Publishing standards are key to providing the right foundation for your intranet. Your organisation will invest in the technology needed to publish information but technology will not be enough. For people to be more productive, they need to be confident in the integrity and reliability of what they use and technology alone does not deliver that.
Publishing standards make that critical difference. They form the basis for your intranet’s user experience to be consistently good. These standards need applying to different types of content and tools. You can set up publishing standards based on the following requirements:
- Information policies
- User needs
The publishing standards you should consider are:
As well as making your intranet the best experience for people using it, you also need to make it a good publishing experience. The better the processes and support offered, the more likely it will be that publishers will follow the standards. Make it easy for publishers to seek the right guidance by providing it on the intranet, saving everyone’s time.
With confidence in the integrity of your intranet content and applications, people will want to use them more frequently and become more productive. To ensure that this happens, you also need to take steps to ensure publishers comply with each standard. Compliance, implemented in a smart way, can be simple, effective, and of great benefit to your intranet users.
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 benefit, best practice, digital success or digital disaster, governance, help, intranet, publishing, SharePoint, standards, usability, web accessibility
Tagged accessibility, benefit, best practice, governance, intranet, publishing, standards, usability standards
Governance doesn’t just cover intranets. It covers wider areas e.g. digital workplace and smaller focused areas e.g. web sites. Recently I helped to improve how a client managed their documents.
There was little guidance to show the best way to use the existing file sharing systems. There was no clear connection between policies that affect how documents are managed and how they were being applied on a day-to-day basis.
There were no examples showing how documents should be managed or help, contact points or places to share a problem or knowledge.
I recommended a governance framework containing consistent, relevant, up-to-date guidance to help people make the right decisions when creating and managing a document. It included:
The standards set out how people behaved when:
- Naming a function, project site or document
- Creating, updating, sharing, approving, archiving and deleting a document
- Setting permissions
- Understanding their role and its responsibilities
Making the right advice available to reduce the burden on the Document Management System owner by:
- Online discussion group, open to everyone to ask questions, share hints and tips, and help solve issues raised.
- Frequently Asked Questions: create FAQs to answer the same questions being asked regularly that give the definitive answer that people can refer to and save time.
- How to guides: Guidance in the form of ‘How to…’ guide that contain practical hints and tips on using the Document Management System.
Support people needing face-to-face training on how to use the Document Management System with further online training that helps to reinforce the changes people need to make.
For more practical best-practice examples of good governance try my new book ‘Digital success or digital disaster?‘. Read the introductory chapter to find out more. A license to share the ebook with publishers across your organisation is available
Posted in best practice, digital success or digital disaster, governance, help, intranet, publishing, standards
Tagged best practice, Digital success or digital disaster, governance, help, publishing, standards, training
After you have developed a clear intranet strategy as explained in my post ‘How to develop an intranet strategy‘ you then need to follow this with an implementation plan, publishing standards and a governance framework.
While every intranet is different there are some common factors that need to be considered so your intranet supports your business requirements:
- The size of your organisation will affect how you manage your intranet. If it is based in one location and you know everyone by their first name then it is likely you can manage your intranet on your own. If it has many thousands of people in many locations you will need a different approach and involve other people to help you manage your intranet.
- The type of organisation will affect how you manage your intranet. Is it streamlined on administration, informal decision-making? Or is it more formalised, committee driven, when making decisions on how publishing standards and intranet roles and responsibilities?
- The culture of your organisation will affect how you manage your intranet. Is it a very top down, command and control, culture with feedback discouraged? Or is it more open, democratic and consensual? Whether it is either or a mix of both will influence your approach to managing your intranet.
My first-hand experience and from working with clients is that intranets can be managed well no matter what size, type or culture your organisation has. It is how you approach this which is the critical success factor!
You can out more information on how to manage your intranet to help you.
Posted in best practice, content management, governance, help, intranet, plan, publishing, standards, strategy, training, value
Tagged best practice, content, governance, help, intranet, plan, publishing, standards, strategy, usability standards, value
It is not often that I recommend on my blog information to read that I believe is helpful and easy to read. Today is an exception (not just because I played a very small part in its creation)!
ClearBox Consulting with Kilobox Communiqué noticed that while on the top level of intranet sites there is good quality content, as you get into the lower levels standards start to drop. Often people have been trained on the publishing tool but had little guidance on how to get the most from an intranet as a channel e.g. how to write headlines, how to phrase links, etc.
They have created an excellent set of 10 FREE guidelines, each 1-2 pages long, covering the following topics in plain English:
- Effective headlines: help people choose what to read
- Images: attracting interest and conveying meaning
- Links: how to link to pages and files
- Layout: how to structure articles for scanability
- How to help people search for, and find, your content
- Content: write for your audience, not for your boss
- Documents vs pages: when to use PDF, Word, and other formats
- Engage: writing to start a conversation
- Channels: how to reach the right audiences with your content
- Mobile content
I recommend you read and share these with your publishers to help improve the overall experience people have with your intranet.
Thanks Sam and Wedge!
Posted in best practice, communication, content management, engagement, help, intranet, mobile, publishing
Tagged best practice, communication, content, engagement, help, intranet, mobile, publishing