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A multi-disciplinary approach is needed when establishing an intranet team. Due to the diverse range of responsibilities, a large number of skills are required. This briefing outlines the major roles in an intranet team.
Every intranet, no matter how small, needs a full-time intranet manager who’s job it is to keep everything running. They don’t actually create web pages, but instead chase up issues, track jobs and generally keep everyone happy.
The creator of the web pages that make up the intranet. If the intranet is published manually (not using a CMS), this role is particularly important.
While this role may not need to be a permanent or full-time one, the intranet will need the services of a professional graphic artist.
Even if the majority of programming is handled by the IT department, there will always be the need to develop and maintain small web-based applications and features.
The key way of ensuring an effective intranet is usability testing, conducted by a specialist. This is valuable not just when initially establishing the intranet, but when developing further web-based applications.
An information architect is responsible for ensuring the overall structure of the intranet meets staff needs. This involves applying a range of design and testing techniques drawn from the field of information architecture.
High-quality content is the foundation for a successful intranet, and specialist technical writers have the skills required to achieve this.
Subject matter expert
In a centralised intranet team, there are roles for staff with extensive knowledge of the business and business processes, to work with the technical writers.
Creating indexes and other metadata is made much easier if the initial setup work is done by a professional indexer. Once this has been done, you may only need an indexing role
The role of many intranets is to disseminate company news, and an internal journalist is very effective at sourcing and bring together key information.
This is the role that develops the communication plan, and manages the overall promotion of the intranet.
In dealing with so many areas of the organisation, the intranet team is often looked to solve business problems. A business analyst gathers requirements, and develops appropriate solutions.
- Depending on the size of the organisation, one intranet team member may fill several roles. The roles of usability specialist and information architecture are often fulfilled by the one team member, for example.
- Conversely, a large intranet will likely need several of the one role, such as technical writers or web designers.
- The roles may be filled by permanent team members, or drawn from the rest of the organisation (or
externally) as required.
- Even if a decentralised authoring model is being followed, there is still a need for a central intranet team with these roles. This team then acts in an ‘oversight’ or ‘quality control’ role and also manages global issues and projects.