μεταcole

Intranet Design and Governance

Posted in all posts, design, intranet by coleman yee on June 18, 2007

Over the last 3 months, one of the projects we’ve been working on at PebbleRoad is the revamp and redesign of a client organization’s intranet.

The organization has over 700 staff, most of them at the headquarters, but a significant number of them in their other locations spread all over Singapore.

The role of PebbleRoad was to conduct research, then redesign the structure and the layout (wireframes) for the new intranet based on the research. Another company would then use our design to do the actual implementation of the intranet.

We’re almost finished with our part. Although I can’t divulge too many details at this point, it’s been a fun and fulfilling ride so far.

As part of the research, we had to conduct many interviews with different staff, to understand their work habits, their informational needs, and so on. As of now, we’ve interviewed close to 10% of all staff.

Personally, those interviews weren’t just to find out what problems needed to be solved or even to understand the users – what was more important was that those interviews gave me an opportunity to have personal contact with those who will be using the intranet that I’m redesigning, to actually care about them. I’m not redesigning the intranet for some faceless silhouetted entity called the user; I’m doing it to help make the lives of these nice people a better.

Which makes the work alot more meaningful. It makes me want to do a better job.

But creating a wonderfully-designed intranet is only the start. What is equally important is how the intranet is cultivated, so that the benefits of the intranet can be maintained or increased, in symbiosis with the organization itself.

To help with that, we produced an intranet governance guide:

This guide describes a set of processes that need to be in place and a set of actions that need to be taken to sustain and grow the intranet. Without these guides and checks, we risk diluting the very efficiencies and productivity gains that the intranet is designed to provide.

My colleague and I had much discussion over this guide. I hope it’ll be useful for others who are maintaining intranets, or are planning to do so.

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