Sergio Zuniga Sep 14, 2020 10 min read

7 things to consider before you start a SharePoint Intranet project

Working on high visibility projects like company intranets requires focused planning and due deliberation.

Whether it’s an old-fashioned perception of intranets being ‘just a document repository’ or simply a lack of investment, it's almost a fact that many SharePoint intranet projects fail before they ever truly got off the ground because the company’s board or senior management team fail to see the financial benefit of implementing a collaboration platform that boosts productivity like an intranet — despite the enthusiasm of their employees. 

So, it’s important for you to plan your SharePoint Intranet project efficiently, not only working out your budgets but also ensuring you clearly layout the benefits and return on investment an intranet can offer— not only for your teams/employees, but also for your organization as a whole. At the end of the day, a happy employee is a more productive employee

Collect as much information as possible from the get-go, and make sure you consider the following factors to maximize your success rate when starting your SharePoint Intranet project.


Start planning your  SharePoint Intranet project with these 7 tips:



1. Your Goals For The Project

The first thing is to determine the objectives of your intranet plan. What does your project aim to achieve, and how will you do that? Map out the direction and outline that support your goals and ensure the strategy reflects your business approach.

Furthermore, communicate the same to the team and keep track of the project’s progress.

The purpose is to get clear on the process, steps, and resources required for the successful completion of the project.


2. Intranet Sitemap

It is crucial to define the plan and its objectives to build a comprehensive intranet sitemap that will guide you to execution.

Deploy readymade SharePoint templates that you can use and customize according to your requirements. Make sure it covers all the crucial needs of your project.


3. Steering Group

It is vital to establish a group and a lead for the intranet project to ensure it goes in the right direction. Make sure you ask the right questions at this stage – who will get what tasks and which area they will be accountable for?

Delegate content and site management tasks and responsibilities among the employees and ensure that they have access to intranet tools, which will enable them to work and collaborate more efficiently.


4. Governance Strategy

 A well-defined governance and accountability structure is critical to the success of an intranet project and minimizes the common roadblocks. For example, to identify the key members working on the intranet and their roles and responsibilities.

An effective governance strategy brings clarity to responsibilities, which helps to navigate the direction of the project.


5. Phased Approach

Intranet implementation is one of the significant changes that require your employees to adapt to new functionality. So, it is imperative all employees understand and implement these radical modifications along the way.

Moreover, develop an effective change strategy that will help employees embrace intranet implementation and adapt to its new features quickly.


6. Training Program

When it comes to deploying the intranet, it is crucial to give your employees hands-on training to demonstrate its usage. The functionality will be new to them, so organize effective training programs to help them adjust to its features.

Furthermore, your team can only get the best out of its features when they grasp and fully understand the basic functionality.

With a training program in place, staff can attain the necessary information on how to use the intranet and what it can do, and it should also focus on the post-implementation plan.


7. Pilot Phase

Now that you have a defined structure, it’s time to test the project deliverables. An intranet that delivers a poor experience and is difficult to navigate won’t appeal to users. Before going live, it is essential to test the functionality of the intranet and ensure it fulfills the needs of end-users.

Furthermore, conducting user testing helps you gain valuable insights about your team’s perspectives, which allows you to bring enhancements in usability.


Ready to start your SharePoint Intranet Project?


All of these aspects are important when planning your intranet web portal project, and can help highlight additional requirements for your system which could have cost implications you hadn’t originally considered. 

A successful SharePoint Intranet project completion can significantly help teams collaborate and communicate efficiently. However, it is equally essential to maintain the software and upgrade it to the latest versions that enable your team to make most of its features.

Consider that like any major business project, planning and deploying an intranet web portal can present challenges and obstacles along the way, but we our team of SharePoint experts and developers are ready to help you deliver a successful intranet project for your organization.


Related Article: Why a SharePoint Intranet is good for communicators and content management?


Sergio Zuniga

Consulting Services VP at Definity First. Over the years I went through the different roles on the technical side until I was seduced by the dark side of business development and sales. I like to help clients from a technical and a business perspective, finding the best solution for their needs.