How a new intranet is managed makes a huge difference to its long-term success.
In this respect, intranet teams wear many hats: they drive adoption though change management, improve user experience and design, create content and execute a content strategy, work as community managers with publishers throughout their organisation, carry out user research to introduce new features, help to enforce governance frameworks, and more.
The 2022 Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards reveal many of the key processes and critical practices that successful intranet teams carry out to manage world-class intranets.
Managing the intranet to drive continuous improvement
At Alliander, the intranet is very well-managed through a strong set of processes that support continuous improvement, resulting in impressive levels of adoption and high-value, sustained over several years. Underpinning this is:
- a governance framework that provides clarity over publishing standards and related roles
- a commitment to strong user involvement in the intranet design, and the introduction of any new features
- an agile approach to delivery with continuous releases.
Notable management processes carried out by the intranet team include working with a group of 30 users who meet every six weeks and give input into new intranet designs and functionality. Additionally, a “proof of concept” is created for any new feature being introduced on to the intranet and involves feedback from the user group; the feature cannot be made live until feedback is unanimously positive, meaning that features often have to go through further iteration before they are launched.
The team also collect feedback via a site called the “Intranet Help Center” where the team receive around 40 pieces of unsolicited feedback from users per month; this all gets acted upon and also helps to shape improvements. Meanwhile a full-time “webcare” person focuses on support; her activities including running various training sessions on the intranet for new users and people who want to blog, as well as being the community manager for the user group.
Creating an intranet virtual command centre
At BCD Travel the small central team behind the MySource intranet have created an intranet site called the “MySource Admin Center” inspired by the by the concept of Microsoft’s SharePoint Admin Center. This includes everything the team need to refer to to manage the intranet and includes documentation, trackers, status updates, who to contact, and wider information about the intranet, all in one place. It has become the team’s ‘virtual command central’ for their own operations, but also for the wider community of stakeholders, publishers and even end-users involved in the intranet.
The Admin Center includes a tracking log of all the various requests, changes and feature backlog relating to the intranet, ensuring feedback is captured and acted upon. Anybody can then review the status of their request. There are also details of the intranet strategy, analytics and survey results, details of KPIs, instructional videos, and more. Overall, the Admin Center has evolved to be essential for everyday intranet operations.
Managing the intranet by empowering content owners
At MAN Energy Solutions a new intranet has also seen the introduction of various governance-related processes including defining lifecycles for certain content (web pages, business documents, etc) and then introducing automatic review and clean-up processes for old content. There is also a continuous program for improving adoption with champions, training and support in place. The team also actively monitor intranet progress and trends, and have an iterative process for reviewing plans accordingly.
The central intranet team have also empowered local content owners by creating a content dashboard where they each publisher can monitor engagement with their content and view its status. The report covers visits, article reach, like and comments, review status, and more. This supports local content owners in keeping their content up to date, but also in improving the performance of content.
MAN Energy Solution’s intranet content dashboard. Screenshot appears courtesy of MAN Energy Solutions.
You can find full details of all three case studies plus ten others with multiple screenshots in the 2022 Intranet and Digital Workplace showcase report. Get information and inspiration from what the winners have done, how they’ve gone about it, and their lessons learned.