There are lots of challenges with an intranet project. This can be due to lack of experience, resource like time or money, technical obstacles/barriers or too big ambitions.Sometimes it can be better to start small, take baby steps and cover the needs as they occur. Here are some tips based on experience after carrying out over a hundred intranet projects at local boroughs, companies and other organisations. Our intranet projects have varied in size from a just a few users to several thousands.
Requirement analysis before starting an intranet project
A pre-project to an intranet project is an important step that can be done in a various scale. A small and compact pre-study can be just as efficient as a long and elaborate one. The important thing is to identify the requirements for your organisation.
The requirements can be mapped out through looking at pros and cons with the existing intranet and the work methods. What would you like to keep? What would you like to improve? Put together a project group with key personnel from the business and ask them what they would like to achieve with the new intranet. What is actually good about the existing intranet and the work methods? What is missing?
Stocktaking of the content on the existing intranet
Do you need all the content that is on the intranet today? Should we clean out old content that is no longer needed, or does everything need to be transferred to the new intranet? Through this exercise you can clean out irrelevant information that is of no use, and you get a better overview of what needs to be migrated.
The analysis of the requirements combined with the stocktaking will result in a specification. What functionality do you need in order to support the needs and the content that you are migrating? Should information that have been in documents stay in the documents or should they be presented in another format on the intranet, e.g. wikis, blogs or articles? Are there any wishes from people in the project group that for instance routines should be in a wiki instead of an inefficient word document like it currently is on the existing intranet? The specification should cover the requirements you have for the new intranet.
Test and consider
With a smart intranet like Spintr you can easily, and at no cost, try the solution to see if the requirements and wishes that have been uncovered in the specification are possible to fulfil.
Then you will get an answer if you are heading in the right direction. Does it seem like it is working? Experiment, be flexible and do not put to much work into it. Start in a small scale and focus on the absolute requirements. Think about what is a must have and not what it nice to have in this case.
The intranet does not need to be complete from the beginning
Maybe you do not have to add the entire employee manual right away, this is usually a big task and it contributes to the launch date being pushed several months. And when these months have passed, the routines have probably changed. If you wait for these changes to be implemented and added to the intranet before the launch, chances are the project will be even further delayed.
So – begin in a smaller scale and focus on the requirements. Listen to the users to complete the specification and the wishes to functionality as the project moves along.
All in all
An intranet project does not need to be a never ending story. If you begin in a smaller scale with a rational ambition based on the circumstances you are in, the project will feel more tangible. Functionality and specifications can be completed as the project moves along.