Since 1996 I have been pioneering the best ways to increase adoption of new tools on the intranet. For the 9 years as the BT Intranet manager and since then as a consultant, I have experienced different ways organisations have encouraged adoption of technology. My top 10 ways are:
Research what people need
Ask what their biggest pain points are. What could be made easier? What is missing from the intranet? What is good and they want more of?
How important is the task to the person and to their organisation? How many people are affected by this? How frequently is it happening?
Early adopters to become ambassadors
Identify adopters who have the most urgent need to try something new to solve a business problem. Involve adopters in proposed changes as early as possible to get their buy-in. Satisfied adopters will be your best ambassadors and spread the word.
Make the first experience a good experience
You need to encourage not discourage usage to avoid unnecessary costs in extra effort. Act on early adopters’ feedback. Test with usability experts. Compare with existing best practice.
Advance communications so no nasty surprises
Manage peoples’ expectations. Clearly explain what it is you are offering and where they can get advice, training and help.
Give people a bridge from wherever they were on your intranet to get to another part more easily. Show the same headings and position on every page. Find out what are the best navigation headings that would help people most.
Personalise and target information
Give people the relevant information they need. Give people the applications they need to use. Give people confidence their personal information is secure.
Embed standards into templates
Reduce the barrier for publishing. Make it as easy as possible to do. Focus on what is important – the quality of the information – not how to use the technology. Consistently apply governance. Embed standards in the templates.
Compliance tools give users confidence
Standards need to be enforced when publishers’ behaviour falls below best practice. Compliance tools enforce important standards – business, regulatory and legal requirements – and minimise time and administration. Users’ confidence in the integrity of the information must not be compromised.
Clear responsibilities and roles
Who is responsible for managing the intranet strategy, standards, IT infrastructure? What should everyone involved – publishers, contributors – need to do? Align intranet roles with performance management and job descriptions.