Living in a large organization required medium for circulating first hand information to all staffs. If looking back at old days, notice board will be the main medium while in bits and bytes age, intranet portal is the preference. Intranet portal existed since intranet being introduced in the organization, focusing on internal information and federated from outside internet. So, since those days, have it delivered it purpose?
Common features of intranet is the news update, announcement, photo gallery, quick facts and sub sites for the respective organization’s department which having the same feature as it’s parent site. Looking at from the illustrated concept, it shows that each portal site have their own governance and content administration. Having said, content submission required to be vet through before it can be publish to the portal’s page. Filtering process might drop several contents that relevant to niche group but less important to the organization. Thus what will left in the portal consist of common knowledge which equivalent with high level knowledge. By having this situation it lead to less consumption by majority of staffs but will pleased the top management. But wait! Why I am emphasizing “knowledge” not information? Well it is due to the information contributed is meaningless to most of other staffs but valuable and knowledgeable to the focus group.
Other issue that arose was relevancy when the information (not knowledge) were outdated when the time it published to the portal site. Process of vetting from internal review until to corporate review make it worsen. It is understandable when it purposed for internet publishing but not for internal.
Having each department owning their own intranet portal make information scattered and deviates staff from accessing the information. They do know the portal existence but will not favour accessing to the site.
As most of staffs focusing on their KPls’, when they could not get information from the intranet, they will start frustrated and won’t bother to come again.
So now come the questions how to overcome this issues and bring out the best from it. Let tackle it item by item.
Let Everybody Contribute
Looking at the current practices, limiting the content contribution will not make any good. Give all staffs to contribute their findings, opinions and articles with they themselves taking ownership for their published contents. Along with permitting this privilege there should be some guidelines to impose in order for ensuring they are not abusing given privilege. Accomodate this feature should reduce or eliminate any vetting process.
Eliminate Departmental Portal
Let everybody utilize main intranet portal rather than providing another departmental portal. By performing this it can promote single source of “location” and accomodate all staffs to consume available information within organization. There are going to be massive contents in the single portal however by applying specific attributes will facilitate on managing information digging and classification.
Apply “New Web Trends”
Past few years “webthusiastic” started with Web 2.0 concept. It involves sleek user experiences, tagging, content driven, less graphics, no animation, semantic approach and many more. By applying above recommendations, this concept definitely can be easily suit in.
Common contents can be divide into two segment, which the first segment is the text based content and the second segment is the graphical presentation. Graphical presentation mostly came from analytical process and business intelligent end result. There are needs for organization to get first glimpse on certain production or utilization. By implementing this, it do help staffs having staf informed with real time trending.
Information Security & Classification
There should be content filtering based on staff’s role and position. Applying right attributes on the content itself can help determining content’s filtering. The filtering inclusive of write-ups and dashboard thus staff’s profile match up can be apply.
Linking to Corporate Master Data
Each of portal’s content definitely have it’s own attributes (metadata). Rather than trying to solve portal’s data integrity, it should leveraging corporate master data as any content creation can be tag to business process’ application. As an example the dashboard should feed from certain application and it’s view be controlled be the staff’s profile match-up.
Document Storing/Linking to ECM
Referred back to my previous article, it shows the demarcation of portal and ECM. It is two different thing but need to complement each other. Portal is the presentation layer while ECM will be the core layer. Thus when there is a need to share documents in portal, it will provide a link to documents which reside in ECM.
Published content should not be limited to just content viewing, it should be extend to content socializing. Posted content might lead to queries thus enabling comments is recommended. Besides this approach should replacing common forums or bulletin boards. At the same time, other features such as post recommendation, rating, sharing through notification/social media, bookmarking should be available. Doing this it will promoting the content information into a knowledge sharing.
“All web content must be mobile enabled!”. Now days most of human beings do have mobile device closed to them. Mobile device is the main medium for consuming information in the internet. If they can use it for internet, why not intranet? As when they can access the intranet portal through their mobile devices, having the portal itself was not mobile friendly, it will deviate staffs from utilizing the portal. They need to wait until they get back to their workstation and start using either desktop or laptop just for accessing the portal.
All item above do improvise the portal itself but do not going to increase the portal utilization. Proper change management should be available to ensure all staffs properly on-board and understands the rational of having above items implemented.