I was reading a few blogs on the weekend that are focused on intranet development and management and I realized how much I’d love to be back, driving my little intranet bus.
Intranets are a tricky game – I’d say 9/10 don’t fair well, but if you can be the 1, oh, the things you can do. The top things that people want from an intranet are deceptively easy:
- Search (that works)
- Job postings
- News (especially of the top-down variety)
- Forms and policies.
(Take on this post, and it’s bang on in my experience).
The challenges are myriad:
- Ownership (IT isn’t the right answer, and neither is Marketing or HR – being an independent body is the best way to go)
- Marrying real web content with useful document management
- Making it easy for content to be available and updated
- Giving it personality
- Politics (I know, where isn’t politics an issue, but internal real estate triggers some pretty nasty vibes some places).
Given the odds and the challenges, it maybe sounds like a losing proposition. But I’ve never been happier than when I’ve succeeded on an intranet. I think it’s partly to do with the fact that it allows me to be an advocate for employees, particularly for groups that don’t often get to influence internal communications, or who aren’t natural communicators, or who work hard but in ways that aren’t often recognized. I think it also appeals to the educator in me, and it’s the best place in the world to gain benefit from clear, honest communications.
Yeah, gimme a little bus and some like minds, and I’d be the happiest of campers.