How to plan an effective intranet web portal?

Posted by Mauricio Duran on May 29, 2020

Planning is critical for any intranet – without a plan, the intranet is dead before it gets a chance at life.

A business without a plan is a dead business, likewise, an intranet without a plan is a dead intranet web portal. It may wither slowly into something pathetic and useless, barely breathing, almost vegetative, but it is dead nonetheless. 

Failure to develop an integrated plan that accounts for an organization's structure, stakeholder and user requirements will certainly ensure failure and, with it, a loss of significant time and resources.   

Too many intranet web portals fail to live up to their potential because they lack direction, and often become a political football that is fought over by rival groups with competing priorities and visions. 

 

As we mentioned before here are the 4 key elements that will help you plan an effective intranet web portal

Planning-IntranetWebPortal

 1. Executive support

It’s possible to have an intranet web portal without an executive champion, but it will be severely limited if not worthless without it.

For an intranet to be successful it needs Funding, Promotion and Trouble-shooting (overcoming politics) or at least two out of three. 

It’s true that most intranet web portals suffer because the organization doesn’t give it the funding it needs, however, without the political will and clout to secure that funding, and to cut through internal politics, the intranet has little chance to be of value.

For example, corporate communications and IT see the intranet very differently, and to them HR is from another planet; each have differing views and priorities for the intranet.  

Of course, your executive champion must be a direct report of the CEO (or equivalent) or the chief themselves – someone that has clout and budget. It’s often the head of Communications, Marketing, HR or IT (CIO), but it doesn’t have to be. Some of the greatest intranets I know have as their executive champion, not surprisingly, the President or CEO themselves.  

 

2. Resources 


Resources are mainly money, and people, but can include hardware and supporting technology. First you get the power (executive), then you get the money (funding), then you get the people (and users), as simple as said.  

However, often to secure the necessary funding, a sales plan or presentation is necessary – to demonstrate the potential value of the intranet. Most CEOs and executives don’t know what a good intranet is, don’t understand the value it can bring to an organization, and frankly, don’t care. This is one of the reasons why the intranet is so poorly funded in many organizations.


3. Mission & Vision 

Too many organizations skip a mission or vision statement all together – they believe it's superfluous or altogether too vague.

A mission / vision statement is mandatory, and the key intranet owners / stakeholders must agree to its composition. The statement itself is less important; what is important is the process and collaboration or consensus in formulating the mission / vision. 

A mission statement states the ‘what’ the intranet does, or ‘how’ it will improve the organization; a mission establishes an overarching goal. Therefore, the vision statement paints a picture of the end state: what the intranet will become. 

In conclusion, one is no more important than the other, and both together are not necessarily needed – one will suffice. Again, what is important is not the end statement(s) themselves, but the process and consensus achieved as a result. But there is no wrong or right mission, as long as all of the key stakeholders agree to it, the mission is a good one. 


4. Objectives

There are differing definitions of goals and objectives, depending on the institution, expert or consultant. Often, a goal and objective are used interchangeably, with one being high-level, and overarching, and the other being specific, and measurable. 

Regardless of the norms and values used in your organization, your intranet needs specific measurable goals.

Good objectives are SMART: 

  • Specific 
  • Measurable 
  • Attainable 
  • Realistic 
  • Time-defined 

Another key point is that you need to determine the goals of your intranet web portal, and also, what it needs to achieve? 

These are some good intranet web portal objectives:

  • Improving and providing a collaboration tool
  • Better search functions
  • Replacing an existing intranet that’s old and dysfunctional
  • Communicating corporate news and distributing company policies and procedures online
  • Providing self-service tools to staff so that contact details, skills, notification settings, etc are always up-to-date
  • Easy document-sharing 
  • Enabling staff to work remotely

 

Planning an intranet web portal before launching

Intranet-Web-Portal-Planning

Consider this: execution is quick; preparation is key, so do your homework!

Planning an intranet web portal carefully before launching will help you build a cost-effective portal for your organization. 

For this reason, a good plan will help you to identify the main focus of your intranet web portal and develop those areas. 

Let's face it! We're living the real era of the digital modern workplace, and as a result, an intranet web portal is the tool that allows endless benefits for collaboration, increasing productivity, and making remote work possible.

Our SharePoint Intranet Services will empower your technology investments and solutions. We ensure you that your intranet web portal will be always updated and connected to keep your workforce happier and engaged.


Drop us a line at contactus@definityfirst.com and let's make a plan for your intranet together. 

Suggested article: SharePoint Intranet features to spark employee engagement

Mauricio Duran
Mauricio Duran

President at Definity First. I have a big passion for leading-edge technology and I'm a serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in software development. Expert in Microsoft technologies and mission critical applications.

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