Should your intranet deployment really take 1.2 years to complete? Our Product Evangelist and Microsoft MVP Vlad Catrinescu says no! Read on to find out his top three tips for speeding up the installation of your next intranet.
When the time comes to update an intranet, most people are scared. Why? Because anyone who’s ever worked on an intranet project knows it’s not an easy task. The project almost always begins with IT optimistically saying, “this time we’ll do it faster than before”. But then they find themselves, two years down the line thinking, “what went wrong?”.
Historically, deploying an intranet did take time. According stats by Nielson Norman, it used take up to 3.6 years to complete. Fortunately, with the introduction of cloud tech, and the need for tools to be implemented faster, it has dropped dramatically to 1.2 years. But, says Vlad, this is still too much time to take to build an intranet.
Now, we’re not saying that you should implement an intranet within a week, even though you could with our technology. We also know that it’s optimistic to think you can install an intranet within a month, which is also possible with our solutions. But what we are saying is that it really shouldn’t take more than a year for users to start using the first version of your latest intranet.
Is an intranet ever finished?
We believe that an intranet is an on-going project. It’s something you should continue to work on, iterating and refining along the way.
Gone are the days when you place 10 people in a conference room, do workshops, do the designs and then hire an army of developers to start coding all the custom requirements before launching and forgetting all about it for the next three years.
Technology has changed. Most organizations are in the cloud, and with technology continually advancing, with new features being introduced daily, our expectations and ways of working need to change too.
Our customers, the end users, have new needs, especially in the post-Covid era when they’re still working remotely, and we can no longer tell them they’ll have to wait until the next intranet project begins in three years before we can help them.
So, how can you deploy an intranet faster?
Vlad shares his top three tips..
1. Don’t start from scratch
Every intranet is unique, yet every intranet is 80 percent the same. Every intranet will have a way to share news. To share events. Have a navigation to showcase people. Every large organization’s intranet will have a stock ticker on their homepage. They’ll have the weather. Most of them will have birthdays. And lunch menu too. Why would you choose to custom code all of these?
There are many pre-built solutions out there, including ours, that can give you 80 percent of the features you’re looking for out of the box, leaving you to configure and customise the remaining 20 percent.
That final 20 percent is where you’ll add the most value to your intranet as a digital workplace tool. Our advice is, instead of hiring a bunch of developers to build 100 percent of your new intranet solution, get them to focus on the 20 percent of the features that aren’t available in the in-a-box products like ours.
There are many reports out there that weigh up the pros and cons of each in-a-box intranet solution. We’d recommend you take a look at ClearBox Consulting’s annual survey of SharePoint intranets. They review over 30 intranet in a box solutions available on top of SharePoint. Valo is included and was awarded “Intranet Choice – Europe 2020” and “Intranet Choice – North America 2020”.
2. Take a phased approach
An intranet is a journey, not a destination. You do not have to have 100 percent of the features ready in phase one. Use phase one for a quick delivery. Make sure your branding is there. Make sure you can have all of your quick wins there.
Our top tip is to find the biggest pain points in your previous intranet and solve them in the first phase. Then use the next stages to actually evolve your intranet.
I really love a phased approach where you have a rapid deployment and then innovate on top of it afterwards.
3. Find your champions
Finally, find people who are motivated by technology, and want to help build a better workplace, to be your intranet champions. There’s a modern breed of colleagues who not only want to make the company better – they often have a bunch of ideas on how you can leverage your technology to help everyone achieve a better work-life experience.
The people will be the greatest idea generators you’ll have. Don’t only look at department managers. Cast your net wider and to the younger generation who are digital natives for ideas. Find the champions who are motivated by technology and the desire to make your company better.
Earlier in the year our Product Lead and Microsoft MVP Sébastien Levert shared his top tips on everything you need to know about launching an intranet quickly. From information architecture to governance and branding… he’s covered it all!
If you want to know why we’ve been named ClearBox Consulting’s ‘Intranet Choice’ for several years in a row, take a look at how Valo Intranet enhances basic SharePoint.
Still need convincing? Book a demo today and find out why so many people have fallen in love with our technology!