7 Secrets to a Successful Intranet Project

Oct 09, 2017
When designing your next (or first) corporate Intranet it's important to decide early on what the goals will be. The Key Objective to a successful Intranet is internal communications. Do these things well and the Intranet will be a success. 
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  • Allow your staff to communicate with each other easily and efficiently. 
  • Facilitate discussions and collaboration within departments and on projects.
  • Provide the information employees need to do their jobs. 
  • Create a reliable Resources centre as the one-stop for employees to find all work-related documents and forms. 
Like any web design project, the Intranet solution need to be well thought-out and planned. 

Top 7 Secrets to a Successful Intranet Project

1. Buy-in from all departments

Every department will need to contribute and participate, not just HR. The quickest downfall to any new intranet is when rogue departments want to do their own thing. Involve each department early in the discovery process to understand their unique needs and goals. Carefully interview the stakeholders and craft personas around each department. Be prepared to accommodate their requirements into the plan. 

2. Give your Intranet a name

After interviewing the stakeholders and generating a really good understanding of the needs set around giving the tool a name. Something not so technical but playful and friendly is always a good start but take into consideration the corporate culture. Once named use it wholeheartedly when ever discussing the project and design the name into the site.  

3. Plan for a longer life cycle

Intranets tend to have longer life than your typical web site so consider Total Cost of Ownership over and 4-6 year term. Of course, there will be tweaking and enhancements but if you start with a solid foundation then modifications and enhancements later will be a breeze. So, the key here is working with a flexible and scalable off-the-shelf solution that can accommodate future needs without a complete overhaul. Look for established and commercially available software products that can be integrated with other systems when the time comes. 

4. Promote, educate and encourage

As you need the department buy-ins you will also need all employees to buy-in but they need to know what the Intranet is for and how to use it. Promote and educate them along the way. Use your company's existing forms of communication to get the message across including email newsletters, memo's, announcements, Social Media and staff meetings. Don’t forget to let everyone know the name and why it was chosen. You could even include employees in the naming process. 

5. Reward contributors

During the early months employees will be interested in supporting the new Intranet however to ensure the project has traction make sure to encourage and reward staff to continue participate. Gamify the Intranet by offering swag or even virtual badges for those that post, comment and complete forms. The more engaged your users are the more effective the intranet will be in the long run. 

6. Get executives to contribute

It's important to get senior executives to lead the communication contribution. Present the value to seniors and provide an easy blogging plan that they can't say no too. Don't expect too much as senior executives are already super busy but create a blog for executives to communicate what's important to them. As they lead by example others in the organization will follow.  

7. Evaluate and fine tune constantly

Review analytics as often as possible and follow-up with stakeholders regularly. Listen to their feedback and adjust as needed. It's a good idea to routinely compare analytics prior to campaigns and after to see what works and what doesn’t. Consider A/B testing as an effective tool to test the effectiveness of pages and calls to action. With a good CMS backing your Intranet tweaking your solution should be breeze. 

Finally, these 3 not so secrets to Intranet success.  

  1. Make it easy to login and access from anywhere. Employees need to be able to have a mobile optimized experience from home and the office. 
  2. Provide valuable content. Obviously, the intranet is only as good as its content. 
  3. Automate processes where possible. It may not be possible for the first iteration of the website but build it into the plan for later phases. 

About the Author

Tony Tullio

Tony Tullio is a veteran in the interactive business and Director/Founder at Inorbital and always looking for great web apps and useful websites. Let us know what you think about this topic by commenting or rating or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn