New Solution to Accelerate the Clarification and Implementation Phase of an Intranet Project

Head of Product Development, Flemming Goldbach, introduces to the Wizdom Accelerate solution.

The process for defining which functions should be on a new intranet and how they should work hasn’t changed much. It still includes extensive workshop work, surveys, clarification work etc. Workshops, to clarify which functionality that supports employees in doing their work, is still a vital part of creating a new intranet. However, we are confident that a template based approach can have a huge and beneficial impact on the process of building an intranet solution.

Intranet projects can take a long time to complete. According to a Nielsen Norman Group survey from beginning of 2017, on average implementing a great intranet took approximately 18 months. In the past, one main reason was that organizations built their intranets based on platforms like SharePoint, but with most of the functionality custom coded. Great branding needed to be custom coded, great targeted news and navigation needed to be custom coded, etc. This process took a long time. Today, most organizations base their new intranet solutions on products like Wizdom that include pre-coded functionality. This means, all of the features can be implemented using configuration instead of coding. This greatly improves the quality and capabilities of the intranet while lowering cost of implementation and improving flexibility. However, the process for defining which functions the intranet should include is still the same. This process still includes extensive workshop work, surveys, clarification work etc. In contrast, in more and more areas a template based approach is employed to kickstart the implementation and creative process. For example in public website and e-shop roll-out, implementations typically start by selecting configurable templates and then making adjustments.

We are confident that this template based approach can have a huge and beneficial impact on the process of building an intranet solution as well.

Instead of starting with a blank canvas and wire framing functions and information the process should start from a template that encompasses best practices from experience. This will make the process faster, but also less abstract for business stakeholders involved in the process. Because everyone involved can see live example of how the functionality etc. will look, when discussing relevant capabilities. In Wizdom we have built a solution called Accelerate to achieve exactly this. With Accelerate we can accelerate both the decision and implementation process by starting from templates instead of a blank piece of paper. Accelerate is based on our vast experience delivering intranets to hundreds of customers. By collecting this ecperience in pre-built best-practice templates, Accelerate allows intranet teams to start the clarification and implementation process  from a template that encompasses many years of experience, instead of from a blank page and the question: “What do you want on your intranet?”. More specifically, the process can start with installing the intranet product and deploying a template for the intranet, before the first workshop with the team.

The workshop, then, can focus on discussing what is needed in addition and what should be changed. Instead of discussing everything from scratch. A super user can navigate to the Accelerate Wizard and make additions, or make specific adjustments directly on sites and pages created from templates. An organization can even divide the roll-out in phases. Starting for example with communications and knowledge sharing needs. And then, at a later stage, go to the Accelerate Wizard again to roll out collaboration focused department sites, manuals or a project portal. This approach saves time and money,  greatly reducing the critical and often frustrating time between when the organization decides to purchase a new intranet, and to the point where editors can start providing content, and ultimately when all employees can benefit from the new great intranet.

So like the product approach improved the way the technical implementation of a SharePoint intranet was done, we believe that this template based approach will greatly improve the clarification and configuration process that’s part of implementing a new intranet solution.

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