Getting started on an intranet implementation may feel daunting. And perhaps even more so if you are not overly confident with technology.
The same applies if you are reviewing an existing intranet. A must-have to ensure project success is an intranet roadmap. This provides a clear sense of direction for everyone involved and keeps the end goal in sight. Breaking down any project into manageable pieces makes things a whole lot easier.
In this post, we take you through all you need to know about devising your own intranet roadmap, and get you humming along on your intranet project.
What Is An Intranet Roadmap?
An intranet roadmap provides clarity. It also provides an overall vision and an outline project plan. The roadmap helps to answer the what, why, how, and when questions. Typically presented graphically, it can be one image or a series of pictures. And it is usually focussed at the strategic level. Whatever form yours takes, it’s likely to include the following elements:
- overall vision
- important milestones
- specific workstreams such as intranet design, content generation, and intranet governance
- a timeline for implementation and a budget
- outcomes along with success measures
- the process for future upgrades and reviews
Furthermore, it brings together all parts of the organization involved in the implementation. Setting up an intranet isn’t just about the technical side of things. The wider team needs to think about generating content for their pages. Marketing may be involved in getting staff on board. And perhaps HR is taking the lead on an employee training programs, wellness content and benefits sections. There are bound to be different players involved at various stages.
Intranet Roadmap: Overall Vision and Ownership
The starting point in creating an intranet roadmap is the overall vision. What are the aims and objectives of your intranet? And if you are reviewing an existing intranet, then what’s currently working well, and what needs to be improved?
For many companies, there’s a definite business pain point driving the intranet project. It could be needing to improve internal communications. Or reducing volume of emails. Or paper-based systems. For others, it’s finding new ways for staff to collaborate, or to increase productivity with streamlined business processes.
Setting clear aims and objectives for the intranet at the outset helps with developing the project plan. And once you have determined that vision, be sure to continue involving staff in the process. What features and tools do they need to get the job done? What information and data do they need to access? Has remote working revealed some new communication or operational fails?
From the outset, invite input from all corners of the business – even a simple suggestion box is a good place to start. It’s important to have an intranet steering group with representatives from across the organization. They can provide different insights and perspectives for a more informed process. Plus, as many hands make light work, a steering group helps to spread the load.
You should also identify a clear owner within the business who is responsible for delivering the roadmap. Often, this is a senior manager or executive who has the authority to make decisions, and can access the necessary resources.
Intranet Roadmap: Milestones And Workstreams
Having identified the tools and features your intranet needs to have, it’s time to get into the detail.
You will need to decide just how much information to include in the roadmap. Some businesses chose to keep it at a high level, while others include critical dependent workstreams. Whatever approach you go for, there will likely be a series of project plans sitting below the main roadmap.
Here are some of the workstreams common to intranet implementation projects:
Intranet Site Map
A site map helps you to organize all the information and pages in the intranet. It provides an overview so you can check for duplication and make sure the navigation is logical and user friendly.
Plan some workshops with your intranet steering group to determine the content, hierarchy and navigation for your intranet. A great, free tool to create a visual site plan is Gloomaps.
From page layout and navigation through to branding, visuals, colors, and fonts, there’s much to think about when
But this can be the most enjoyable part of the process. No coding or specialist design skills are required. With MyHub, all you need to do is simply drag ‘n’ drop your content into place. Or if you’re short of time, MyHub has a team of intranet design specialists who can take care of this for you. It means you can have a professional-looking site up and running in no time.
Some intranets (such as MyHub) come with a library of pre-built templates. These useful assets save intranet project owners considerable time. Many of the most common business tasks – such as leave approval requests, IT support requests, incident reports – have all been prepared and ready to selected off-the-shelf.
Intranet Governance (including Roles and Responsibilities)
Your intranet won’t just run itself. Behind the scenes are administrators, editors, authors, publishers, and users. It’s vital to set out who is responsible for what. An intranet governance policy is one way you can do this. It makes staff accountable for content creation and ensures that information is relevant and up to date. You can then assign those responsibilities to specific staff members using the intranet’s system of permissions and rights.
It’s always a good idea to test the intranet before going live. A pilot means you can iron out any glitches and hiccups. And it means you can double-check the intranet software is fit for purpose.
You could test out the intranet within a team or by office location. A two-week pilot is probably long enough to make it a meaningful exercise. However, make sure you thoroughly review the feedback and act on the main findings. It’s much easier to make changes at the pilot stage rather than when the intranet has been rolled out to all staff.
