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Have you got a intranet plan in place for the year ahead?
We often get so busy that there is little time to sit back and reflect on what we have achieved and consider where we are headed. Savvy intranet teams make time to do this and put in place a clear plan of deliverables for the year ahead.
There is no excuse for delivering nothing, even if your budget is limited, and just keeping the intranet going is a recipe for stagnation. Even if you have just delivered a new intranet, you must continue to develop and enhance it. Organisational objectives change, there are new technologies cropping up all the time and new business challenges to deal with. The intranet must support the organisation and its staff at both strategic and operational levels, or it will quickly become out-of-date, or irrelevant to the business.
Here are four basic steps to get you going.
1. Review recent achievements
Start by looking back at the past 12 months. Besides the usual day-to-day administrative and maintenance activities, what new intranet functionality or capabilities have been delivered?
Consider the specific business value that has been created from those deliverables. Has it been for the whole organisation or for specific staff groups?
Get your stakeholders to help you articulate what the business outcomes have been. For more ideas on identifying business value see our book Essential intranets: inspiring sites that deliver business value.
Don’t forget to promote your achievements – they will help people understand what you do and how the intranet can help them deliver on their objectives.
2. Set objectives for the intranet
Next, set some clear objectives for your intranet for the year ahead. For example you might focus on staff engagement or supporting delivery of customer service. Ask yourself the following:
- What role does the intranet currently play in the organisation? Is that sufficient or can the intranet be leveraged for other purposes?
- Can the intranet help deliver more of the organisation’s high-level objectives?
3. List possible intranet improvements
Create a list of all possible tasks that could be undertaken. It might be as simple as adding new content, through to delivering a mobile intranet. Do some ‘blue sky’ thinking to start with and leave all possibilities open.
Consider where your intranet is working well and the particular areas that need work. Refer to survey results, anecdotal evidence and usage statistics to provide the evidence on where work is needed.
Even with little or no budget there are things you can usefully do, such as:
- start networking with key stakeholders and explore how the intranet might support their objectives
- do some user research to ensure that you are up-to-date with staff needs
- research where technology is heading and what this might mean for how staff work in the organisation
4. Create plan for the year ahead
Having completed the previous step, you will have a working list of possible tasks. So far, we have never come across a team with unlimited budget and resources, therefore despite all the things that need doing or are great ideas, you need to prioritise and focus on a schedule of work that is truly deliverable and will create value for the organisation. Refer to 6×2: a new approach to planning to help with the prioritising.
When the priorities are set, review what you have said you will deliver. Do your deliverables really matter to staff and to the business? What value will be created? Revise your list until you are confident that you can achieve what’s on it and that you can clearly articulate what value you will be creating.
Once you have a clear set of deliverables, don’t hesitate, just do it.