You will face a lot of challenges if you are interested in intranet project management. Most intranet managers have prior expertise managing a specific field, such as a corporate information center, marketing, information technology, or publishing. They are quite familiar with one functional area. However, things get tricky when they find themselves in charge of a multi-faceted project that necessitates multi-disciplinary and leadership skills, as well as an awareness of other functional areas. The truth is that the managers are most concerned about the aspect of the project about which they know the least. For example, technology is the most concerning to non-programmers. In addition, if they are unfamiliar with the business unit, they will be concerned about what it does and its specific requirements.
If you are unfamiliar with the project's end-users or clients, you are concerned with whether they will enjoy, accept, and use the project's deliverables. We will almost certainly never have an expert understanding of all parts of a project as intranet project leaders. Rather, we must build and lead a strong team with the necessary experience to complete the task.
It differs from standard management responsibilities in that project teams are typically cross-departmental workgroups comprised of both technical and non-technical users, managers, information technologists, and, sometimes, project users. Project teams do not have traditional hierarchical command structures or permanent staffing patterns. Instead, team members are assigned to projects and given responsibilities. Team members frequently juggle many tasks in addition to their usual work. The project team exists just for the period of the project. After that, the team members return to their usual work duties.
As a result, it is not unusual in some businesses for the project manager to be chosen from among the team members. In some organizations, the intranet project manager is someone who has been specially trained in project management methodologies and whose primary job is to manage projects.
When it comes to developing a new intranet project, we are constantly asked where to begin. Because intranets are no longer a novel concept, you can quickly obtain all of the information you need and want to know about them online. However, the volume of information is unquestionably overwhelming. You need guidance when you are confronted with a sea of information and alternatives. Thus, we have prepared a complete guide for intranet project management.
Why do you need an intranet?
You should ask this question to your management team because getting them on board is critical, otherwise your intranet can turn into a ghost town for multiple reasons. For example:
Planning and executing an intranet, like any large company initiative, necessitates a significant commitment, both financially and in terms of time and resources. To execute the intranet project easily and successfully, you will need not only financial permission but also the attention and assistance of the senior management team.
They are also crucial in encouraging and engaging end-users. The senior management team is more concerned with the overall corporate objectives. As a result, one of their first inquiries will most likely be, "How can an intranet help to achieve the business objectives?"
What do you want to achieve with the intranet?
Setting goals allows you to have a clear expectation of what the intranet will help you achieve. This is the most effective strategy to ensure success and avoid creating an intranet that no one utilizes. Begin by establishing the overall goals of the organization. Ask yourself and your team; do you truly need an intranet portal as the best workplace collaboration tool?
After establishing the broad goals, it's time to look at what each department need. As indicated before, different teams within your business will face distinct issues. Consider how your network will address these issues.
You can collect this information by interviewing some of the leaders and end-users. If you already have an intranet, ask your employees what they like and dislike about it. The goal is to have a thorough grasp of your intranet's users and how the intranet may assist them in working more efficiently.
What features do you want to include in your intranet?
Every intranet feature should have a purpose; otherwise, you will fail to design an effective intranet; this is why you should answer the above question first. When evaluating the various intranet solutions available, it is easy to be swayed by trendy new features. As a result, you may find yourself adding features to your intranet that aren't necessary. In reality, most users will be distracted by these features. Thus, it will make your intranet more difficult to implement. By being focused on what you require and your intranet objectives, you will identify the features and functionality that your intranet must have.
What's worse than not having an intranet? Launching one that no one will utilize. To create an intranet that everyone enjoys using, you must first understand your end-users. Your analysis should address the end-user's demands as well as their workplace issues and barriers.
You should also be aware of their technological skill level, habits, and behavior. In addition, keep the mobile workforce in mind. Mobile workers have new means to communicate and cooperate, as well as new issues that differ from those faced by in-office teams. As a result, when establishing the intranet, make sure to keep them in mind.
An intranet should be the main focus for a productive workday. Is it true that everyone in your organization visits the intranet on a daily basis? Do they use it for collaboration, communication, or whatever other reason you have for having an intranet? Are individuals able to find what they are looking for? The success of your intranet is dependent on user acceptance.
You need to find out how to evaluate user experience and user adoption. In other words, "What are your intranet's critical metrics?" The participation rate, user satisfaction, engagement rate, and other metrics are vital for measuring the performance of your intranet. Make a plan for how you will track these indicators.
Managing the scope of the intranet is a difficult task. It is due to the multiplicity of stakeholders from various sectors of the organization. What is important to one department may be irrelevant to another. These variances, combined with the complexity of technology, make it difficult to predict what should come first and what will come next. The winning method is to separate the discussion of business priorities from technical troubleshooting.
Here is an example of how you can manage the intranet project scope and make a plan.
The first stage in determining the intranet scope is to bring together all important employee intranet stakeholders to brainstorm the priorities that arise from individual business areas.
There are a few strategies to make this brainstorming process go more smoothly. Depending on the number of stakeholders in the room and the facilitator's experience, one or two workshops may be required. In the case of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, these can be performed remotely. Sometimes it works even better depending on the workplace culture.
The next step is to rank each of the proposed business priorities. They can be categorized as Low, Medium, and High.
At this point, you need technical expertise such as subject matter experts (SMEs), developers, and other technical professionals. You need their input on the technical aspects of each of the goals, whether they are in-house or consultants. SMEs will need to rank each item according to its feasibility: low, medium, or high.
We now have all of the information we need to identify the next steps in determining the intranet scope. At this point, you have identified the features you want in your intranet. You can start the implementation process with the most useful ones and those that are easy to implement. Later, you can focus on features that are difficult to implement but are important for your business.
The first stage of a great intranet redesign process is to lay the groundwork for the new design. This initial phase entails creating an intranet team, studying user needs and identifying potential for improvement, settling on a common vision for the redesign project, and acquiring funding.
Make a decision on who will be in charge of the makeover. Many people may be invested in the intranet. However, if there is no leader, it is simple to believe that someone else is doing the work. An official leader will avoid delegating responsibility.
The team from the prior design is already in place, and those individuals are expected to be on the team for the redesign. It's nice to have some headcount in place from the start. It is because the team has previously worked on an intranet, so it already has some knowledge of intranet design.
Identifying the reason for your intranet-redesign project will help you anticipate where work will be easy or difficult. Whatever the reason for the redesign, all businesses must follow specific processes in order for the redesign to be beneficial and successful. The stimulus for the redesign can make the steps in the process more difficult or less difficult.