Imagine it. You wake up to find you’re responsible for the intranet. You break out into a sweat, and quite probably a rash. You have two horrible moments of realisation. “I have no idea what to do next” and “We have to do everything, and do it right now.”
You don’t know quite where to turn. And nobody else quite seems to know either. Or more several do know exactly and are giving you conflicting views.
If this is you, then you’ve come to the right place. Intranet Directions is a blog for people who find themselves in this predicament.
And we think there’s quite a few of you.
That creeping realisation that you are now responsible for the intranet may spoil your whole day
You might be in Internal Communications, Knowledge Management, Business Improvement or somewhere in IT. You’re starting to feel a bit jumpy.. You certainly don’t have “Intranet Manager” on your LinkedIn profile. It probably says Internal Communications Executive or SharePoint Team Leader. You are interested in a bit of the intranet but now you are being asked to fix the whole lot. The massive tangled mess of news stories, team sites and unruly intranet applications is now yours to coax into some semblance of order. Not only that but you are being asked to move the intranet forward in some strategic development. Are they having a laugh?
Instead of hiding under your desk or finding a corner to brush up your CV, read this blog.
Er, intranet strategy, what…how?
You eventually learn that true priorities are like arms; if you think you have more than a couple, you’re either lying or crazy.
— Merlin Mann (@hotdogsladies) April 10, 2009
Your intranet strategy is not a shopping list.
Your intranet strategy is not a form you need to fill in to get the toys that will make your CV look good.
Your intranet strategy is a plan of action to ensure that you are prioritising what the business needs of you in the most appropriate way. We believe that there are two parts to managing your intranet:
Firstly, there are the no-ifs and the no-buts and the no-brainers. You have to do these to be able to call it an intranet. These aren’t a strategy: they are a to-do list. You need to keep the machines humming and the users happy. If this is all you have time and resources for right now, concentrate on it and fix it, but don’t pretend you are strategic
The second part is where the “direction” bit comes in. There are lots of different directions you may need to take your intranet in to best become employee of the month in your organisation. You could do this or that; use this software or that; choose this architecture or that; use gamification or shamification.
But that isn’t necessarily going to get you where you need to be.
Here’s the thing: any intranet direction you choose needs to be a strategic priority for your organisation. But… you only get to get choose one or two — you’re good but you’re not Superman and Steve Jobs rolled into one. And choose wisely, as once you’ve made a choice, you’ll have to close off some other options you don’t have time for anymore.
One of the things we are going to talk about here are ideas for these “directions”, things that you can focus on. We’re going to try and be different. Where we can we’ll try and point to examples and screenshots but quite often not because we won’t know if anyone has tried an innovative approach. Maybe it will be a new idea, or one that will develop into something else.
But if you are stuck wrestling with the mundane and day to day, we’re going to try and help too. You probably think it’s unfair and you know you could do more if you had more resources, and we agree with you. Hopefully we can give you some tactics to cope with the grind so you can get talking to the senior leaders about how you can really help, not just keep stuff tidy.
Our aim is to get your intranet moving forward, making a difference for management, for the users and you personally. Good luck. And stop sweating.