6×2: a new approach to planning.

Intranets have now grown to be core tools for most organisations, tools they cannot do without. Despite this, it is still a struggle for intranet teams to gain the resources and support they need to sustain and grow their sites. In general, it is not hard to describe what the 'perfect intranet' looks like, and each intranet team can generally paint a clear picture of their desired future site. What is needed, however, is a roadmap that helps intranet teams to get from 'here' to 'there' within current resource limits and other constraints. The 6x2 methodology provides a powerful new

Your new site will be 20% different from current site.

Implementing a new website or intranet is a unique opportunity to work with new functionality and ideas and push the bounds of what the site will do. When a new underlying platform is being implemented, such as a content management system or portal, the scope for rethinking the site can be increased further. Yet, despite all of this opportunity for change, the simple rule of thumb is that the new site will be at best 20% different from the current site. There are fundamental reasons for this, which will be explored in this briefing. The implications of the rule for

Avoid long-term strategies.

When it comes to information management or content management strategies, particularly at the enterprise level, there is a strong tendency (and desire) to create long-term plans. These plans may outline activities more than of 18 or 24 months in advance, starting with the deployment of base infrastructure, through to the final delivery of strong business functionality. These plans mostly fail, and few ever end up delivering the hoped-for benefits. While this is not an argument for abandoning strategic planning entirely, it raises a question whether long-term plans are the most sensible approach. This briefing will explore some of the issues

Chatting bolsters business.

No longer the antithesis of working hard, online chat has become an integral part of core business processes in some organisations. Across both the public and private sectors there is a trend toward online chat as a valid business tool, particularly in call centre environments. By using online chat to supplement traditional information sources such as intranets and training folders, staff are provided with answers to specific problems and questions and access to specific staff in real-time. Online chat can be used to: to leverage the collective knowledge resources and research capability of the team as a training and management

Avoid long-term strategies.

All too often, 18-24 month information management strategies fail to deliver benefits, but there is an alternative.

Personalisation vs segmentation.

'Personalisation' is a term very much in fashion at present. It is used by vendors to sell their products, and promoted by website and intranet managers as a way of delivering a brave new era of functionality. Separate from debates regarding the merits and approaches to personalisation, there is considerable confusion about the meaning of the word itself. As the use of personalisation spreads, this confusion has grown. Personalisation is now routinely used for everything from 'my links' functionality, to fine-grained targeting of information to specific staff roles. The absence of consistent terminology in this space is now causing considerable

Do staff make use of personalisation features?.

Due to technology improvements, personalisation is a growing feature in both intranet and portal usage. Organisations around the world have already made their first forays into personalisation, however many more organisations are questioning what to personalise and how to go about it. So who is using personalisation and how effective it is? Early in 2007 we ran a worldwide survey to establish the extent that personalisation is being used in intranets and portals. This article discusses the results of the survey, common themes within the survey and some observations on personalisation projects throughout the world. Comments from the survey respondents

The importance of ‘tangible’ and ‘visible’.

Intranets are often invisible tools within organisations. While staff rely on the intranet to help them complete common tasks, the site itself is taken for granted. The intranet team is similarly low in visibility, with little senior management recognition of the team or its role. The net effect is that intranet teams work hard from month to month, but struggle to gain the support and resources required to deliver a truly great site. While this is perhaps a natural by-product of the role of intranets within organisations, intranet teams can do much to increase their level of recognition (and therefore