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What Should You Be Thinking About Before Setting Up An Intranet

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Opinions

What Should You Be Thinking About Before Setting Up An Intranet

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When a business grows, the case for adopting an intranet system grows too. While starting your intranet can be a bit daunting, once you consider the options and devise a plan, it becomes a lot simpler.

Have a look below at some of the critical areas for you to consider before you get started.

Administration

You won't be the only person who maintains, edits and uploads content to your intranet, so you will need to consider who will manage it and which staff members are going to use it.

These responsibilities are usually shown in a hierarchy of permissions or rights, allowing assigned users to access different areas of the intranet in line with job roles.

Clearly defining these will help when it comes to the site mapping or planning phase and will significantly reduce the ongoing site administration. It will also come in handy when you're looking at areas such as API design and simple coding.

If you want to know more about API, have a look at this Simple API Design post for some handy tips. Some companies like to allow employees to log in and access areas such as holiday booking, HR information and to leave comments on news about the business, to do this you will need to make considerations with their credentials and access allowances.

Usage

One of the hardest bits about introducing an intranet is getting your staff to use it. You don't want it to be something that they feel is an added task to their list of things to do so it's essential to make sure you consider how you're going to promote participation with the site.

The involvement of your staff cannot be assumed. It would be a wise decision to think about introducing something such as a launch plan, which allows your team to familiarize themselves with how the intranet works and what they re going to be able to do with it.

You could include focus and feedback groups, hold training sessions, and also identify the interest of anyone who would be interested in working on the running of the site.

Page Layout & Navigation

It can sometimes be challenging to remember that all your employees may not be as tech-savvy as the people who are developing the intranet so you should be taking steps to ensure the layout and navigation is simple and easy to use.

Ideally, it should be simple enough for a novice to be able to find their way around. If you’re struggling for ideas why not try sending out surveys to your employees asking them what they would like to see or what they would find easy to use.

You could always ask for volunteers to test the internet in its early stages too, make sure you get a diverse range of users to do the testing though.

Accountability

This is an important area to think about when it comes to your intranet as you are going to want to identify who is responsible for maintaining and looking after areas such as document version control, file modifications, editing of messages and publishing.

It's a good idea to assign this role to minimal people to ensure a successfully well-managed site. You don't necessarily have to have to site administrator as the person who is control of these areas either; you can have different people looking after different areas.

For example, allowing the head of HR to have control over the information shared in the HR section.

Communication Tools

It's not a secret that news sites, blogs, and online forums are not exclusive to the web. These areas are considered to be essential to the success of a useful intranet. The whole idea behind an intranet is to close off any lack of communication throughout the company.

It is most definitely the most cost-effective way of sharing news, changes, and it allows everyone to communicate with each other about these. If you allow remote working, an intranet could be the difference between excellent staff communication regardless of where they are to no conversation taking place.

These are just a few of the considerations that you should be making when setting up an intranet for your company; hopefully, it will get you on your way to creating a successful site for your employees to use.

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What Should You Be Thinking About Before Setting Up An Intranet

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