How to avoid some of the common intranet mistakes
A great way to improve through experience is to learn from the mistakes of others. The best way is to learn from your own successes.
Our experience in developing and implementing intranet solutions has exposed us to a number of mistakes, many committed by others and, I must admit, a few by us. Along the way, We’ve also enjoyed a number of successes.
Mistake #1: Don’t Talk to Users
“I’m afraid of what they might say”
Mistake #2: Don’t Build a Plan but do try to boil the Ocean
Some organizations try to implement everything at once without a solid plan to guide their priorities.
Mistake #3: Ignore the KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) Rule
This can never be stated enough, yet time and time again we see organizations trying to “customize” their intranet because they feel they are “different”.
Mistake #4: Write for the printed page, not the Web
Quite simply, users read the web differently than they do paper documents. Notice how this article, for example, is written in easily scannable chunks.
Mistake #5: Don’t Provide Training
Everyone, from authors and users to administrators and IT staff need to be trained on how to use the software, write for the web, administer users, etc.
Mistake #6: Launch Your Site without Marketing It
“If you build it, they may not come”. Not only does marketing your site help garner greater traffic, it also allows for better buy-in from your users.
Mistake #7: Fail to Build a Governance Model
Who owns the intranet? When asked this question, organizations often resemble the monkeys who “hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil”.
Mistake #8: Only Look Internally for Best Practices
As we said in the opening, the best way to learn is from your own successes. If your organization has a strong track record of successfully deploying intranets, then all the answers you need will be found internally.
Mistake #9: Move Ahead Without Senior Level Backing
As with any project, if a new intranet is not fully endorsed by senior management, it will be more difficult to achieve success. Senior management must “get it”.
Mistake #10: Treat the Intranet like an Event, Not a Process
Many intranets have not been updated since launch.
(we couldn't improve on Carmine's pros)
by Carmine Porco