accessibility, collaboration, engagement, governance, publishing, standards
‘Intranets’ is an anthology that covers many aspects of intranets with each chapter in the book covering a different topic relevant for your intranet. I kept thinking as I contributed to it “If only this book had been available when I worked with intranets”.
Other organisations’ intranets are one of their best-kept secrets with no access to see the hidden gems or maybe worst horrors. They are hidden behind firewalls which make it hard to learn from others’ successes and failures.
‘Intranets’ shows many examples with practical advice on what to do to replicate these or maybe how to avoid making a mistake. Many people like me who have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly with intranets have contributed chapters to help your understanding and share our knowledge of intranets.
An intranet can deliver great value and be useful for everyone working within an organization. Intranets aims to give you a guide on how to create a modern and useful intranet – through continuous improvement and governance (of course!).
You can read this book from first to last page or read each single chapter separately. The book is for intranet managers, or those wanting to understand intranets. It is also a good read for managers, communicators or anyone who wants to learn about intranets!