What Makes A Good Intranet

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  • WHAT MAKES A GOOD INTRANET?__________________________

    AND CAN YOU BUILD IT IN MS SHAREPOINT ?Jed Cawthorne, Prescient Digital MediaJBoye09, Philadelphia, May 2009

  • Who is Prescient?An end to end Intranet consultancyBenchmarked best practices and a wide variety of website case studies that is drawn upon for every client endeavor.A well defined and proven methodology that formally aligns the Intranet with the organizations business and objectives.Prescient owns no software or hardware; we are technology neutral. A focus on measured success, proven value and ROI

    2009 Prescient Digital Media

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    Our Clients

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  • Part 1 What makes a good intranet

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  • What makes a good intranet?It depends ! What do you want to do with it?

    How do you know what you want to do with it?Ask key business stakeholdersAsk the users Align the intranet to organisational strategy

    In other words, develop an intranet strategy in order to provide some direction 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • Where is the focus for your intranet?Four major categories or elements of organisational need an intranet can address:

    Internal CommunicationsPublishing content / informationCollaborationActivities actually doing something

    2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • CommunicationsThe Communications unit is often the business owner of the intranet

    Intranet possibly just one of many internal communications channels for broadcasting news and important internal messages

    There is a trend towards more conversational two-way communications

    There is also a trend towards multi-media delivery rather than just textual presentation 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • PublishingThe ability for all units and even individuals to publish content for others within the organization to consume

    The single source of truth !

    Links to the wider information and knowledge management environment, including document management systems etc

    Web 2.0 trends, blogging, UGC, etc 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • CollaborationWeb based intranet collaboration as replacement for or adjunct to other groupware and messaging systems

    Web based workspaces

    Web interfaces to email or Instant Messaging systems, document management systems etc

    For developing the 'work in progress' (before 'publishing' the final version) 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • ActivitiesGoing to the intranet to actually do something !

    Interactive online forms

    Applications like staff directories

    Access to all sorts of applications and systems that provide 'web' interfaces 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • The Intranet ecosystem ! 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • but........ Whether you focus on all of these elements, or in your own context you only need your intranet to provide one or two of these, what makes it good ? 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • To build a good intranet.....Make sure you consider:Design and Usability

    Information Organisation and Access, including: Information ArchitectureFindability & Search

    Content

    Tools and Applications

    Strategy, Planning and Resources 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • Design and usabilityUser centric designPersona developmentUse cases

    Graphic design and layout

    Accessibility

    Usability testing 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • Information Organisation & AccessStructures !

    Information ArchitectureCategorization of contentNavigation schemas

    Findability = MetadataMetadata for navigation & search Taxonomies, folksonomies and ontology'sSearch facilities

    Security access control and authentication 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • ContentContent is king !

    Tools and training for content authors / editors

    Processes and workflow

    Make it easy to create compelling content and provide 'stickiness' 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • Tools and applicationsTo be a truly useful business tool the intranet must facilitate activity

    A home for interactive tools and utilities, and navigation to and access point for other applications

    The intranet as the 'front end' for business processes, for example HR self service tools

    Keep it simple, but be innovative, add value ! 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • A slight diversion - portalsA 'portal' is just a 'way in'

    Portals don't necessarily mean portal software

    An intranet can have more than one portal

    Different flavours of portal:Collaboration centric Business process centricApplication centric

    2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • Strategy, planning and resourcesStrategy is an absolute necessity, including appropriate governance structures and policies

    Planning is also key hence the 5P's:Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

    Resources are often not given enough consideration do not forget the people!

    Don't forget to measure intranet performance 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • Part 2 Sharepointy stuff......

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  • Can you build a good intranet.......... using MS Office SharePoint Server 2007?

    Yes but don't be sucked in by MS marketing

    MOSS is a bit 'jack of all trades, and master of non' so take that into account when planning

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  • 2009 Prescient Digital MediaSharepoint TechnologiesWindows Sharepoint ServicesWSS - Free download if you have a Windows Server licenceMicrosoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007The cloud SaaS version of Sharepoint and other toolsMicrosoft Online ServicesMOSS07 Separate server product, also requires MS SLQ Server to work

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  • What does MOSS offer intranets ? 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • SharePoint for IntranetsWSS hosted for small business, on internal for workgroup team sites

    We will examine MOSS' facilities for:Providing Communications channelsPublishing content & informationCollaborationFacilitating business activities 2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • Communications Out of the box 'Publishing Portal' provides a news site template, with news archive and 'news article' content type2 way communications channels (blogs, forums)

    Out of the box multimedia capabilities are weak

    No Digital Asset Management (DAM) features for managing audio and video content

    2 way comms not best of breed functionality

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  • Publishing ContentReplaced MS Content Management Server as the Microsoft WCM product

    WCM in MOSS ('Publishing' features) is not configured as 'on' by default, it must be turned on and configured for a particular installation

    Out of the box Publishing Site templates are available to build upon including a 'Publishing Portal'

    MOSS blurs the traditional lines between designer and developer

    Accessibility is not good requires 3rd party tool kit

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  • CollaborationDivisional / business unit level collaboration portal is often touted as MOSS sweet spot

    Collaboration is firmly document centric

    Everything can be published as RSS

    Summary: a quote from Michael Sampsons, 7 pillars of IT-enabled Team Productivity:

    2009 Prescient Digital MediaSharePoints collaboration features leave much to be desired. SharePoint can not be said to a mature collaboration product. If you want more than shared access to team data, SharePoint is not the tool for your organisation

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  • Facilitating Activities More complex activities include providing access to other applications via WebParts etc

    It can be used to publish InfoPath forms to users who don't have the InfoPath client

    SharePoint Designer and / or Visual Studio needed for coding more complex workflows

    MOSS is just a front end for Windows Workflow Foundation services

    .Net development platform you can build just about anything with it, but how much will that cost ?

    2009 Prescient Digital Media

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  • Conclusions

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  • SharePoint can be your intranetBut..............

    Don't let IT foist it on you because they have licences business and user requirements have to be met !

    If you don't have MS skills or .Net expertise on site or the budget to hire it, then keep it simple

    As a general rule MOSS is good for an SMB intranet, or divisional intranet portal, but not enterprise level (1,000 seat plus) intranets.

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  • Jed Cawthorne MBA MBCS CITPSenior Business ConsultantPrescient Digital Media416.926.8800

    www.PrescientDigital.comwww.intranetblog.comwww.ecm-stuff.blogspot.com

    Twitter: @jedpc & @Intranet2

    2009 Prescient Digital Media

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