Today’s intranets are very passive. They provide a remarkable volume of information, tools and resources, but they sit idly waiting for someone to look for it. This often means that staff don’t get the information they require at the point of need.
When a new policy is created, it’s emailed out to all staff, or posted as a news item. But staff are not interested in the travel security policy if they don’t have a trip planned. A new product is launched, but it isn’t of interest to anyone outside that area (even if they end up working there in six months time). Staff don’t have time to read everything now, just in case it will be useful down the track.
Our systems know a huge amount about us, quietly gathered as part of normal working practices. Yet they do nothing with this information.
- When I join the organisation, all the relevant people are automatically notified, and the key systems updated.
- When I’ve booked a trip interstate, I’m automatically sent details on how to reserve a corporate car.
- When I receive a promotion, I’m pointed to the managers’ area on the intranet.
- When I move into a new business area, I get an update on the recent news items and updates.
- When legislation is updated, I’m notified as I’m working in a relevant area.
This is something that Bob Boiko has been talking about for some time. There are a hundred ways in which our information systems can act proactively, promoting with information or kicking off processes. This can be low-key and non-intrusive (unlike the much hated Clippy!).
Building solutions this way will improve staff productivity, increase adherence to policy, reinforce standard working practices, and delight staff. The information is already in our systems, all we have to do is make use of it.
How else could our information systems be active and proactive?