The previous article, 50 Ways to a Better Intranet, listed 20 ways an intranet can be improved in the areas of finding information, completing work tasks, interactivity and improving intranet performance. This article provides 30 more ideas for a better intranet in the areas of content, maintenance (governance) and look and feel.
All of the information is based on case studies from the Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC), a free web-based intranet benchmarking service.
The following table lists tasks that can improve the way your intranet delivers content.
|21. Update staff details||Run a campaign to get staff to update their own details (if your intranet allows this). Otherwise update as many details as possible from your enterprise resource management system. |
• 14 Tips for Intranet Employee Profiles
• Putting people at the centre: social staff directories
|22. Develop a process for publishing news||Develop a process for ensuring news items are published regularly and contain quality content that is interesting to most staff. |
• Does news add any value to an intranet?
• 5 Tips To Create a Successful Intranet: Part Three -- Front Page News
|23. Analyze news effectiveness||Analyze the effectiveness of your current new publishing process. Which articles are popular? What headlines get the best response? Which authors are most popular? Modify your publishing process based on this feedback. |
• 6 ways to measure effectiveness of news on your intranet
• Should there be news on the front page of the intranet?
|24. Provide external news feeds||Consider providing external news feeds to news items relevant to the organization. This could include a Twitter feed, news about your company name, key customers or industry.|
|25. Provide online forms||Identify key tasks (based on discussions with end-users) and convert them into online forms complete with workflow. |
• Intranets should be task-oriented
• Where to get your task list from
|26. Provide templates||Identify templates required by the organization and ensure these are all located in one place. Use meta tagging and a contextual integration approach to enable templates to be accessed from more than one location. This could include common email templates or letters.|
|27. Create a repository of re-usable documents||A repository of reusable documents could include things like business cases, proposals, project plans and presentations. This will help staff avoid reinventing the wheel when they need to create a similar document. |
• 9 intranet content types that add value to your organisation
|28. Create a library of policies and procedures||Create a single location for all organizational policies and procedures.|
|29. Provide information about your products/ services||Create a list or database containing information about your organization’s products/services. This could include information about who to contact for more information. |
• Discovery Health staff say their intranet is the best
|30. Provide information about your customers||Create a list containing information about your organization’s customers. This could include information such as the history of the customer, latest news, key customer contacts and who to contact for more information.|
|31. Provide reports/ dashboard information||Identify key performance information and determine the most effective way to provide this information. It may be possible to provide real-time online performance data via a dashboard.|
|32. Provide online training||Identify key training subjects and provide online subject matter. Consider using videos and other inexpensive multimedia types.|
|33. Provide access to business applications||Provide a list of links to key applications used within the organization. Identify who the relevant audience is for each application. Also consider integrating applications into the intranet so that data can either be viewed or updated using an intranet interface.|
|34. Provide access to websites||Provide a list of relevant external websites.|
|35. Provide a calendar||Provide a calendar of enterprise-wide events or a team calendar. Ensure there is a process for keeping events up-to-date.|
|36. Information for new starters||Create a section that provides all the information needed for a new starter, including forms, tasks and key contacts.|
The following table lists tasks that will improve intranet maintenance.
|37. Create an intranet governance committee|| |
Create a committee consisting of representatives of the business that meet on a regular basis to decide and develop intranet strategy.
|38. Establish regular communication with the business||Organize regular meetings with key business leaders to understand their intranet requirements. Ensure you have identified an executive who has a sufficient budget to enable your intranet to fulfill its potential. Educate this sponsor about the benefits of having an effective intranet.|
|39. Set up a content review process||Create a process for ensuring all intranet content is reviewed regularly and in a timely manner. This will help ensure content is kept up-to-date.|
|40. Set up an intranet continuous improvement process||Create a process that allows all staff to suggest changes and improvements to the intranet. This process could be implemented using the intranet itself.|
|41. Set up a change notification process||Create a process that enables relevant staff to be notified of any changes to the intranet. The process may involve the use of alerts, emails or RSS feeds.|
|42. Develop and provide training on how to use the intranet||Create a training course for how to make the most of your intranet. This could include online or instructor led training. |
• The importance of training staff in the use of the intranet
• Training intranet editors: What works?
|43. Create a community for intranet authors||Develop an online community on the intranet to allow intranet authors to collaborate, and share tips and tricks. Facilitate regular meetings between authors.|
|44. Develop an intranet action plan||Develop a plan for implementing one or more of the items in this list and the previous article over the coming 6 to 24 months.|
Look & Feel
The following table lists tasks that can improve the look and feel of your intranet.
|45. Redesign the home page||Redesign the home page so that it provides targeted, relevant information -- less news and more task-based content (e.g., access to forms and applications, popular documents, discussion updates). |
• 30+ intranet home page examples
• Seven roles of the intranet homepage
• Scrolling and Attention
|46. Redesign the entire intranet||Apply usability principles to give the intranet a new look. |
• 10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies
• 20 Websites to Help You Master User Interface Design
|47. Re-write key content||Rewrite important content so that it uses plain English and is written for the web -- not just a Word document converted to HTML. |
• Plain English for corporate intranet content
|48. Develop templates for content types||Identify the types of content that comprise your intranet and develop templates for each of these types. For example, processes, tasks and department descriptions may each have a page template. This will help ensure consistency.|
|49. Provide personalization functions||Allow staff to customize the intranet to list information that is relevant to them. |
• Personalisation vs segmentation
• Discovery Health staff say their intranet is the best
|50. Provide targeted information||Deliver content based on a person’s profile (e.g., role or department). This will make the intranet more relevant. |
• 10 Worst practices for intranets for an example of targeted content
• Intranet Innovations 2010: key themes from this year’s awards
Two Bonus Tasks
Other tasks that will help you deliver a better intranet.
|51. Benchmark your intranet||Register for the Worldwide Intranet Challenge and benchmark your intranet. This will enable you to identify specific aspects of your intranet that are performing well and those that need improvement. There is no cost to participate.|
|52. Attend an intranet improvement workshop||Attend a Designing Successful Intranets workshop and learn more about leading intranet practices. Available in North American and Australia/New Zealand.|
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