Special Series: Taming the Intranet Beast, Part Five
Part Five: the Intranet Dream Team
In the final instalment of a five-part series on Taming the Intranet Beast, senior consultant Denise Eisner shows how the dream team can be realized, even in times of austerity.
Usability guru Jakob Nielsen’s list of best Intranets of 2012 suggests that proper resourcing for an organization’s internal web site needs to approach a ratio of one resource for every 1,000 employees. That figure takes into account some allowances for temporary outside help for particular functions, but on the whole, the ratio seems right.
But can smaller government departments today manage Intranets with one, two, or three individuals? The answer is a qualified yes, depending whether:
- The individual/team member has the requisite communications, marketing, analytics and business skills to multi-task effectively;
- The web content lifecycle has been defined and informs what happens to web content from inception to removal;
- Governance is in place to make strategic decisions;
- Tactical decisions are made within the Intranet team;
- The design, structure, functionality and performance measurement components of site management are managed centrally; and
- Content contributors are relied upon as local editors providing story ideas and web content, not as web experts.
How could these activities be realized when budgets are tight, and likely to get tighter? Consider the future state of a departmental Intranet if nothing changes:
- Employees waste 90 cents per minute looking for content on a poorly structure site;
- New content costing upwards of $800-1000 per page (after writing, approvals and publishing) keeps getting adding to the site with no strategy or lifecycle guidance governing its existence; and
- There is a risk of limited understanding among employees of the department’s top priorities since they are not effectively messaged using the channels that employees want and need.
Given these direct and indirect costs to the organization, maintaining a status quo for the Intranet will cost more, and the performance records should bear that out. A well-conceived resourcing solution plus efforts to shore up governance and strategy offers senior management a more cost-efficient and sustainable approach to managing the Intranet channel.
View the rest of this series:
- Part 1: The Intranet is an Expensive Help Desk
- Part 2: Intranets are all about Vacation and Money
- Part 3: Build Intranets for Tasks, Not Branches
- Part 4: Get Serious about Intranet Search
Denise Eisner is a senior-level web strategist and communications specialist with a passion for creating enhanced user experiences. As a member of the Government Service Excellence practice, Denise’s experience and specializations include web strategy development, information architecture, web analytics (WebTrends and Google Analytics) and web project management. She has led large-scale content audits, developed performance measurement frameworks, and coordinated site updates to meet Treasury Board policies standards and guidelines. Engaged in the evolving spheres of information technology, corporate communications and media for almost two decades, Denise has transformed business objectives into web strategies and information architectures for corporate and government clients in the U.S. and Canada.