(Intranets2011) "What Makes an Essential Intranet?" – James Robertson, Step Two Designs

In the final session of Intranets2011, James Robertson of Step Two Designs is presenting on “what makes an essential Intranet?” The room is almost full – for two reasons: (1) it’s the final keynote of the conference by the conference chair, and (2) at the conclusion of his keynote, he’s doing the draw for an iPad 2.

Key points:
– Don’t make the focus too low – to make things “easier,” rather than making things “great.”
– James polled the audience about current state of the Intranet: lots of red (“terrible”), lots of orange (“ok”), and some greens (“great”). Greens were about 10%.
– Key #1 – getting to an Intranet that’s essential (“absolutely necessary,” “indispensable”).
– … “they underpin the day-to-day work of staff; support core business and service delivery.”
– … You have to ask “Why?” – Why have an intranet? What are the business benefits it will deliver?
– … What are some of the critical things on an “essential Intranet?”
– … (1) Enhance collaboration – eg., Sabre on finding answers to questions faster.
– … (2) Provide trusted information
– … (3) Share knowledge
– … (4) Increase staff productivity
– … (5) Support culture and staff development – eg., Fiat’s intranet helped turning around the entire company. Used the intranet to emphasize the new cultural elements.
– … (6) Enhance service delivery
– … (7) Foster innovation – an ideation system, that’s focused on problems to resolve. They had a clear objective.
– … (8) Streamline business processes – focus on front-line business processes, not just making administrative tasks going faster.

– What should you do now?
– … Spend time with operational, field, and frontline staff. Seek out pain points and opportunities.
– … Foster the right conversations. Get the right people in the room, and explain the right topics.
– … Build your IT and development capability.
– … Deliver 100% solutions. Ensure the full business benefits are delivered.

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