Filed under: Intranets
It has to stop. The current metaphor of the intranet as an “internal website for staff” is crippling us.
This metaphor is a direct cause of our unhealthy focus on just the usability, information architecture and content of the “site”. We spend endless amount of time working on maintaining intranets, and yet intranets today are little different from the way they were ten years ago. Along the way, the road is littered with burnt out intranet teams, wearied by the struggle to get organisations to finally “recognise the value of the intranet”.
Instead of the “intranet as website” metaphor, we need to focus on delivering new things. This manifesto focuses on the project management of the intranet, on the steady implementation of new functionality and content (no matter how small). The real challenge is to guide this ongoing process, instead of just trying to sell the desired end goal.
This has all crystallised for me in the last few months, and there is much more that can (and will) be written on this. Already we have created a new 6×2 methodology that encapsulates this, and Martin White has introduced the key concept of giving intranets version numbers (3.0, 3.1, 3.2) to emphasise the steady (incremental) delivery of new functionality. Both of these approaches will be refined over the coming months.
The time is right for us to stop focusing inwards on the management of the “intranet as website”, and to ask: what are we going to deliver to the organisation in the next six months?