Archive for the ‘Staffing’ Category

Intranet design has come a long way in recent years, especially with the advancement of social networking tools, user-centered design, and mobile access. If you’re interested in what other intranets are doing and keeping your intranet fresh and usable, you should read Nielsen/Norman Group’s post and report on the 10 Best Intranets of 2010.

The 10 winning intranets for 2010 include:

  • Enbridge, Inc., a leader in energy transportation and distribution in North America (Canada)
  • GE, a diversified technology, media, and financial services company (US)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a nonprofit medical research organization (US)
  • Huron Consulting Group, a consulting company (US)
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a NASA Center that manages robotic spacecraft exploration of Earth, the solar system, and the universe (US)
  • The MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization managing four federally funded research and development centers (US)
  • SCANA Corp., a Fortune 500 energy-based holding company (US)
  • Trend Micro, Inc., a leader in Internet content security (Japan)
  • URS Corporation, a leading provider of engineering, construction, and technical services for public agencies and private sector companies (US)
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Walmart), a retailer with more than 8,000 retail units under 53 different banners in 15 countries (US)

Jakob Nielsen also lists some interesting highlights of the report in his Alertbox posting on January 4th:

  • median company size among winners was 6,350 employees
  • average team size this year was 14 people, which is 27% higher than the average team size in 2006
  • 30% of the intranets had special mobile features
  • social network features on winning intranets include social features for employees as individuals, as well as workgroup support and other features that encourage work-related connection
  • trend of CEO blogs on better intranets
  • winning intranets encouraged users to try out new and improved features
  • 40% of winning companies designed intranet features with the explicit goal of addressing unexpected emergencies

While the Alertbox posting has some of the high-level findings, the nitty gritty detail is, of course, in the full report. It’s available for download for $224 (single license), and at 449 pages with 198 full-color screenshots it promises to be well worth the nominal price tag.


It was recently pointed out that I neglected to mention the word “library” or “librarian” at all during the content and staffing sections of our recent webinar on intranet design.  Honestly, I can’t believe I did that.  What a slip-up for someone who works daily with librarians!  I guess I just take their involvement as something so central, that I forget that others may not.   Let me attempt to redeem myself…

The firm librarian or library department should be involved in developing and choosing the content of your intranet.  Their interaction with practices, administration and all levels of staff provide them a unique take on how the firm works and how information flows through the firm.  They also have a lot to add around the topics of categorization, taxonomy, and content organization. 

As for interface design and functionality, they work with web sites and services heavily and have skills in the evaluation of web services for content and usability.  Get them involved early and you may be surprised at the benefits they can bring to your project.

Finally, as for intranet staffing and project team membership, librarians can be your allies in many respects.  Part of a law firm librarian’s job is to foster relationships with partners, associates and new lawyers surrounding resources and library services training.  If you also have them heavily involved in your intranet (whether on the governance board, steering committee, project team, or some other way), guess what else they’re going to talk to those associates and new lawyers about?  That’s right – using the intranet!

No matter how you get them involved, your firm library can definitely add a lot to your intranet project.  Don’t make the same mistake as I did in my presentation and leave them out!  You might not realize it right away, but you will probably regret it.

-Amy Witt

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.

WEBINAR 1: Why is research critical to intranet success?

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.


Nina Platt, Principle Consultant, Nina Platt Consulting, Inc.
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.

Amy has over 8 years of experience planning and managing intranet projects and teams. Previously to joining NPCI, Amy was Intranet Manager in an AmLaw 100 firm.

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: 

Webinar 2: Intranet Design is more than just words and colors. 
     Wednesday, June 25 12-1:00 p.m. CST

Webinar 3Intranet 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          

  • kiiac
  • Purchase Creating a Successful Law Firm Intranet

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