Why Intranets get Stuck and How to get Them Moving Again

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This presentation provides intranet managers and leaders with insight, practical advice, and actionable tools to help them assess and fine-tune existing intranet strategies that have not met expectations as well as develop and implement new intranet strategies successfully. The presentation is based on a book, Why Intranets Get Stuck, which was written by three colleagues who together have over 60 years of combined intranet experience working for and with organizations including PwC, URS Corporation and Schlumberger. 8 Characteristics of a strong intranet sponsor 8 Steps to a social networking strategy 12 Most common employee tasks on an intranet 20 Questions to help you rate your intranet 20 Downloadable tools and templates you can use now 22 Measures of intranet success 50 Topics for standards and guidelines

Text of Why Intranets get Stuck and How to get Them Moving Again

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WHY INTRANETS GET STUCKAnd how to get them moving again

Practical Advice for Getting your Intranet Back on Track

Tracy BeverlySusan ONeillEdward Walter

Visit: intranetsunstuck.com for tools and more information

When an intranet hasnt been adopted into the organization as fully as expected, management often questions its value. This can cause the intranet to get stuck: implemented, somewhat useful but not viewed as a strategic priority or a primary online destination for employees.

When done right, an intranet can be a place here employees go and easily get current information, complete tasks, interact with colleagues and collaborate to get a job done. It can also be an important vehicle for communicating and reinforcing corporate culture and messages.

This presentation will help intranet managers determine why their intranet has not reached its potential and what can be done to improve the situation.

Want to rate your intranet? Visit intranetsunstuck.com and take the 20 question quiz. The site also provides access to tools and templates that will help with intranet assessment, strategy development and implementation.

IntroductionFixing an Intranet thats Stuck


Stuck10 Reasons Why Intranets Fail

The goals for the intranet are not well-defined. The ownership of the intranet is not clear. Departments engage in siloed thinking and try to go it alone. Users and their needs are neglected. Mistaken belief that technology is a silver bullet. Content is an afterthought. Intranet resources are insufficient or the wrong kind. The intranets roll-out was a secret. Mistaken belief that launch means the project is done. Continuous improvement is an aspiration but not a reality.


StrategyDefining Purpose and Setting Goals


When setting goals for your intranet, keep in mind both the demands of the users and the needs of the business.

The key goal of any intranet is to make the lives of employees easier, but helping senior leadership communicate mission and corporate culture can be as important.

Strategy Defining Purpose and Setting Goals


To build a strategy, start with a discovery process:

This intelligence will help you identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and give you the foundation for developing an effective strategy.

Strategy Strategy Development




Project objectivesCritical success criteria

StakeholdersUser needsTechnologyCommunicationschannels

Current stateProject implementationchallenges


Tool:Strategy Development GuideIntranetsunstuck.com

Strategy development should be collaborative. Involve stakeholders and leadership, and make the process simple.

Agree on purpose.

Set goals and priorities.

Define approach.

Develop a plan and road map.

Strategy Strategy Development


Sponsorship and governance are critical to the success of an intranet. One of the main reasons intranets fail is because of weak, isolated or nonexistent sponsorship.

The ideal sponsor:Is a champion with a direct relationship with leadership.Drives the strategy and sets the pace.Keeps the intranet strategy closely aligned with business priorities.Is a passionate employee advocate.Makes decisions and sticks with them through implementation.Chairs the governance board.

Strategy Sponsorship and Governance


Tool:Standards and GuidelinesIntranetsunstuck.com

Strategy Sponsorship and Governance

Which type of governance model is best for your organization?



Typically feature a central program office that oversees the day-to-day management of the intranet. This model works best for hierarchicalorganizations with one intranet.

Have governance groups at multiple levels. Typicallythis model is used when there is an intranet incorporating multiple divisions or countries.


Another critical strategic decision is the level of consolidation that an intranet should have. Sometimes some autonomy is needed if, for example, there is classified information that should be available only to some employees.

