It is not enough to set up a governance framework to underpin your strategy. They are prerequisites for a well-managed intranet. You also need to measure and demonstrate the benefits the intranet provides for your organisation, especially if your strategy needs further investment in the intranet or its governance. Implementing technologies, e.g. SharePoint, doesn’t come without a price tag.
Traditional Return On Investment (ROI) financial benefits usually have the biggest impact on your organisation, especially on those approving financial spend. However, there are other types of benefits with significant value. You need to consider all of the following to justify the benefits of good governance:
- Financial benefits that impact on the bottom line of your organisation’s financial results
- Quantified, non-financial benefits, such as improved productivity
- Unquantified, non-financial benefits such as culture changes
Some benefits are easier to measure. Other benefits have greater prominence with your stakeholders. The amount of benefit measured may also vary. Sometimes you may find the amount is so large, the benefits can be difficult to justify as achieved. You will need to judge the best benefits to justify investment in the intranet.
An example would be a change in people’s behaviour that increases productivity with time saved. This may appear to deliver a large amount of benefits. However, showing what people do with that time saved can be harder. Are they working better or on other work tasks, or are they relaxing and having more time to talk with colleagues? It can be demanding finding a suitable benefit.
You can choose how to measure the benefits your intranet provides. You can also decide when is a good time to measure the benefits e.g. interviewing people before and after a major change to assess its impact on their work activities. There are different approaches to take when you measure these benefits. Examples could be online polls, in-depth interviews, audit, etc. You need to consider how much time you have to measure the benefits, what resources you can call upon, and whether you need external expertise.
There are also benefits that come under the category of cost avoidance. Publishing standards for security or accessibility help to change people’s behaviour. That reduces the risk of unnecessary costs from their previous behaviour.
When you are communicating the benefits, I help clients to provide examples that senior stakeholders will easily recognise. It helps to get their attention and support when you demonstrate how the intranet benefits your organisation. It will depend on the benefit you are measuring to decide on the best approach. Nevertheless, whatever approach you choose, talk their language, explain your methods, and show easy to understand examples and comparisons. Your stakeholders will accept the benefits more quickly.
Find out more detailed information and publishing standards best-practice examples in ‘Digital success or digital disaster?‘. Try the introductory chapter for free.
Posted in application, benefit, best practice, digital success or digital disaster, governance, intranet, SharePoint, value
Tagged benefit, best practice, digital workplace, governance, intranet, value
My recent posts ‘What exactly is a digital workplace?‘ and ‘What is the difference between a digital workplace and an intranet?‘ generated some good discussions on Twitter and LinkedIn. I want to stay with the digital workplace theme for my last post of 2015 and bring in how you manage it.
What is the right governance model for a digital workplace? We know that a digital workplace is different from an intranet, even an advanced intranet, so how does that affect the way it is managed?
Maybe even more importantly is how you manage the transformation from an intranet to a digital workplace so you gain all the benefits and none of the drawbacks as it happens.
Who develops and implements the strategy?
Digital workplace principles need to be put into your own organisational context. A group of senior stakeholders, representing key business areas and functions across the organisation, can steer your digital workplace strategy. This enables a fuller, more complete picture of what is needed, the right direction to set, and who should lead, to be agreed and accepted.
What should everyone expect from a digital workplace?
Everyone should gain from a digital workplace although they will have different expectations depending on their roles and responsibilities. This can vary from being more productive because all the applications and information are now accessible through to finding news and discussions with people who can help you solve work problems online.
Being able to connect whenever and wherever you need to from whatever device you have also reduces stress, avoids delays and improve your quality of working life.
What standards are needed for a digital workplace?
A governance framework is needed with publishing standards forming a key part. Standards are needed for:
- Legal requirements: accessibility, personal information available
- Business requirements: usability, design, navigation, findability, ownership and information retention
- Employee needs: terms and conditions that encourage people to want to work in a digital workplace
- Security needs: confidential information protected, permissions model adopted
- Technical support: platform functionality, server support, agreed levels of service.
Gaining confidence working in a digital workplace
Anyone who plans to work remotely, especially if they are the first person in that team, wants to have the same or better experience than where they currently work. You gain confidence when the information and tools you need for work are always available to use. You feel confident that your personal information is there for you (and only you) to use still. You don’t feel any discrimination because you are working remotely from your manager, team, customers and other employees.
