You are about to launch your intranet site and you ask yourself “Have I forgotten anything?

Ensure that you are ready for launch with this simple checklist.

Engage Users

Intranet naming competition

Get the whole organization involved with an intranet naming competition. This is a fun, informal way to get users involved with the intranet prior to launch.

You want to motivate employees to get involved, so some sort of prize on offer is a great idea. The prize for the winning suggestion usually depends on the size and culture of the organization. I’ve seen everything from a fully paid holiday to fancy dinners. The key here is to create a buzz and excitement about the intranet. You know your organization, so choose a prize that you think will most motivate employees to get involved. Do not underestimate the power of recognition. A great way to put this into action is by acknowledging the winner in the next company newsletter, along with the winning suggestion.

Assemble a group of "intranet champions"

Gaining acceptance and buy-in from key stakeholders and all staff is essential. Combat this challenge by putting together a group of intranet champions. These are the people who put up their hand and want to be involved in the intranet project. They trust and believe in the new intranet and are happy to tell everyone else how great it will be! Support and encourage your intranet champions, and you will be rewarded with a highly anticipated intranet launch.

Countdown until launch day

Build anticipation and awareness of the new intranet by creating a countdown until launch day. Do you have a current intranet? Implement a ticker that tells staff how many days until launch. Alternatively, use current media like email, newsletters and posters to keep users up to date with the anticipated intranet launch.

Have a launch party

Most organizations don’t need an excuse to have a party, so why not have one for the launch of the new intranet? This can be anything from a launch morning tea, to a fully catered evening event. Again, the goal here is to create a positive association with the new intranet.

This is also a great time for the CEO to reiterate the pain points of the current methods and present the new intranet as a key business tool and solution. Reinforce user engagement by posting the photos of the launch party on the new intranet.

Goals and Objectives

Review your intranet road map

Just like a street map, your intranet road map will show you exactly where you need to go to reach your destination. In this case, your destination is a successful intranet!

This is a good time to review the objectives that have been set for Phase 1. Have these objectives been met?

The importance of feedback

Once the intranet has been launched, what are the goals for the next six months? 12 months? An essential element in setting goals is user feedback. Re-interview key stakeholders after launch to gauge feedback. Has the intranet met expectations? What can be improved?

You may also want to introduce a suggestion box onto the intranet. This is where all users can have the opportunity to post their feedback. It is also a good way to find out what else users want to see on the intranet. Use this information to engage the whole organization, by creating an intranet wish-list. Create a quick poll with the wish list suggestions and have users vote on what they would most like to see implemented on the intranet.

Again, this will ensure that users remain engaged after the launch and make certain that your intranet is constantly changing in line with company objectives.

Content is Important

Have I missed any content?

Assemble the content managers prior to launch and refer back to your migration plan. The point of this exercise is to ensure that all of the content has been added to the intranet. Remember, content should be easy to locate, relevant and always kept up to date.

Don’t forget the spell check!

Check over every page of the intranet for spelling/grammatical errors and broken links. Users need to be assured that all of the information they require to perform their job can now be found on the intranet.

Think About the Future

With organizations constantly changing, it's essential to review your intranet site periodically after launch day. An intranet is a work in progress, so consistent reviews will ensure that your intranet is progressing and consistently meeting new objectives that have been set.

By adopting some of these “must haves” as part of your intranet launch plan, you will ensure that you have a great start for a dynamic and successful intranet.

Editor's Note: This is the first article for CMSWire by Krystle. To read more about intranets, you may be interested in the following by Andrew Wright:

-- If Your Intranet Offers the Right Value Employees Will Use It