I’ve never been to an intranet conference before, but I was curious.
I was curious to see what overlaps there would be with my expertise: employee engagement and culture change. In my time I’ve heard my fair share of the frustrations about intranets and other digital tools, so I was interested to see if intranet practitioners had the same problems.
The talks and case studies revealed some clear trends:
- Good, bad and ugly technology is available, and there is business in making the ugly bad and the bad better.
- Identifying clear business requirements = more support; meeting clear business requirements = more money and freedom.
- Intranet governance and risk management is rarely overt. Control often sits in areas ill-equipped to understand requirements.
On further consideration, however, something struck me: The recipe for success for intranet development and adoption was to consider the content and process of the intranet independently:
- Content: The user and business requirements, user stories and success criteria (and the stuff that gets published on the intranet once developed).
- Process: The way in which the requirements, user stories and success criteria are identified (and the way in which people will use the intranet once developed).
The best case studies and practices from the conference told stories of great, user-focused consultation processes being used to develop the right content and the right implementation approaches. In simple terms: high-quality stakeholder consultation led to successful intranets.
This brought me back to my own experience in culture change and employee feedback – the same recipe for success applies. Attention on process always ensures great content. And whenever any effort is made to improve things for people at work – including intranets and digital workspaces – clear and inclusive approaches lead to far better results.