There are ways to consolidate all or part of your online content that still provide a good user experience:Microsites that adhere to company-wide standards.Information architecture that accommodates sub-sections.Portal strategy with over-arching information architecture and consolidated home page.

Strategy Autonomy versus Consolidation


Tool:Integration GuidelinesIntranetsunstuck.com

UsersThe Key to a Successful Intranet


The biggest single factor in the success of an intranet is its users! This may seem obvious but many organizations often dont fully understand what this means.Employees want:The intranet to help them be productive and efficient.The usability to be similar to their personal experiences on the web. Easy access from anywhere, on any device.

UsersThe Key to a Successful Intranet


Employees should be at the center of the user experience.

Developing an effective information architecture should start with a thorough needs and resource analysis. Understand how the intranet supports business objectives.Identify the most common tasks.

UsersInformation Architecture

MostCommon Tasks Employees Complete on their Intranet

Complete a formManage benefitsContact a colleagueFind an expertGet helpRequest a resourceDo the right thing (i.e., business methodologies, project procedures)Stay in complianceTrack with company culture and directionGet help in an emergencyProfile personal skills and role at companyInteract with other employees


The user interface is about way-finding, access and familiarity. Most of all, its about usability.

User interface design elements:Navigation clear and consistentPage layout optimal visual performanceColor draws attention and shows relationships

UsersUser Interface


Tool:User Interface GuideIntranetsunstuck.com

The integration of social networking tools into all facets of an intranet can have a powerful effect on the workforce. These tools can help:Recruit, engage and retain employees.Empower collaboration.Improve business processes.Shorten development cycles.Support and reinforce the organizations brand and culture.

UsersSocial Networking


Develop a social networking strategy first before introducing these tools into your intranet.

Make sure you are clear on what you want to accomplish.

Determine cultural expectations.

Identify organizational parameters are there financial, cultural, legal or technological limitations to consider?

Gain senior leadership buy-in.

Select social tools that align to business objectives.

Implement and integrate as seamlessly as possible into legacy systems.

Develop guidelines and measurement tools.

Benchmark, measure and improve.

UsersSocial Networking


Users should be driving upgrades and fixes to the intranet.

The user survey is the best way to gain valuable insight into how the intranet is faring and what can be done to improve it.

UsersUser Surveys


Tool:Employee QuestionnaireIntranetsunstuck.com

TechnologyNot the Silver Bullet


Technology alone wont produce a great intranet.

Many intranet projects focus too much attention on picking the right technology, scanting other important issues. They fail to consider organizational and employee requirements, integration points with other internal systems, or bottlenecks for employee tasks and processes.

To create a successful intranet, start with understanding the full scope of requirements, and then decide which IT solution is best.

TechnologyNot the Silver Bullet


Key elements of the right technology:

Web content publishing capability.

Employee identity management, authentication and single sign-on.

Integration support to connect to email and legacy systems.

Social networking capabilities.

Side-wide and topic-specific search.

User activity analysis.

TechnologyIT Requirements


Tool:IT Requirements ChecklistIntranetsunstuck.com

Common technology mistakes to avoid:

The technology dictates the navigation.

Wrong development methodologies.

Too much customization.

Poor IT support.

Security concerns overshadow the user experience.

TechnologyIT Requirements


ContentGood Content is Fundamental


Many organizations assume that populating the intranet with content will be easy easier than choosing the right technology or designing the user experience. Nothing is further from the truth.

Too often there is no clear idea of:What content is important or relevant.What users prefer for accessing and using the content.How up-to-date or complete the content is.Whats involved in getting the content ready for integration into the intranet.How content will be maintained once the intranet is implemented.

ContentGood Content is Fundamental



What topics?What forms?


Why does this providebusiness value?Why will employees care?


How will content needs be identified?How will contentbe developed?How will content be delivered?How will content be maintained?How will content be measured?


Where will we get the