You will want your intranet to hit the ground running, so why not get marketing involved in this critical phase. Create momentum and buzz in the office with a countdown to implementation day. Have a go-live launch party. Include interactive content from day one, such as quiz and surveys to really engage your users. A fun quiz where staff navigate the intranet for answers will help them become confident users. Ensure you have intranet ambassadors identified in every team. They can act as super-users and deal with everyday issues on the ground.
Intranet Training Program
Follow-up on the hoopla generated by the launch with a staff training program. Companies that invest in staff training tend to have more successful intranets when it comes to adoption and participation. Employees need to be trained in the new platform and how to get the best out of it.
However, training doesn’t have to be of the expensive classroom variety. The ambassadors or super-users mentioned earlier play an essential part in getting their teammates onboard. How-to-videos are another cost-effective possibility. Use these to demonstrate specific tools, or to take staff through completing a task such as completing a leave request form or developing their staff directory profile.
Intranet Roadmap Milestones
Use the roadmap to identify all the significant milestones towards completion. However, keep it to a high level. Too many tasks and milestones and your roadmap will look like just another project plan. Stick with the critical milestones only.
Intranet Roadmap Timeline For Implementation
Next, the roadmap should include the overall timeline for delivery. It will set the expectations and framework for all the dependent workstreams that contribute.
Intranet Roadmap Outcomes And KPIs
How will you know if the implementation has been successful? That’s what this section needs to address. The roadmap should identify the success criteria for the implementation. And it should include key performance indicators so you can measure the impact. Possible success measures include the following:
- Number of daily users and session times
- Percentage of staff agreeing that the intranet saves time in their working day
- Number of employees confirming the intranet has improved their productivity
- Percentage of staff agreeing that the intranet helps them to work more efficiently
- The popularity of content – views, comments, most frequently used tools.
These are just some of the measures you can use to assess the impact of your intranet.
Intranet Roadmap Review Mechanisms
When it comes to implementation, the go-live date isn’t the end of the journey. In fact, it’s just the start. The intranet roadmap needs to make it clear how the intranet will be handed over to the business. Will the intranet steering group have an ongoing role in ensuring things remain on track? What is the process for reviewing the intranet’s content and functionality? The roadmap is a way of managing expectations; it means all stakeholders are aware of the process from the outset.
Intranet Roadmap Example
So, what does an intranet roadmap actually look like? To get you started, below is a blueprint intranet roadmap example. The detail on your roadmap will no doubt vary; however, the overall framework is likely to be similar.
|Workstream & Milestones
|Dependencies / Outcomes
|Timeline & Budget
|Intranet Owner/Steering Group
|Aims & objectives
Intranet software & provider selection
Intranet training program
|Intranet provider (such as MyHub)
|Site creation, site map, navigation, branding, visuals
|Content best practices
Review mechanisms & process for updating of content
|Create & update content
Review pages, functionality, aims & objectives to ensure intranet remains fit for purpose
Review content quarterly with annual assessment of intranet overall
Cloud, Custom-build or Off-The Shelf Intranets?
There are several options out there, so it’s essential to do some research and consider the best option for you. Custom-build intranet involves creating a bespoke intranet from scratch. It requires IT knowledge and capability as well as a significant investment of time and resources. Off-the-shelf intranets are created using open-source software, such as WordPress. A popular choice, but the free offering is quite limited. To get the functionality you need can involve lots of plugins and add-ons. Not only do the costs quickly spiral, so does the complexity of the platform.
Cloud intranets, the favorite choice amongst smaller businesses, are created using pre-built templates. And it’s then hosted in the cloud by a specialist intranet provider. The templates are easily customizable, so even though other businesses are using the same platform, you can create a bespoke solution.
The main advantages of a cloud intranet are that they are easy to set up and manage. No great technical knowledge is required. And they are also cost-effective and have high uptime. Furthermore, online security is all taken care of by the provider.
Thoroughly researching all the options is a must. Check out what others are doing. Ask potential suppliers for demos and testimonials. And read the product reviews on trusted third-party websites.
Intranet Roadmap Summary
A roadmap is a useful tool. It provides a broad vision and a clear sense of direction. And it ensures there’s clarity of purpose while managing the expectations of all stakeholders. Quite simply, it makes implementing your intranet a whole lot easier.
If you are looking to implement or upgrade your intranet, then get in touch. Check out MyHub’s Steps To Success, which explains the typical process and timeline of launching an intranet. One of our intranet design experts will guide you through the process, share best practice tips, and help you achieve your success outcomes. Contact us for a free demo or start a no-obligation 14-day trial and explore the possibilities.