The old adage “if you build it, they will come”, may be true. However, it should really be followed by “if you don’t maintain it, they will leave”. This is certainly true for intranet platforms. Based on our internal customer research, the average lifespan of an intranet is just over six years. An intranet you build now, will be very old in six years if you do not have the proper structure in place to maintain its content.
As a Client Services Representative, I have worked with many organizations that had someone build an intranet in-house, only to have that person leave years later with no one left behind with the knowledge to maintain it. What once was a useful, engaging platform, full of employee knowledge slowly became an outdated, irrelevant time-suck.
The key is to prevent this from happening before it starts. Biased as I may be, I believe that an out-of-the-box intranet that does not require any IT experience to update is the best way to do that. Why? Because you’re putting the intranet in the hands of those who want it.
Here are steps on establishing effective Intranet Governance:
This is the intranet head honcho. This will be who your employees turn to when they are faced with an intranet problem. This user has the ability to make software updates/upgrades, and to impersonate user logins to troubleshoot issues as the Super Intranet Admin.
Site admins have all the same rights as a super admin, except site admins cannot impersonate other users. They are therefore used to create site structure, such as creating sites, applications and pages. It is very important to take time in deciding how you would like to structure your intranet site and content, as the remainder of your intranet governance is based on this structure.
Each site should have its own site owner who is in charge of maintaining and updating content on their site. Each site can also have application owners, folder owners and even page owners, so it is important to decide how granular you want to get with your delegation.
Our Content Approval Workflow feature on applications throughout the site mean that you can open up applications to allow employees to add content to the site themselves, but have that content go through an approval process prior to posting. No more emailing IT in order to post an item for sale, they can put it up themselves, complete with photos and contact information.
Additional elevated rights include Site Design Delegation, which gives rights to a specific person who is in charge of configuring global design options, a profile manager, in charge of creating and managing logins and employees, or an employee manager, in charge of editing employee profile information.
Delegation of intranet management is the #1 best practice when it comes to intranet governance. You’ll always have at least one person in charge of each section of your intranet, to ensure those posting content are meeting company guidelines. Another benefit is that you will have so many people posting content that your intranet site will never go stale.
Simple security permissioning means that if someone leaves the organization, you simply delegate their rights to someone else and the intuitive nature of an out-of-the-box software means that with little guidance and no training, that employee is able to pick up where the last employee left off.
When implementing a new intranet solution it is easy to succumb to the pressures of needing an intranet here and now, without thinking long-term about what will happen down the road. Having a good intranet governance model in place will help you do just that.
What are your experience with intranet governance? Let me know by commenting below!