1. Blow up your old intranet. It probably has become a document dumping group. (I think of it as a roach motel. Documents go in, but they never come out.)
2. Turn Users into Authors. Turn readers into writers. Let people edit documents. Put a big “EDIT” button on each page. Seek information and knowledge. Graymont, a mining company, pushes intranet editing out to everyone, including blue collar workers. The truck drivers have access to and can edit the intranet.
3. Expose the Social Context of the Content. You need to see who created the information, who edited and who commented. Then also what other information they have created and who they report to. (More important as the size of the company grows.) A particular point of information source is the employee directory. There you can aggregate the reporting structure, background and other information creation.
4. Make Things Findable. If they can’t find stuff then the intranet is a failure (An intranet is all about supplying information to the enterprise.) Provide multiple ways to find. Search by words, browse, tags. Chris also mentioned a “work-stream”: a time based view of changes to the intranet. This is a bit more serendipitous. Show recent changes.
5. Add Signals. When something changes, you should signal those who are interested in it. An email notice or an RSS feed accomplish this goal. The key result of signal is that it turns the intranet into a communications platform.
6. Provide Scaffolding. When you do a physical building project, you put up scaffolding then pull it off when the building is father along. It is easier to edit than to create. It is easier to copy than to create. Do not present people with a blank page. Set an initial structure for the intranet like the top level. For example: people, offices, projects. Chris recommended a card-sorting execrise as a way to determine the initial structure. Chris recommended getting an information architect. He also suggested OptimalSort.com as a tool for card-sorting.
7. Hold a Barnraising. A way to create an initial block of good content. Migrate exisitng content or create new content. Get a bunch a people into a room. Set up a page for each employee in the company.
8. Make Them Use It Once. Most people are intimidated by learning something new. peopel need to try it once to see how easy it is to use. Get people in a room with a short training exercise. A great first step is having everyone add some information to their employee page. Then have them comment on a page and have them create a page.
9. Lead By Example. The more senior people ou get involved the more likely the intranet will be successful. CEO comments and pages tend to be the most popular. The CEO’s blog will be the most read blog.
10. Get the Intranet “in the flow.” Most intranets store the artifact of information instead of the acting as the agent to create the information. You can also hijack the flow. Grab an email and have it published onto the intranet (respecting security of course).
- one transfer step
- all employees have access
- all employees can contribute
- available anywhere
- available at anytime
- indexes every word
- users contribute in their native language
Bob proposed this in the 1980’s (before the internet and intranets).
For a large company, the intranet should be rolled out in smaller groups. If the company is 200 or smaller, then roll it our across the entire organization. You take lessons from smaller groups and apply them up to the larger organization.
Chris thinks the “Turning Users into Authors” is the most important. Most companies do not succeed in “getting the intranet in the flow.” Can your company operate without the intranet? Would anyone notice if the intranet went down?
There is a repeat of this webinar on Thursday December 11 at 1pm PST: Intranet 2.0 in 10 Not-So-Easy-Steps.