I have been working as a professional web developer for quite a few years, and know what is possible and what is impossible. When I worked as a super geek attending meetings with other business leaders I always wondered what they were thinking. I often heard that “I want a solution that…”, “I feel we need…”, “I would like…” and “I have these needs…” So what do your employees need? Have you asked what can make their day more efficient?
I do think that a lot of intranets are hated by employees, they are slow, advanced, not interesting or a waste of time. You must talk to your employees and ask them what they do? If a web developer gets to ask these questions and learn how your employees work, they might see solutions that can make the intranet a tool that create a value. I am certain that a lot of routine work can be done in an easier way.
What about information?
A lot of business leaders are very concerned about flow of information. The intranet must be an information channel. Wrong! The focus should be “Tool”, “Tool”, and “Tool”. Then some information, when the tools are set. A small column is enough space for information, and it will be read, since it is being used daily.
Community, meet my digital neighbors!
Community sites like facebook are extremely popular. Everybody born after 1978 is familiar with these kinds of internet communities. Why not implement it at work? It would create an easy and familiar way to communicate. What if this is the base, and applications could be added as you need different tools?
If you as a leader decide to create an intranet…
Please do not make the decisions yourself. You can tell what you need, and the employees should say what they need. I would like some easy way to enter my daily results in a form, and automatically create graphs for last week, last month and for the last year. My manager could just enter my profile and see how I was doing. In this way I would save time making these graphs every Monday, creating a power point presentation and spending time in a meeting to give status. They could check my profile as often as they wished to see my progress. And then we could just chat for a few minutes about challenges and be constructive. It would be a timesaver.
My employees might rather want easier ways to log cases, or easier way to handle leads to the sales department. Hey, but I might be wrong, only the employees can answer this. And then we could create an application suited for their needs only. Different people have different needs.