Implementing a CMS Intranet, whether you are looking to provide employee engagement software for the first time or simply need to update your current solution, is not a small task. More likely than not, months will pass between the initial engagement with a potential provider and adoption by your employees.
To maximize your success and adoption rate, streamlining the process is crucial. And to ensure that the implementation proceeds as smoothly as possible here are six resources – both human and capital – you should consider and clarify before starting the process of getting your new intranet.
1) The Core Implementation Team
Implementing software like a new intranet will have far-reaching implications for your company and its employees. As a result, you should assemble a core implementation team that will discuss and consult on all major decision points within the process to ensure the best possible answers as they relate to your company.
Ideally, every stakeholder group within your company should have at least one representative within this team. Upper management should naturally be involved, as should marketing – after all, the final software will be a crucial internal communications tool. A representative from Human Resources ensures that everything complies with workplace rules and regulations while a member of your IT department will put into context the technical requirements of the software and how it will integrate with your current system. If you chose a cloud-based intranet solution, you might not require input from IT at all depending on how your organization is structured.
Finally, be sure to include at least one employee in your core implementation team that does not have any affiliation with the above department. Doing so will have multiple benefits. Not only will you get a valuable perspective on how your employees will treat the new software, but you will also gain advocates of the new intranet among your employees that will ultimately help your adoption.
2) Your Available Budget
Naturally, your budget will be an important consideration as you consider different intranet solutions and their individual capabilities. It can determine whether you should go with an out of the box or custom built solution, along with understanding just what cms intranet features you will be able to incorporate in your software.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the cost of the actual solution will be the only budget you need during the implementation process. As anyone who has gone through a major software implementation knows, you will have to account for additional costs, which may include consulting hours, training hours for your employees that are outside of regular work hours, potential additional temporary positions to help smooth the transition and more.
Ultimately, your core implementation group should discuss and determine how the available budget can be spent most effectively in getting an intranet solution that works for your business. Adjustments will naturally occur during the implementation process, but having at least a tentative plan for your money can go a long way toward keeping you on track.
3) Time Commitments of Core Team Members
Another resource and one that is often forgotten until the implementation is already occurring is the time commitment of your core implementation team members will spend on this unique project. Especially during the heavy-lifting period toward the end of implementation, your team members probably will not have the time to resume their regular job duties on a full-time basis.
Having a plan in place for how work will get done in their areas during this time frame helps keep your organization on track while it implements this major internal communication software. Considering these additional time commitments as a resource to be planned for early in the process helps you adapt and adjust as necessary to ensure a continuous, natural flow of work within your company.
4) Stakeholder Communications
Throughout the implementation and adoption process, you will want to communicate with all stakeholders about the progress and the software’s benefits. In the case of a CMS intranet, these stakeholders include nearly all, if not all employees within your company who will use the new software, along with all members of senior leadership who are sponsoring the project in addition to being future users.
Treating these communications as a resource will help you and your core team develop a stakeholder communication plan that stretches through and beyond the intranet implementation. As we have discussed in this space, adoption depends greatly on whether your employees see and understand the benefits of the new software. Communicating these benefits early and often not only keeps them involved in the process but also educates them about the ways in which the new intranet will enhance their work.
Similarly, upper management will want to be informed about the progress of the project at all times. Depending on the intranet solution you choose, it will be a major budget commitment, which requires buy-in from executive leadership throughout the process. A communication plan helps to keep all stakeholders engaged and optimistic about the software.
5) Employee Training Time
For your employees to embrace a new way of doing their daily work, training time is absolutely crucial. If they feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the software at hand, they will revert to the old way of doing things, ignoring your shiny new intranet in the process.
As a result, you should consider training time for your employees to be a crucial part of the implementation process. Ideally, this training would flow seamlessly from the stakeholder communications mentioned above, allowing your workers access to the system as soon as you have a usable platform set up.
Hopefully, the intranet solution you and your core implementation team decided on earlier is intuitive enough that no extensive training will be needed. But you should never rely on that hope, instead ensuring that your employees can use software features like collaboration tools, file attachment, and other productivity enhancements through effective training.
6) Post-Implementation Resources
Finally, your new CMS intranet will not stop requiring resources once the implementation and training are complete. Your IT department may perform regular updates and maintenance; new employees will need to be trained as part of the onboarding process, and you may realize the necessity for additional features as you begin to use the platform.
Knowing what will come is almost impossible. But you can plan contingencies into your communication plan, from an emergency budget pocket to personnel resources of platform maintainers after the implementation. Doing so enables you to not just successfully implement your intranet, but also ensure that it keeps working, functions well for your employees, and enhances productivity for months and years to come.
The Importance of Strategic Implementation
Making the switch to a CMS intranet is a major decision, impacting not just your budget, but also the way your company operates and your employees perform their daily job duties. Being aware of the entire resource requirements helps you better understand what it takes to successfully implement and operate an intranet platform.
Establishing a core implementation team in charge of all major decisions, along with determining and allocating your budget, evaluating time commitments for core team members, laying out stakeholder communications, allowing time for employee training and keeping in mind the necessary estimated post-implementation resources are all major resource considerations you and your team should discuss and decide on before embarking on the project.
To learn more about CMS intranets, their benefits, and implementation best practices, contact us. By using MyHub, you will not only be able to track fast your new intranet but will also be able to remove a lot of the costs mentioned in this post mostly associated with traditional intranet deployments.