During most internal community implementations, whether it is an upgrade or a brand new launch, a common question emerges; should we provide all departments or groups with a presence on our intranet? The simple answer is no, and based on recent project experience here is a few items to consider.
- Don’t migrate a bad presence to a new platform. Often times when we are migrating an intranet to a new platform (Or upgrading it), users want to migrate all content and all containers. A new platform is rarely a complete fix to a lack luster department presence. Review the purpose of each department page before migrating it. If there is NO strong need for the content or the department presence, save yourself the effort and reduce the clutter.
- Department pages rarely keep themselves up to date. One of the best ways to keep a department page up to date is to ensure it has an engaged owner. If neither the community manger nor a department representative is willing to manage the page- consider holding off on its creation until someone is available to ensure content is kept fresh.
- Department pages do not have to be organized according to your org structure. Often we find that the way users are organized in an org structure is not necessarily the way they work together or collaborate. Create places based on needs not departments to ensure ease of use and to avoid unnecessary silos.
- It’s OK to develop places as needed. Creating a lot of places for departments who are not ready to collaborate creates the illusion of a stale community. Create places only for those who need it now, this will allow the activity to show through. A vibrant community becomes its own activation tactic, as new users will check out the community and look for a place to make their own.
- Only reference content which is useful. A description of the department, all of it’s managers, and every document/ phone number or resource the department has ever created is not always needed on the home page of a department place. Only highlight highly used or very valuable items, and continuously monitor performance and user needs to update appropriately.
- Have a purpose. Ensure the page has a strong use case and is not just a legacy page.
- Ensure you have an engaged and trained owner to keep the page fresh
- Create places to collaborate and communicate based on user needs
- Consider rolling places out in waves according to needs.
- When you do create the place make sure to design it according to the specific group’s needs, ensuring unnecessary features or page elements are turned off.
Adams, Scott. "Comic Strip." Cartoon. dilbert.com 03 Feb. 1997. 01 Nov. 2014 <http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1997-02-03/>