Ten Important Points for
THROUGH BUILDING DREAMS
Intranets have become an
information distribution and database tool. Until recently, only large
corporations had been able to take advantage of available technologies
to develop and maintain Intranets. The introduction of new, easy to use
Intranet tools makes this powerful technology accessible to any size
Jesse Boudreau, the President and
Pictorius Incorporated, completed 30 Intranet projects in his previous
role as Director of Information Systems at technology giant, Northern
His advice to those seeking to develop an Intranet is to make sure you
understand the needs and goals of your end-users and clearly
how they will benefit from your Intranet.
"It's more of a community effort
an IS project," says Boudreau, "if the Intranet isn't used or updated
it really defeats the purpose. You can spend a lot of time and money
an Intranet but if it doesn't provide the perceived benefits to your
you haven't done your homework. You end up with a big headache and most
likely, redesigning the whole project."
Boudreau reveals 10 hot points
corporate intranet teams should address before pulling up their sleeves
and building a site. "If you cover 10 before you begin, your Intranet
have a better chance of success," he advises.
Building a successful Intranet
design, careful planning and the right tools. Compare and evaluate
before making the final buying decision. Make sure that the product you
choose has the flexibility to build the site you want and the tools for
maintaining it quickly and easily.
- Start by gathering
representatives from each
department who want to publish information. Each department will have
information to publish and access, but make sure the overall site is
- Design a roadmap of the site
with your intranet
team. Gather together all of the content providers, web techies and IS
people that will contribute to building the site and brainstorm on what
the end product will do and should look like.
- Ensure that you give
of the site or sections of the site to a specific individual. By
responsibility up front, everyone knows who to turn to for managing and
maintaining overall site integrity.
- Don't assume all end users
and greatest hardware and software. Everyone accessing your site may
have a 21" monitor or the latest browser.
- Don't invest in content
extensive training. The content providers should be equipped with the
to update content themselves. If they can't figure it out in 20 minutes
or less, it's not worth it.
- Make sure you gather
log file analysis, lots of e-mail links) and review the information
You can then adapt your site to reflect the best interests of your
- If you have a large content
6 or more individuals, create pre-production staging areas and a review
process to coordinate content and activities.
- Schedule regular backups of
design a contingency plan in case the site goes down. It doesn't take
for an Intranet to become a mission-critical application. Practice
recovery" at least twice a year.
- Don't wait for the perfect
to be released. The technology changes too fast. Look for the vendor's
ability to change their tools to fit today's environment and their
to support the latest, useful technologies.
- Build for functionality,
Intranets are largely used to disseminate corporate information and for
database access. Don't make the information difficult to find or
queries too complex. Speed and simplicity are much better than cool but
Too many false starts can quickly
the excitement surrounding the launch of a company Intranet. Content is
king. Keep it fresh and your Intranet will quickly become your