An intranet is a must-have for any business with huge benefits for employees and managers, as well as improving productivity and reducing expenses. A company’s intranet should be unique, with the main focus on assisting employees and management to do their jobs more effectively & economically. Like any other project you must have a strategy and well designed Intranet Development Plan as per the guidelines set out below.
- Devise a strategy for a Intranet Development Plan
- Create your Intranet Development Plan
- Implement your Intranet Development Plan
- Promote the new intranet
- Increase productivity & reduce expenses
Devise a strategy
Start with formulating your strategy by determining exactly what your intranet must accomplish. Your main goal might be to distribute information to employees, where after you want to expand your intranet to facilitate all internal processes and create a paperless environment. This is easily done as adding modules (extra functions) to your intranet is achieved with minimum effort, in fact you should never stop improving your intranet, adding capability & functionality as the company grows and new processes & departments are created or added. Your Intranet Development Plan & intranet strategy should be broken into components, as each department within the company has its own unique objectives within the company’s universal objectives & goals, thus you will need to develop a strategy for each functional entity/division within the company by defining 2 or more core functions for each department.
Getting heads of department & senior managers to analyse the aspects of the intranet that benefit employees and managers, as well as finding improvements to employee productivity and cost reduction within the company is key to ensuring your intranet is a huge success! Herewith some examples of potential intranet uses:
- Company news, departmental newsletters, or any important notices from management
- Expense reports, employee handbooks & employee induction
- Operations policies and procedures manuals
- Client contracts & agreements
- All HR additions & amendments
- IT Support Desk trouble ticket submission and escalations
- White papers
- Training documentation and schedules for new employees
- Workflow process management
- Determining the purpose is crucial to developing an intranets strategy, thus improving the Intranet Development Plan.
Plan the intranet
When you create your Intranet Development Plan, you should prioritise your objectives as per your strategy phase. Components like employee training manuals, company news & notices should be at the top of your list as this creates vast exposure to your intranet among employees and are very quickly implemented with of the bat benefits.
You always need to include something in your plan from every major department so that information is available to all staff. The more interest you create, the more your employees will utilize the intranet, thus the more they benefit from it. You should approach your Intranet Development Plan like any other project e.g. Define your objectives, list your priorities, develop the tasks & responsibilities, list completion dates and ensure that the plan is communicated thoroughly to all employees and managers.
Implement your plan
You should implement your Intranet Development Plan in phases, ensuring you tend to your quality assurance. This will be a very visible process, so ensure it is perceived as a positive experience for all parties involved. Select key users in each functional area to help your team QA each part of the new application. Test for content accuracy, ease of navigation, and functionality. Your tests could help you expand the intranet’s benefits and make it more useful to employees.
I recommend adding new functions and content in layers so employees can begin accessing the company intranet quickly and see a continual growth of content and services. Just as with an Internet Web site, frequent updates lure visitors back.
Promote the new intranet
You will need to promote your intranet to all your employees, announcing all new updates and listing changes on the homepage, getting all managers and employees to use the intranet and get comfortable with it. This will not happen by itself, thus here is some creative ways to promote your new features to employees:
- List important information employees need to know on your homepage
- Post daily events
- Utilise your support features for employee participation
- Incur suggestion from employees
- Form habits with employees by using the intranet calendar
- Make sure that the CEO shows participation and backing
- Ensure that managers use the intranet to convey tasks and activities via the intranet
Increase productivity and reduce costs
An optimum Intranet Development Plan, increase productivity and reduce costs in many ways. Use it to eliminate production and distribution costs of company manuals, such as the following:
- Employee handbooks
- Managerial guides
- Operating policies and procedures
- Training manuals
Use it to reduce postage in distributing company information, such as the following:
- Company newsletters
- Expense reports
- Management reports (in a secured section)
- Scheduled company events
- Use it to save employees’ time by answering frequently asked questions:
- Create an IT Support Desk FAQ page that answers the “top 10” support questions.
- Create a quick reference FAQ page for each department’s employees.
- Create a company contact list for key issues and/or questions.
- Use it to provide employee training material online for quick reference, such as the following:
- Training class material
- Policies and procedures
In short, developing an in depth Intranet Development Plan will ensure huge benefits to your company, making your investment well worth the expense and effort.
Contact Intoweb to assist you with your Intranet Development Plan and other intranet related services and products.