James Robertson: Intranet Development

September 12, 2008

According to James Robertson, these are typical development phases for intranets (notes from talk at BBC, 11.9.08):

  1. Being born
  2. Growing organically, i.e. creating a repository of documents and other content in a rather unstructured way (some common features: outdated content, incosnistent navigation, supported by poor technology, no effective search feature, team too small, no users)
  3. Repeated redesigns; similar problems as phase 2. Although number of users increase after relaunch(s), it bounces quickly back to pre-redesign level
  4. User-centred design; Designing with and for users. Good starting point, but struggles behind the scenes continue … “Successful design teams spend approx. 30% time of teh project with their users.
  5. Becoming Useful and not only Usable! The turning point of intranets. People only use applications if they have a benefit from using it
  6. Intranet as a business tool (the ultimate goal!); Intranet is not ionly useful for its users but increases business.

Some other thoughts:

    The Four Key Purposes of an Intranet

  1. Content (repository of stuff)
  2. Communication Channel
  3. Collaboration
  4. Activity (“Seamless environment for staff to get something done”)

Insight: 90-95% of staff will not personalize their homepage

In order top determin whether the collaboration approach makes sense or not, determine if there is a clear PURPOSE and a clear COMMUNITY

    Collaboration approach: there is not THE one-fits-all application; choose from

  • Wikis
  • Blogs
  • Discussion Group
  • Team space
  • Intant messaging
  • File storing
  • Mailing list
  • Intranet Pages

Insight: Do not confuse COLLABORATION and the PUBLISHING approach!

Link: Intranet Innovation Awards

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