I was at an organisation this morning, talking with them about how they plan to tackle their intranet redesign project. All very interesting.
During this conversation, a couple of ideas occured to me. One of which is the following:
Intranet redesign projects should aim to:
- Address intranet issues and limitations
This often involves fixing up the homepage, search, and overall site structure. In otherwords, usability and information architecture.
- Make the intranet better meet goals
This includes both strategic and tactical goals, which must reflect the overall organisational direction. User needs must also be met. Typical projects may include establishing disucussion groups, self-service HR, and the like.
- Provoke cultural and process changes
This is the one often overlooked. Intranet problems are often not technical, but are instead due to cultural and process problems, such as content authors not understanding readers’ needs.
This last point suggests that the initial intranet projects should be very carefully chosen, so as to have the biggest impact on culture. A good intranet project will generate a “buzz”, and support intranet marketing and change management.
This also comes back to “storytelling” approaches in knowledge management. By choosing a project that is aligned with the message you want to convey, word of the project’s success will spread the message throughout the organisation.
The analogy I used was that the right project will act as a “catalyst”, which will spread outwards through both the intranet and the organisation.
I’ll have to think about this some more…