My fellow colleague Ayendra posted Removing the “IT Intranet” Perception, which outlined his previous experience working in a company where the IT department had become a bottleneck in the intranet communication process. After joining the IC Thrive team and working with our customers, he saw examples of businesses using a different method of intranet management – smart delegation. In these businesses distribution of content management meant the intranet was being utilized as a platform for collaboration, leading to a variety of benefits for the organization.
I do agree that in my time working with IC Thrive the companies I have seen who use their intranet most effectively are those who build a strong internal communication strategy prior to launch. However, fostering employee engagement and getting others to contribute and maintain the intranet is easier said than done. You need to delegate responsibility of certain areas of the intranet to other departments. This can be difficult, especially if your intranet software is not designed for effective administrative delegation and automation.
Removing bottlenecks to intranet management is important in maintaining an active, engaging intranet. If a single department or a single intranet manager is responsible for making all changes on behalf of other users, time is wasted first communicating what needs to be done and then waiting for the changes to be implemented. IC Thrive allows different roles on the intranet to be delegated. Assign rights to modify content, forms and workflows to any department or individual.
Create a site for a particular department, location or for project teams and then assign responsibility over those sites to an administrator. With Intranet Connections, applications and pages can be added to sites with one click, so the users you assign do not have to be IT-admins. They simply need the willingness to manage their own project, location or department on the site. Allowing these administrators to be creative with their sub-site design with a brand new design theme or site template provides further incentive for them to take on this role.
In general our customers delegate responsibilities in the following manner:
(a) “Intranet Admin” responsible for managing security and permission rights, adding new sites and keeping the intranet software up to date with new feature releases
(b) “Site Designer” who manages the design of the intranet themes and menus
(c) “Owner” per site who is responsible for managing the content of that site, uploading any new documents and training their staff on how to use the features of their site
Give your users control over the entire site, sub-sites within the site, or individual applications within sites. Delegation at the application level is usually specific to a customer’s particular industry. Here are a couple of examples:
(a) An individual, often in HR or IT, is given ownership of the policy application which stores documents and content surrounding company policies and procedures. Only this person can add and publish changes to policies. This is common for our bank, credit union, and healthcare intranet customers
(b) HR is given ownership of the training application. As the HR group, they can create learning modules and schedule classes, keeping track of attendees through the software. For our customers in the healthcare industry the training application is used to manage class and workshop registration for doctors, nurses and interns
(c) Department reps in the finance industry build and manage their own departmental forms. They then add automatic workflow to send responses to senior level management.
Our intranet software is designed from the ground up to be managed by non-IT staff. Most of our customers choose us because they need a simple intranet solution that can essentially manage itself. Because the job of managing the intranet is not a full-time position and the role is an add-on to other duties, reducing the amount of learning and work required is critical.
Our customers describe the ability to share the work and delegate intranet management as offering an intranet that is “by everyone, for everyone”. It is this strategy that encourages an engaged employee base who actively participates and contributes to the overall health and vitality of your intranet. Share the workload!