Training publishers to understand intranet standards

When I posted last week that ‘all intranet content is not the same’ I promised to post about how BT educates its intranet publishing community to have a common awareness and understanding of the importance of our publishing standards.

All publishers of formal content in BT must do the basic training courses before they can publish formal content on our intranet.  Each course takes about 30 minutes to complete on-line and should be repeated every two years.

These courses cover our publishing standards such as accessibility, usability, information management, etc.  You need to pass each course – just doing them isn’t enough – with an 80% pass mark.

Publishers who do not use a content management system, plus service owners and template designers, also have to do the advanced training courses.  These cover how standards need to be embedded in their site design.

Content management system publishers use templates which have these features built into them before use such as global navigation bar and meet AA accessibility standards.

All publishers of formal content need to do a one-off training course for the content management system you are using (e.g. Obtree, Teamsite).

10 responses to “Training publishers to understand intranet standards

  1. Good grief, the rules have tightened up considerably since you let me loose on the CIO intranet site! 🙂

    • Heather,

      It’s because of what you did when let loose on your intranet site that we had to tighten up the rules. 😉


  2. Can I ask what you use for your online training?

    • Ben,

      BT used a very good online training company, Brightwave, to create the courses. Apart from meeting BT’s strict guidelines on approved suppliers, they were the only agency to meet our high usability and accessibility standards as well as create compelling content to educate users.

      As one of our courses was on accessibility, we had to practice what we were preaching! So the courses met W3C WAI AA standards.

      If I was starting now I would consider podcasts for each chunk of the course as well.


  3. patrick c walsh

    What do you do if they ignore the standards? And how would you pick it up?


    • Patrick,

      We have intranet management tools that automatically check for content complying with our standards. Things like review dates, accessibility, usability and security markings are all checked.

      If the content owner ignores the reminders and their manager ignores the escalation, the content is removed so users’ confidence in the integrity of the content isn’t at risk.

      So I don’t have to do much apart from monitor the tools and deal with any exceptions. It gives teeth to our standards!


  4. patrick c walsh

    Sounds good. Ensuring that review dates are complied with is important but is there a standard for reviewing the content itself? How do you ensure that content is not duplicated and is relevant, complete and useful?


    • Patrick,

      From day 1 of BT’s intranet we have encouraged the rule of one so content is not endlessly duplicated and adding no extra value. We now have one authoritative source with many, many intranet pages linking to that content.

      We do have a few isolated examples of content duplicated that users draw to our attention and we remove. as to relevancy, completeness and usefulness we have always relied on users to use the feedback feature on every page to make their views known on this. We have found they do this very clearly………and loudly sometimes!

      So, I’m pretty confident the culture we have developed means we meet this by how we behave and we don’t need lots of rules, proceses and checks to achieve it.


  5. Pingback: Try a self-managed intranet « Mark Morrell

  6. Pingback: Publishing great content on BT’s intranet « Mark Morrell

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