May 19, 2014

In my presentation at a Social Intranet seminar I asked the participants to share their experiences in deploying and implementing your intranet. The following is a summary of the hints they shared on how to motivate users and carry through a successful intranet project.

Motivating intranet use is a challenge

The most challenging issues in intranet deployment are often motivating its use, tackling resistance to change and indifference, and motivating the content creators. Many organizations grapple with making the intranet feel like a familiar tool and, for example, make use of the intranet’s workspaces.

Seminar participants had addressed these issues within their organizations by doing the following:

  • Moving all information to the intranet
  • Bringing out the benefits of the intranet
  • Making the intranet more useful, more needed and more interesting
  • Committing management to support the use and development of the intranet
  • Dialogue with those resisting the change
  • Boosting interest in the intranet through competitions
  • Inspiring and encouraging content creators
  • Training trainers
  • Launching the intranet first to internal “change agents”, such as university lecturers who can forward the message to their students
  • Not sending the same information or news by email
  • Organizing flash events showing the use of the intranet in practice and workshops where participants can try it hands-on
  • Publishing an intranet Q&A column on the intranet
  • Supporting individuals personally
  • Launching the intranet in four countries in five languages simultaneously
  • Carefully polishing the service to be ready for use and publishing

A successful intranet project boosts future intranet success

Seminar participants said that the ways how the intranet project is carried out and managed are important for the success of the intranet implementation.

The success of an intranet project hinges on:

  • Sufficient resourcing in relation to the scope of the project – securing sufficient resources or matching the project scope to available resources
  • Money. And increasing the understanding that solutions may be expensive
  • Ensuring those responsible have enough steam for promotion
  • Dividing the project into manageable sub-parts
  • Keeping the size of the project group small enough
  • Carefully documenting what was decided, who is responsible for what, schedules
  • User surveys and design from a user-oriented point of view
  • Experimenting with an incomplete solution boldly. Discarding bad ideas and further developing good ones