SharePoint for Intranet – 6 Reasons Why your Intranet can Improve Organization Efficiency

You know the benefits of an intranet.

You know that they are an indispensable business tool

You know the huge benefits that they can bring to an organisation.

But in case you forgot, I have but together some reasons why an Intranet on Office 365 SharePoint Online will help any organiaton succeed faster. Continue reading “SharePoint for Intranet – 6 Reasons Why your Intranet can Improve Organization Efficiency”

What is in an Intranet?

Intranets long ago shed their reputation as a mere document repository. Instead, they now satisfy employees craving for a centralized communication tool that offers both an information portal and ways to collaborate with others at your company.

Today’s intranet is a virtual location that conveys corporate culture as well as offers employee news and services. Your company may already have virtual water coolers that offer slick, polished internal services to some workers, but don’t forget where your intranet fits within your larger digital workplace. Continue reading “What is in an Intranet?”

SharePoint and Intranets need Quick, Iterative, Development, Period.

This just confirms the approach I have been using or the last decade when it comes to Intranet designs.  AGILE, Iterative, and Quick to add Value.

Quick, Iterative, Development

Intranet teams continue to be nimble. The average time spent creating a new intranet was just 1.4 years, staying on par with timeframes from the previous 3 years’ winners. For some organizations, it is difficult to even calculate the time for  their current intranet designs, as they were part of longer-term iterative planning and development processes.

A switch to faster development strategies (such as Agile) for intranets contributes to these shorter times, as does the continual improvement of intranet platforms and tools that can help teams create solidly designed sites more quickly than ever before.

Since 2001, intranet teams have spent an average of three years (36 months) creating their winning designs. But more recently, for 4 years straight, winning intranet teams have spent less than 1.5 years creating their sites; this year’s average is 1.4 years, or 17.3 months. 

Looking at the long-term changes across the 18 years represented in the above chart makes it seem that we’ve come full circle: In 2017 we’re back where we started in 2001, after a detour with slower intranet projects around the period 2005–2012. However, our assessment is that we’re not exactly back where we started: the quick projects in 2001 were mainly due to very limited investments in intranets at the time, whereas now the quick projects are more due to better-funded projects with teams who are (by now) more skilled in doing intranet work. (No shame that the folks back in 2001 didn’t have as much experience: the world was new.)

10 Best Intranets of 2017

by Kara Pernice, Amy Schade, and Patty Caya on January 7, 2017

 

Intranet Content – How To’s

This type of content describes how to perform different business tasks within an organization. Examples include how to process a sales order, invoice a customer, identify new customers and order a new laptop.

Most intranets are a collection of Web pages, policies and procedures. New organizations create this type of content as they identify and create new tasks. For existing organizations, employees can update and change this content as the company introduces new processes, systems, practices, innovations, ideas, products and services.

Potentially, all staff can create this content. The value of this type of content is that it “de-skills” many tasks, and spreads knowledge throughout the organization. This makes it less expensive and more efficient for organizations to operate, as employees are able to complete more tasks quickly and consistently.

I created a publishing site in SharePoint where we set up all How To Documents for Call Center group.  I reduced the amount of paper used in the center by 90%, and sped up the time needed to find the correct information by 65%.

Look at any email, paper, or communication that explains how to do something within a business and put it on the Intranet.  It can be updated regularly, found by search and will make employees happy.

 

2017 – My year of The Intranet

This is the year of the Intranet. The year that the Intranet is the place where employees get stuff done.  A place where Employees go to find information.  Microsoft’s Office 365 offers Organizations a way to significantly change the Enterprises Home Page. 

The Intranet’s primary responsibility is distributing information.  In today’s worker environment, many terabytes of information are created and stored for an employee to find, digest, and use during their day at work.  Company new, events, policies and procedures plus a whole host of other information can be hosted on an Enterprise Intranet.  Search utilizes the index of all this information so that workers can find needed information quickly.  The Home Page should also deliver the most relevant information to the employee when they need it. 

The Intranet’s secondary responsibility is collaboration between workers.  Office 365 also comes with a host of Collaboration tools that make working together easier.  Microsoft Planner, Teams, and Outlook Groups all play a part in collaborative work.  Microsoft allows the worker to choose what tool will work best in the situation. 

Executing a SaaS-Based Intranet Project – There are four areas that an Enterprise Intranet delivers to employees. 

  1. Content and Communication
  2. Tasks and Tools
  3. Social Engagement
  4. Collaboration. 

In the coming posts, I will look at all the tools that Microsoft Office 365 Offers and how to best use them and how they fit into these four areas.  

Brad R. Holt works with enterprise organizations to better use Office 365 Services to enable better decision and collaboration around the world.  To see what Brad Holt is working on, Check out www.Level5PMO.com  and www.bradrholt.com.

Intranet Portal Mistake #8: Designing the intranet in an IT ivory tower

ivorytower

It’s been said before but it’s worth repeating: Involve and engage your users throughout this project.

There’s no way you can begin to understand the practical concerns of everyday life for every single department in the company, nor are you expected to. The intranet should serve the entire community, so involve them from the very beginning.

An intranet team comprised of power users from every department will yield a robust system that works for all departments, not just a few.

Or, put another way, ask yourself, “If the HR department designed the intranet for the entire company, will it match how IT works and thinks?”

O365 – Information Governance – Part 3

Knowing Who Makes Which Decisions

At the core of your governance plan is the need to decide who can make decisions within your SharePoint implementation. A myriad of configuration settings are available for manipulation at four basic levels: farm, Web application, site collection, and site. Generally speaking, SharePoint farm administrators will manage the options at the farm and Web application levels, whereas power users with advanced training will manage the options at the site collection level. Nearly everyone in your organization who is involved with content creation or management will manage configuration values at the site level.

Your governance plan needs to specify which people and positions will be able to make decisions and commit changes at each of these four levels. Planning this out before you deploy SharePoint Server 2010 is the optimal method of ensuring success for your SharePoint deployment.

O365 – Information Governance – Part 2

Knowing How Information Is to Be Handled

In most organizations, there are different kinds of information with different security levels. For example, payroll information is often highly secured, whereas public Web site information is generally less secured.

When users are developing information within SharePoint, they cannot be assumed to know how their information should be managed. For many, the prospect of managing and securing their information is a new task; in the absence of direction, they’re bound to violate some unwritten rule or expectation. Best practice is to have an organization wide information architecture from which document-type definitions can be described and then implemented in SharePoint.

O365 – Information Governance – Part 1

Knowing Where to Put Information

You cannot assume that users will know where their information should be hosted in your SharePoint environment. Without communicating a corporate-wide set of expectations about where information goes in SharePoint, users will be left to make the decision on their own and you’ll find that each one will have a different idea as to where their own information should reside.

If your organization can’t bring itself to make core governance decisions, then conflict is bound to erupt based on the lack of direction for your SharePoint deployment. Because users will decide where their information goes, they will necessarily end up negotiating where they will collaborate within SharePoint.

Someone in your organization needs to make some high-level decisions about where information will go and who will manage it. These decisions need to be communicated and then enforced if you plan on avoiding conflict surrounding where information goes in SharePoint.

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