Only through consistently good experiences like this will it happen.
For more information on how to develop the right strategy or governance framework I offer some great, practical advice, to help you in my book ‘Digital success or digital disaster?‘. You can try it first by reading the introductory chapter to find out more.
Posted in application, benefit, best practice, collaboration, digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, governance, intranet, standards, strategy, value
Tagged benefit, best practice, Digital success or digital disaster, digital workplace, engagement, governance, intranet, standards, strategy, value
In my last post, I defined what exactly a digital workplace is. But it can be easy to confuse an intranet with a digital workplace. With advanced, hybrid, intranets there is a path that you can take to transform from one to another.
An intranet has a more limited role that a digital workplace. Typically an intranet contains corporate news and documents e.g. policies. Publishing will probably use content and document management systems for accredited content. A digital workplace will also have collaborative content and use:
- Collaboration tools e.g. blogs, wikis, podcasts
- Micro blogging tools e.g. Yammer, Twitter
- Knowledge sharing/building e.g. team wikis and share workspaces
- Applications/tools e.g. HR tools, online training, sales performance
- Processes e.g. approving decisions, compliance checks
The organisation’s culture will encourage and see the benefits of a digital workplace. It won’t succeed if that is not happening. It is likely that people can access a digitalworkplace wherever they happen to be and whenever they need to.
It is also far more likely people can use different devices to access what they need AND the content or apps will display in a usable way because mobile devices are considered critical business tools by the organisation.
Advanced, hybrid, intranets will be somewhere between a traditional intranet with news and policies but not have an integrated digital workplace.
A good test is to see what the strategy and governance framework says and does. The aims and scope as well as the user experience indicate how far down the journey you are.
Some organisations are starting to realise the potential of mobile
working can help employee’s productivity, engagement, and their work/life balance. But the reality is a lot of organisations aren’t there yet. Most will provide a poor user experience and be reluctant to invest time and money developing a rich mobile user experience.
Security and risk are concerns that often create the barriers to further mobile integration. How can you overcome these barriers?
In this post I will cover how your organisation can provide useful functionality for your employees while still mitigating or addressing the following risks:
Fear of the unknown
There may still a perception by some people in Legal, Security, and Regulatory parts of your organisation that because they don’t fully understand how increased use of mobile devices to access tools and information or share knowledge and problems can help it must be ‘bad’.
The best way to handle this approach is to research what other organisations have done with mobile. You should focus on:
- Successful examples of adoption
- Competitors with your organisation who are ahead of you
- Lessons to learn where mobile hasn’t worked
- Prepare how and what you are going to share
- Identify the right stakeholders
People who do not fully understand why you authenticate can be over cautious and create many layers of authentication. The ‘just in case’ approach will just strangle the use by mobile devices of the apps and content you need to use to help you with your work.
Why would you use your mobile to access something online that takes just a few seconds if you have to enter usernames and passwords several times before you can get to it that takes several minutes? It’s just not going to happen. You need to explain:
- What people are being asked to authenticate for e.g. use apps
- Why authentication is needed e.g. protect intellectual property
- How authentication can have maximum effect for minimal impact with ‘smart’ authenticating used only when needed and not duplicating at every level; different levels of authentication based on type of content or app to be used
- Building security into your mobile device so your authentication feeds through to the content and apps to be accessed if possible
- BYOD – is personal mobile devices the best way or should you stick with company mobile devices?
Your organisation needs to be resilient and always able to survive whatever potential crisis it may face. This means supporting your employees wherever and whenever they are using their mobile devices. By having people in many locations your business is more resilient to these unforeseen events when they happen. Mobile can help by:
- Removing the ‘single point of failure’ problem with office based people all in one location
- Accelerating the recovery time from a ‘crisis’ to provide service to customers especially if face to face visits are needed e.g. employees with mobiles in different locations
- Showing better value made in infrastructure and data centres investment with availability 24/7 for when mobile workers need to use it
Addressing these concerns with your key stakeholders will help you remove the barriers preventing you from giving your mobile users the functionality and good experience needed to help with their work.
Posted in application, benefit, intranet, mobile, strategy, value
Tagged applications, benefit, bt intranet, digital workplace, mobile, value