Tag Archives: killer app

What’s needed for a good intranet strategy?

I was asked what was a good example of an intranet strategy recently.  It made me scratch my head and take a step back from what BT has successfully achieved.

Strategies will vary from one organisation to another in focus, length, substance, etc.  What will make sense for BT’s intranet strategy won’t necessarily for other intranets.  But I think some general principles will apply to most ‘best practice’ strategies.  These could be:

What is your organisation’s strategy and does your intranet contribute to it?

First you need to find out what your organisation’s strategy is.  What direction is your organisation moving?  What are it’s future priorities?  Then see how your intranet can help support this strategy and develop your own intranet strategy that is aligned to your organisation’s.

What are your priorities based on what do your users need most from your intranet?

You know what your organisation needs but what about the people who are using the intranet or maybe NOT using it?  You need to research how they do their work and what the intranet can do to help people do it better (this may be being quicker, cheaper, more satisfying even).

What long term priorities should be included?

Your intranet priorities need to be stretching (dare I say visionary!) and not too specific – that’s for your action plan for the shorter term.  So ‘Extend relevant standards to all intranet content and services’ is stretching and generic and not so specific as ‘Add this logo to the top right hand corner of xx pages with this colour and yy pixels in size’ would be.

Who are the key stakeholders to be involved in your intranet strategy?

Who can stop, hinder, accelerate or start your intranet plans to deliver your strategy?  Once you have a list of their names they’re probably going to be most of your stakeholders.  I don’t favour the ‘x reps per business unit’ approach but rather feel stakeholders should be mainly from the key functions that people are involved with or work in.

What is the culture and behaviour of your organisation?

Is your organisation highly regulated and command driven from the board level?  If yes then it’s no good having a wiki if the culture is resistant to sharing knowledge.  However if your organisation is flexible and receptive to new ideas and critical feedback then wikis and blogs can flourish and be part of your strategy.

So, know what your organisation and its strategy first, then you can prepare a strategy for your intranet which will flourish along with your organisation.

BT Directory – connecting people easily

When BT’s intranet started in December 1994 one of the key demands from people was to easily find and connect with other people in BT.  Along with the BT Homepage and BT today, BT Directory was one of the ‘killer application/content’ that encouraged people to want to use BT’s intranet because it gave them a tool that helped make their life easier.

Today Directory is still as critical as when it started.  It is the easiest and quickest way to find out who you need to contact in BT.  I have shared some examples of BT Directory for you to see.

Ease of use (slides 1 and 2)

It is very easy to find anyone in BT.  You can use Directory to find people from any page on BT’s intranet using the Global Navigation Bar (GNB).  You can see I have entered my name as an example of what you do, then just press ‘Go’.  Their details will appear from Directory (slide 3).  You can also click on the Directory heading in the GNB to enter to use all the features on Directory (slide 2).

People information (slides 3 – 5)

You can find a person’s contact details – office and mobile phone nos., email, address –  their job title, manager and what part of BT they work in.  Again, I’ve used myself for the example (slide 3). 

You can also check their whereabouts (downloaded automatically each day from Outlook Calendar) to be able to choose when to contact them and if their office or mobile no. is better.  It helps when planning calls or meetings too (slide 4).

You can also see who is in their team as well as their manager and where in the BT organisation structure a person is.  I’ve used myself to show my team and where in BT – Group Communications – I fit in (slide 5).

Extra features (slides 6 – 9)

You can use a power search to find someone by just knowing their phone no., which location they may be at, part of their name or even initials (slide 6).

You can find out who else has a particular work interest, activity or title.  The example shows how many people with a connection with ‘intranet’ in BT (slide 7).

Mobile users can also use a cut down version of Directory to find people’s contact details (slide 8).  The results shown are the key contact details you will need (slide 9).

As social media tools continue to grow in BT, Directory will be a hub to help you find out more useful information to help them connect easily and quickly with the best people who can help you.