Posts Tagged ‘Needs Assessment’
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!
You are invited to attend:
Creating the Successful Law Firm Intranet
(A five-part webinar series hosted by Nina Platt Consulting, Inc.)
What is a successful law firm intranet? An intranet should be a business productivity tool. An intranet’s success is measured by the increased efficiency of the lawyers and staff who use it. Building a successful intranet involves having a good strategy, a realistic plan and involving users in every step of the process. A successful intranet begins with effectively following a five-step process: Research, Design, Develop, Rollout and Measure. Nina Platt Consulting, Inc. is hosting a five-part webinar series designed to teach you the steps to creating a successful intranet.
Wednesday, May 28 12-1:00 p.m. CST
In this session you will learn:
The top reasons law firm’s consider creating or redesigning their intranet.
Why conducting research first is critical to all phases of your project – creating a user-centered needs assessment.
Three things you can do to begin user-centered research at your firm today.
Owner and principal consultant, Nina Platt, is a former law librarian and AmLaw 100 firm library director who has worked with knowledge management (KM) in law firms since 1986. She has written and delivered numerous articles, presentations and papers on both KM and intranet-related subjects.
Amy Witt, Project Analyst, Nina Platt Consulting, Inc.
Laurie Southerton, Certified Usability Analyst, Southerton Consulting & Art, LLC
Laurie is a Certified Usability Analyst and a Certified Business Analyst providing clients exceptional results with intranet planning and design since 1994. Her company specializes in User-Centered Design, Marketing, Communications and Training.
FEE: $30.00 Save 15% when 5 or more attendees register from the same firm.
Registration deadline is May 23, 2008. Space is limited, so register early!
Mark your calendars for the next 4 webinars in this series:
Wednesday, June 25 12-1:00 p.m. CST
Webinar 3: Intranet Development: Develop with users.
Wednesday, July 23 12-1:00 p.m. CST
Webinar 4: You built it, now will they come? Plan the successful Intranet Rollout.
Wednesday, August 20 12-1:00 p.m. CST
Webinar 5: Measure & Maintain: Planning your Intranet’s future.
Wednesday, September 24 12-1:00 p.m. CST