Posts Tagged ‘intranet’
I’m a bit tardy in reminding readers about the IBF 24 annual event hosted by the Intranet Benchmarking Forum on May 17-18, 2011. Paul Miller, IBF founder and CEO, talks about preparations for the event in a video blog post on Intranet Life.
IBF 24 is a free 24 hour web event that gives us an inside look at some of the best intranets from around the world with input from intranet gurus whose names you will know doubt recognize. The current schedule is as follows (note: the schedule is still being updated).
- Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together
- Charlene Li, social media thought leader and co-author of Groundswell, talking about her latest book “Open Leadership“
- Lee Bryant, keynote speaker and co-founder and Director of social business consultancy Headshift
- Brian Solis, Future Works
- James Robertson, Step Two Designs
- Wayne Clark, Best Companies
- Gary Swart, oDesk
- Ross Dawson, keynote speaker, author and expert on teh future of business and technology
- Peter Hinssen, Managing Partner of Across Technology and author of “The New Normal“
- Adam Pisoni, CTO and co-founder of Yammer, who will join directly after a Yammer press event announcing the company’s vision and product news that will further strengthen Yammer’s integration into the enterprise system landscape
- Live intranet tours from Google, BT, IKEA, Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Abbott, Oxfam International, Aviva, Verizon, Duke Energy, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, British American Tobacco, WWF, European Space Agency, Bell Labs, Booz Allen Hamilton and many more!
If you haven’t attended this event, you might want to plan on it this year. One of the great things about the event is that you don’t need to attend for the entire 24 hours if you need to work or don’t have the where with all to stay up for 24 hours. In the past, I’ve noted the parts of the program I was most interested in and worked out attending with my schedule. If you can, you may want to attend the entire 24 hours for all the ideas and insights you can take in. I’m going to give it a try. Did someone say caffiene?
Project management in law firms is becoming more and more prominent. As well it should, given the good it can do for keeping projects on track, on time, and within scope. If you haven’t already started using some project management principles with your intranet (or whatever other thing you’re working on), a good place to find helpful tips and templates is gantthead.com. Once you register for an account, you’ll have access to a wealth of PM information. Sign up for the gantthead lite e-newsletter and you get articles delivered right to your inbox, such as a recent one called How to Ruin Your Project. In it, the author talks about the bad decisions that can cause a project to fail, such as failing to learn from mistakes and inconsistent communication. Not only do the articles have a common sense approach, the entire website is meant to be a community of resources for project managers everywhere. Check it out!
~ Amy Witt
Even if you’re a seasoned intranet professional, there’s always something you haven’t heard before. Sometimes, the very nature of the intranet (being internally focused and heavily customized to your corporate culture) lends itself to being cut off from the outside world. I read an article recently called 12 Workplace Phrases You Probably Don’t Know…But Should. Many of the phrases are applicable to the intranet world and are worth repeating. Below are a few of the phrases the authors listed, but I added my own thoughts on how they apply to intranets.
Holistic: No matter what you’re doing with your intranet – redesigning, building, planning, maintaining – you must always keep the big picture in mind. That means taking into consideration things like the number of users affected, other practice groups involved, resources you might need, time for development and testing, other projects happening simultaneously, the external website and any duplication of effort or content, etc. Look at everything around you – this is what a “holistic” approach means.
Running in parallel: If you’re developing something new for your intranet, it’s always good to keep the old system around for a period of time, even if it’s just as a backup. I’m not saying that you should allow people to use both old and new for very long, but running in parallel until the new system is stable is a good idea.
Use Case: These are critical for intranets when developing something new and testing. Use cases are documented situations that explain a specific situation to follow in order to determine if the solution will meet the needs. You should write multiple use cases for various situations in order to thoroughly review the solution.
Wireframe: Wireframes are especially helpful for intranets when you are in the beginning stages of a new design. They are simple pictures to show your developers how you’d like the screen to look. They should be low-tech and low-cost. Draw a picture, if you must! Creating wireframes is a way to ensure that the project is programmed they way you envision.
Now here are a few more phrases you should know that I’m adding to the intranet list:
User-centered design: Involving users in every phase of an intranet project enables the team to effectively prioritize features and functions, select the right tools and design the most efficient ways to accomplish tasks online. During each phase of development it is critical to engage, involve and interact with users. Asking basic questions and documenting findings will enable the team to make better decisions throughout the project.
Needs assessment: Exploring they way things are in the current intranet is critical, as well as determining where things should be. An assessment in my mind is different than an evaluation, which occurs after the fact. You might be locating gaps, assigning priorities, finding causes and identifying solutions. Again, intranet end users are critical to finding this information, so involve them early in the process.
Do you have some intranet phrases of your own to add to the list? If so, I’d love to hear them!