Launching a corporate intranet or new initiative within an existing intranet requires investment in the form of labor and capital. Before allocating time and resource to deliver a project, wouldn’t it be nice to understand if it has an opportunity to contribute positively by adding business value? Fortunately, achieving intranet project success from a business standpoint does not have to be a guessing game.
Over a series of various online community and corporate intranet deployments, heuristics have emerged as to what will make the community a “success” and provide a return on the investment. These heuristics can be used with a broad array of deployments within your corporate platform to gauge what business value is created for the end users of the platform.
These guidelines can be condensed into a workbook format to help us to understand and prioritize development activities on the basis of the value that they provide. The workbook includes a series of questions that fall into five basic categories outlined below.
- Content – knowledge workers require access to various documents and materials that are analyzed and synthesized in order to perform their job functions.
- Process – a task or series of related tasks that can be represented as a workflow that workers need to interact with at some frequency in order to perform their job functions.
- Access – can potentially present a barrier to use if complex or redundant authentication to systems is required. Conversely, if multiple systems become available from a single authentication value in the form of time savings can exist.
- Application – various line of business systems are critical to employee’s ability to perform their jobs. This category relates to these tools that are often specific to collecting and referencing data for a particular department or job function.
- Time – acts as a well understood, easy to convey metric to evaluate possible savings from projects.*
*Please note that this workbook will only touch lightly on time savings. Time savings is a byproduct of various efficiencies that an intranet potentially offers users. The workbook focuses on the underpinnings of what delivers the time savings.
The workbook has a variety of line items associated with each category. Within each category there are groups of line items that need to be marked with a y or n indicating if they are applicable. For each group select only one line item can be answered. As the workbook is completed a running tally is displayed in the upper right hand corner of the sheet. If when finished the score is above zero – the project that you have outlined will provide solid business value and give your end users a compelling intranet space.
I would be interested in feedback on the workbook, as there are many additional line items that could be added.