4 pitfalls to avoid on your journey to a digital workplace

Food for thought: Albert Hoitingh writes about how to avoid pitfalls in in the creation, deployment and ongoing use of an effective intranet.

A key milestone in the realization of your digital workplace is the launch of a company intranet. It has the potential to be a powerful communication platform. But there are a number of pitfalls to avoid in the creation, deployment and ongoing use of an effective intranet. I’ve identified the following as the four most recognizable:

Pitfall 1: Failure to involve your employees in the process

Your employees are central to the delivery and sustainability of a new intranet. After all, it is the employees who use it every day. So, here are a few tips on involving them:

  1. Make sure your whole organization is engaged during the design and test phases, and not just the Communication department.
  2. Perform acceptance and user-friendliness (usability) tests and adjust the intranet based on the responses. 
  3. Enthuse the employees involved in usability testing and make sure they take that enthusiasm back to their colleagues.
  4. Ask for feedback on the new intranet – and act on it.

Pitfall 2 – The search environment is failing

Do not underestimate the power of effective search. A search environment where employees have to filter through page after page of search results will have a negative effect on the adoption of the entire intranet.

Also consider that when employees can’t find the information they’re looking for, it might not be due to a poor search environment. Employees who move from a folder structure to a digital work environment can face difficulties in finding information. So, the digital work environment must facilitate this with extensive search functions and a well-thought-out information architecture.

Pitfall 3 - The governance model is of poor quality

A new intranet also requires a good governance model. Without clear management, guidelines and agreements, your users won’t know what is and isn’t permissible, who is responsible for what, or even what the intranet is intended for. The right governance model should strike a balance between functionality and guidelines. 

Pitfall 4 – Your intranet doesn’t evolve

If your intranet does not grow with the organization or technological developments, then it loses its value very quickly. It must be continuously fed with new information and new functionality. But a new structure may also be required. So, think ahead, even during the planning and development phase. Work on a plan to easily manage the new digital environment and the long-term sustainability of the platform. 

  • albert hoitingh
    Albert Hoitingh
    Business Analyst Office 365