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The Intranet Gets Serious: If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It (Part 4)

The Intranet Gets Serious: If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It (Part 4)

Intranets don’t self-organize. With out deliberate, centralized data architectures and clearly outlined printed processes, they grow to be unproductive.

Intranets typically have purposes that don’t work correctly, are too troublesome to be taught, or don’t have any clear enterprise profit. Functions, like content material, should have the ability to set up a transparent return on funding.

IBM used to have some 7,000 intranets.

Yearly, IBM surveys workers to search out out the place they get the data they should do their jobs. Traditionally, the number-one supply has been colleagues. When the intranet arrived within the mid-90s, it went to the underside of the listing of sources for data.

Grey field model 1: Textual content + Button

When IBM had 7,000 intranets, it was onerous to search out something. And plenty of content material was old-fashioned.

Then IBM went to a single intranet structure and launched rather more formal publishing management. The next 12 months’s survey discovered workers score the intranet as staff’ number-one supply.

What’s the intranet’s killer app? It is the workers listing. And what’s the number-one drawback with the workers listing? It is old-fashioned. What is the level of getting a workers listing software if its content material is unsuitable?

We have to get away from information administration pondering. We have to begin pondering like publishers. Publishers are targeted on getting the best content material to the best individual on the proper time on the proper price. Publishers preserve workers directories updated.

Be very cautious of personalization. I do know it might be a extremely thrilling factor to implement. However how about ensuring that your workers listing, in addition to all of your different content material, is right first.

Take a “crawl, stroll, run” strategy.

White offset field model 3: Picture solely

Whereas many intranets have certainly improved during the last 5 years, there may be nonetheless one space the place little or no progress has been made: measurement of the return on funding (ROI). In response to a research printed in November 2003 by Prescient Digital, intranet ROI stays guesswork at most organizations.

In a report titled “Ten finest intranets of 2003,” Jakob Nielsen writes, “There continues to be a paucity of detailed usability metrics for intranets. Most groups deal with doing a great job, not on justifying their existence.”

There may be an previous saying in administration: When you can’t measure it, you’ll be able to’t handle it. The typical intranet will not be being measured. Due to this fact, it’s not being professionally managed. Some folks don’t know what number of pages they’ve on their intranet. Some don’t even know what number of intranets they’ve.

This advert hoc strategy to intranet administration will not be acceptable. As increasingly more senior managers do get engaged, they begin asking more durable questions concerning the worth of the intranet. When you’re managing an intranet at this time, it’s good to develop ROI fashions.

Ask your self this query: In case your intranet had been shut down tomorrow, would your group grow to be much less productive, or wouldn’t it grow to be extra productive?

Reaching finest apply can be a sluggish course of. That’s okay. It should require a five-year plan, not a sequence of 3-6 month tactical initiatives. The intranet adjustments how a corporation communicates. That’s an enormous change.

As Tetra Pak and others have discovered (see Part 3), profitable intranet administration begins with profitable folks administration.

A version of this post was first published at
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