1. I think intranet projects last forever! What I mean is that the intranet project begins the day it is launched – this is day 1. Everything that has gone before (requirements gathering, choosing and adapting the technology etc.) is just preparing for the start of the intranet project. I accept that I could be accused of being pedantic with the title of the post. Nonetheless thinking of an intranet as beginning on the day of launch changes peoples’ mindsets about what an intranet project actually is – and the level of long term commitment required to ensure its success.

    Your own 6*2 approach supports this way of thinking. At SmallWorlders we too have a similar approach. Whilst we constantly monitor intranet usage we carry out a major review every six months. This looks at usage patterns and user feedback (sometimes anecdotal, sometimes via user surveys) to create a strategic plan for the next six months that includes technical, design and usability improvements as well as content publishing and user engagement plans.

    I would go far as to say that this approach is vital to the on-going success of any intranet. We know from direct experience that if iterative technical improvements are not made then an intranet begins to go ‘stale’ after 3 years – so stale that only a “core intranet redesign” or even “major intranet redevelopment” can rescue it.

    • James Robertson

      Amen to that Kevin! I agree that having an ongoing plan of intranet improvement is much more important than any one-off project. I’d go so far as to say: don’t both redesigning the intranet if you don’t have ongoing resources for further improvement.

      That being said, intranet design and redesign projects are extremely common (which is why our next book, out in September, is on this topic). If we are going to do them, better to do them right…

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Published July 29, 2010

James Robertson
James Robertson is the Managing Director of Step Two, the global thought leaders on intranets, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. James is the author of the best-selling books Essential intranets, Designing intranets and What every intranet team should know. He has keynoted conferences around the globe. (Follow him on Twitter)