summary: 4 tools to turn your intranet into fully-functioning collaboration software, such as Project Sites and Discussion Forums.
Many people don’t think ‘intranet’ when they hear ‘collaboration software‘. This is due, in part, to people still believing that intranet software is an IT only program. While IT may assist with setting your intranet up, we have seen a shift in the types of users that manage and maintain the intranet. Instead, users are much more communicative and collaborative, and the purpose of the intranet is for just that.
So what exactly is collaboration software? Collaboration software is software designed to help people involved in a common task achieve their goals. Sound familiar? That’s because you are probably already using your intranet to do this! In this blog, I will cover the top 4 features that can better assist with collaboration on your intranet.
Department Sites are essentially intranet home pages for a specific department within your main intranet site. These pages can be left open for other departments to view, or locked so only individuals in that department can view them. Department Sites are essential for effective collaboration software, as you can add various interactive applications and widgets to it, streamlining communication between department members.
One way we utilize Department Sites on our own intranet to better collaborate is including an events calendar that feeds from the main calendar. This allows us to see when employees are in and out of the office, as well as if there are special events coming up, to better schedule meetings with one another.
Project Sites are similar to Department Sites, except that the members don’t have to be in the same department. Project Sites can be used for teams that are working on the same project, and usually these sites are kept locked down because they contain sensitive information specific to just that project.
Project Sites are a great way to collaborate, especially if team members are from different office locations or working different hours. Project Sites provides a central location for team members to communicate, share resources and collaborate on. You can add to do lists, discussion forums and more to ensure no aspect of the project is missed.
Another great tool for collaborating is Discussion Forums. Discussion Forums allow for company-wide collaboration and communication through the use of open ended discussion topics. Moving conversations on to your intranet with Discussion Forums also significantly reduces the number of internal emails sent to all staff. Like the previous two collaboration software tools, you can lock down certain discussion forum boards so that only certain employees can view and contribute to them. A nice thing about Discuss Forums is the conversations will stay on your intranet for as long as you’d like, so employees can later reference them.
For one-way communication and collaboration, an internal blog on your intranet is highly effective. Enable comments on blog posts so that your users can comment and discuss the topics in the blog with one another. Open your blog up to allow all employees to publish content, or lock it down so that only team leads can publish content. An example of how many of our customers utilize an internal blog is by having a weekly blog post from the CEO with comments enabled for further discussion.
These tools are great when it comes to collaboration on your intranet. What collaborative tools do you use? Share with us by commenting below.