Filed under: Intranets
We’ve written a lot about the roles and responsibilities of intranet teams, with a focus on the activities of teams in medium to large organisations.
Intranet teams in global firms, however, face different challenges. At a minimum, they maintain the global intranet site, providing a channel for corporate communications and a home for information common across the whole business. But is this enough?
In a global company, whether a pharmaceuticals firm, international NGO or manufacturing business, a lot happens outside of head office. Regions and countries will have their own intranet sites, as will major business units and divisions. Whereas the central intranet in a medium-sized company directly serves the needs of staff, in a global business, any central activity is far separated from frontline and operational staff.
Organisational structures and politics may prevent the global intranet team from even meeting real staff members outside of head office. There are also a daunting number of staff to consider. This means that any solutions provided by the global team must often act indirectly to help the business be more successful.
What then should global intranet teams be doing? Here are some possibilities, in no particular order:
- Providing strategic advice. Acting as an advisor to the global leadership team on enterprise and technology issues.
- Setting standards and establishing governance. Helping to ensure minimum standards and consistency across all intranet sites.
- Delivering global solutions. Providing platforms that encompass all staff, such as a global staff directory, or firm-wide collaboration spaces.
- Providing technology solutions. Offering a toolkit of technologies to local intranet teams, from publishing tools to collaboration features.
- Driving innovation. Acting as a centre for intranet best practices within the organisation, piloting new ideas and promoting new approaches.
- Supporting intranet owners. Providing much-needed training, support and insight to the owners of country and business unit sites throughout the organisation on how to deliver a successful intranet.
- Fostering an intranet community. Connecting local intranet teams and other interested parties, via online and face-to-face knowledge sharing.
- Sharing successes. Uncovering great intranet ideas at the edges of the organisation, and sharing them with the rest of the organisation.
- Syndicating information. Delivering corporate news and information to the country and business unit sites that are used daily by staff.
Due to the huge diversity in how global firms operate, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all list, and teams aren’t expected to be doing all of these things. Instead, treat this list as a starting point for discussions, within organisations and across the wider intranet community.
If you run a global intranet, what is *your* role?
What has been missed from this list?