Eight tips for implementing a social intranet [infographic]

There appears to be no perfect implementation of a social intranet, with a fixed mix of people, resources and marketing that matters to every organization. At the kick-off of a project and through progressive insight, you find out where the challenges lie in a project. In this article, we look at 8 factors that are successful and necessary in every implementation. More about implementing a successful social intranet can be found in the book “In 7 steps to a successful social intranet”.


Eight tips for implementing a social intranet.

#1 Make sure you have a good business case

So obvious, but oh so important: without business case you won't get far. And that goes deeper than “we want to share knowledge” or “we want to work better together”. When preparing a good business case, you shouldn't be too quick to be satisfied with the answer you get in the first place. A successful intranet contributes to what the organization wants to achieve.

#2 Get the right people involved in your project

Creating a social intranet requires a lot of expertise and input from various departments. When putting the project group together, don't just think of departments such as Communication, HR and IT, as often happens. Also, take a look at the roles that people take outside the standard hierarchical organizational structure. Who are the most influential people? Who are the early adopters?

Also, make sure that the people who make decisions are involved, who you will soon expect exemplary behavior. Involve upper and middle management. Tell them regularly why you are doing what and what you expect from them now and in the future.

#3 Involve and enthuse the organization

The challenge for the project group is to always switch with the end users, with other projects and with the various departments. In this way, you are working on a shared image of the intranet and the adoptive larger when going live. One of the most successful actions in an implementation is inspiration sessions at the start of the process. Here, colleagues can contribute ideas about the intranet, but also provide targeted feedback on the first ideas. What else can you do? Creating support is extensively discussed in our free ebook. Read more here.

#4 Have an engaged project team

We all recognize it, project members who have to go home earlier, project members who can't free up time because they have to do their “real work” and team leaders who can't set aside hours for project members because they have to deal with illness and/or hustle and bustle in the department. This is a big risk for your project. Request 100% commitment from project members over a relatively short period of time, then you can become a team.

#5 Define your deployment strategy

We really believe in the 'Think big, act small'-principle. Your set goals (your business case) are big, but you will work towards this higher goal in small steps. An Agile way of working (SCRUM) is very much in line with this. If you come up with new releases quickly and continuously, people can already use the new intranet and tell you how to make the intranet even better. This is not necessarily the case with the entire organization. Learn more about the deployment strategy in our free ebook.

Using the following schedule, you can determine the order to get started:

#6 Involve Ambassadors

You will meet colleagues who can preach the gospel of the intranet under different names: ambassadors, core users, early adopters or ICT buddies. Often, an open invitation is sufficient to get a group of colleagues active in this role. On the old intranet, ask who wants to take a fresh look at the new intranet.

An ambassador is enthusiastic, helpful to colleagues, critical to the project group, digitally savvy and knows how to translate the use of the intranet into daily work processes. For example, an ambassador comes up with the idea of unlocking colleagues' daily Outlook calendar on the intranet, so that the front office has a better view of colleagues' availability.

The primary task of an ambassador is to help and enthuse colleagues. A few weeks after the start, an initial evaluation follows in which the ambassadors come together to discuss the “tips, tops and flops”. This session provides input for further development and targeted actions can be taken to help colleagues move forward.

#7 Make sure management leads by example

The cliché “good example, follow” appears to be true in all projects. If managers and managers themselves actively participate in the intranet, this has a positive influence on the participation of his or her team.

You can participate in various ways. For example, by responding to substantive discussions held by the team. But there are also managers who choose to publish a 'Keek op de week' (a blog) where they share experiences, vision and ideas. This often leads to many positive reactions. You can also choose to make periodic reports of customer contact, sales or other business processes transparent and transparent via the intranet.

#8 Use supplier knowledge

Suppliers have a lot of knowledge and experience. The trick is to use that knowledge and experience. We notice that this is sometimes dealt with in a cramped way, often motivated by traditional us — they are images about customers and suppliers or by the interpretation of tenders or purchasing rules. There is no need for this. As long as you are transparent about what you ask different parties, you can benefit from it in your project and in your selection of a supplier.

A major disadvantage of involving suppliers late in your project is that you sometimes have no idea what is already possible by default. We regularly see that project phases go overboard, because more can already be done in the standard solution than described in requests.

Update: August 29, 2019, first published on April 29, 2014.

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