IT and marketing teams celebrating their Intranet implmentation
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The measurements of success for the persons or group responsible for acquiring, installing and maintaining your new modern intranet solution can be very different from stakeholders across the organization who may need it to support a variety of work-related tasks, or the business and operational leaders who are responsible for showing the value of the platform to the business.

An intranet’s success will also depend significantly on the type of industry you are in, and the size of the company you have. What is success for a construction company is going to be very different from success for a software vendor. Size is going to matter a lot here as well. Whether an intranet will serve 50 people who are on premise or serve a 50,000 person company with remote and dispersed employees, success is measured very differently. Of course, it’s important not to forget that success will be measured against the strategic business goals for your individual company as well.

Lastly, success across the company may be felt differently by different employees, depending on the generation of the user. Adoption and expectations for socially-enabled intranet solutions are different for Millennials, Gen Xer’s and Baby Boomers. The tools, functionality and user experience that a millennial deems critical for a quality intranet experience may be very different set of expectation than a Baby Boomer who may be more comfortable with a more traditional intranet solution.

How does each of these very different people and departments within a company measure success of an intranet installation? What does corp comms, department heads, IT professionals, HR reps, operational leaders, or rank-and-file employees want to see from their new intranet? And what results are each looking for to deem it a success in their eyes?

Corp Comms

In most organizations, marketing, or more specifically the corporate communications department (better known as corp comms,) is responsible for bringing in and managing the corporate intranet solution. These hard working marketers manage their intranet solution as a destination and a portal, and are primarily concerned with doing tasks like publishing and updating content, uploading images, and doing other general maintenance functions to run the intranet on a daily basis. These core stakeholders are focused on delivering and optimizing KPI metrics like homepage views, which articles were read on what topic, the number of articles read, and other types of core metrics that will help them show adoption and engagement across the organization.

Department Heads

Publishing and maintenance are not going to be nearly as important to the department head when it comes to showing utility and value from an intranet installation. These senior managers want to know if the solution enables employees to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. Can our employees find self-service information quickly and easily when they need to? Can our people connect with other employees outside of the home office? Can the system help support the overall company mission as established by senior management and can it help to bridge the gaps between different groups, departments and locations?

Human Resources

HR’s primary concern for success of an intranet is if the system helps support their own area and specialization. They want to make sure all the relevant HR documents can be found in a self-service environment, from health insurance, holidays, contact lists, to training videos and documents. A social-friendly intranet can also assist HR in onboarding new employees, giving them a common and unified experience that not only provides supporting information to new employees, but also helps them get familiar with the company’s values and goals.

Operations

Operational employees and leaders tend to have more of a team-based view of the intranet. These stakeholders can be challenged with multiple disparate systems they need to support, and want a more cohesive solution that will allow them to be more productive by reducing siloes. In terms of installation and a stepped-launch approach, they want to know if there is a documented project schedule with milestones that everyone can see and align to.

In general, they want to see customer success, and they want to get the job done, whatever that may mean for a particular business and its individual strategy and goals. For example, depending on their type of business or industry, ops may want to develop custom dashboards for their remote sales agents within the intranet.

IT

IT as a group, in most enterprises hopefully by now, has been working to move out of its traditional role as ‘lights-on’ support for some time. It’s no easy task for them to make that transition, so the prospect of moving old-school enterprise software stacks from in-house installations to an ‘as-a-service’ model means they would no longer need to maintain the servers from that old clunky internal solution. In many companies, IT organizations have become content publishers, typically due to the fact that there aren’t any user-friendly publishing tools in those old enterprise software solutions. In this situation, IT may be the only ones with the ability or permission to post content in a company.

A new UX-friendly, content/publisher-centric intranet solution can relieve IT professionals from having to be content publishers. They can use this opportunity to do more than just keep the ‘lights-on’ and become business partners who enable growth and success with smart technology solutions, not just spending their time and resources keeping infrastructure running and maintained.

Employees

Rank-and-file employees are the bread and butter of the intranet user world. After launch day, after the CMO was impressed with all the new features, after the internal releases announcing the solution went out, it’s up to the employees to actually use the solution and its employees who ultimately make it successful or not.

There are some basic rules that apply to intranets like many other types of user-centric digital products, but they are important to not forget or gloss over while you jump through all the other hurdles trying to execute and operationalize this new critical piece of company software.

Can they find the info they need, quickly and easily, to get their job done? Is the content they are seeing and engaging with relevant to them as people and employees, and is it updated and refreshed on a regular and consistent basis?

And don’t forget about search, its critical. Does the search work as it should when employees use it to find detailed and relevant information? Is the search index maintained and updated so that the most recent, or most relevant, information can be found first? Is the user experience consistent across all the sections of the intranet, and does it all feel like a single solution and environment? In the end, the employee is your toughest critic. The bar is much higher for findability from the employee’s point of view.

Related Article: Top 6 Reasons Employees Don't Use Your Intranet

Conclusion

Success is in the eye of the beholder, and ensuring you don’t get lost in the weeds setting up your new intranet solution is critical to delivering an experience that all your stakeholders will find valuable and enticing. Make sure your intranet is essential to your employee’s daily work. Keep it fresh with updated content and information. Make sure your employees are onboarded and trained on how to fully utilize the intranet. Lastly, it is paramount your intranet is a reflection of your company’s culture and personality.

Few pieces of enterprise software touch as many of a company’s employees as the intranet. Keeping your stakeholders feeling informed, engaged and productive is going to ensure you have their support and participation in this new social experiment.