The intranet as a digital workplace is no longer just a trend. In the past year alone, many organisations have seen their adoption of the SharePoint intranet explode.
Intranets help employees find the information they need to do their job more efficiently, and the collaborative nature of an Intranet makes it easier for teams to work together.
Moreover, an Intranet helps ensure employees are working from the same set of facts, understand what is expected of them, and can easily find who they need to get answers from when they have questions or concerns.
After observing numerous SharePoint intranet projects over the last few years, we’ve identified 5 key steps you should take in your next project:
Be Clear on Your Goals and Objectives before Starting the Project
The first step in creating a successful SharePoint project is to be crystal clear on your organisation’s goals and objectives for the project. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the business benefits you are trying to achieve with the project.
1. Why are you doing this
2. What do you want to get out of it?
3. Why does it matter?
4. What are the expected results of this project?
5. What business problems is it solving?
6. How will this change the way your employees work?
These are the goals and objectives you want to keep top of mind throughout the entire project.
Ensure You Have a Solid Understanding of Your Employees’ Needs
With clear goals and objectives in place, it’s important to now turn your attention to your employees and their needs. What do they need and want from the platform? What pain points are they experiencing currently? What processes could be improved to make them more efficient?
The best way to get this information from your employees is to hire an experienced research team to perform a needs assessment. The goal of the assessment is to understand the current state of your employees’ work.
Create a User-Centered Design Process
Once you have a solid understanding of your employees’ needs, it’s time to take those insights and turn them into a design.
For many organisations, this means creating a SharePoint intranet design for the first time. An effective design process will have a user-centred design at its core.
This means the design process should be focused on the user. It will involve getting feedback from employees and end-users to ensure their needs are being met. It should also incorporate usability testing to ensure the proposed design has no major usability issues.
The design process should also include expert reviews to ensure the proposed design is meeting your organisation’s goals and objectives. It’s important to get feedback from people who are not directly involved in the project but can look at the design with fresh eyes.
Ensure You Have a Quality, Responsive Design for the End Product
Now that you have a design for the SharePoint intranet, it’s important to ensure it’s a quality design that meets the needs of your employees. While it’s important to create a design that is useful and usable, it’s also important to create a design that looks great.
A poorly designed digital workplace has a significant impact on employee satisfaction, which impacts productivity and retention. A quality design, on the other hand, creates a more engaging, interactive, and collaborative experience for employees.
Ensure You Have the Proper Governance in Place
Finally, it’s important to ensure your organisation has the proper governance in place to support the digital workplace. This includes having a clear governance plan, along with an owner for each piece of content published to the SharePoint intranet.
You want to make sure content published on the site is consistent, current, and meets the needs of your employees. This is where governance comes into play.
An effective governance plan ensures you have the proper controls in place to maintain consistency across the platform. This includes having an automated workflow, publishing standards, and having a content owner responsible for each piece of content published to the site.
Creating a successful SharePoint intranet takes some planning and effort, but it’s well worth it in the end. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating an intranet that everyone will love using.