Creating a Great Intranet

We understand how to create a great intranet. In fact, two of our consultants were part of a team that created an intranet that was awarded the grand prize for best intranet in the Boston Intra.Net 2018 competition This contest included some strong competitors — like Wells Fargo, Capital One, Best Buy, Groupon, Disney, Deutsche Bank, Marriott International, Tyson, The Brookings Institution, RBC Royal Bank, and many more. We have created award-winning intranets, and we want to help your company create a great intranet too!

Three Feature Pillars

In our view, all intranets must get three features right. If these three “pillars” are done correctly, then we can occasionally get other things wrong, but still have a successful intranet.

Feature Pillar 1 – Search

Search is at the top of the list because it is the most important. It is the sin qua non of every intranet. The search experience must be simple and powerful. It needs to promote information that the management of the organization deems important. And at the same time, it should provide information that the employees of the organization want to find—so they will be more inclined to actually use it!

Guess what most users search for on their intranet? People. Your intranet should also serve as your internal company directory—and make it very easy to find people by name, title, location, department, job function, etc.

Feature Pillar 2 – Mobile

These days the whole intranet needs to work on mobile. That means every page needs to be responsive, and every menu needs to be touch-friendly. If you’re not doing this, then you’re probably not meeting the needs of your organization. Everyone on any device should be able to use the intranet to get their job done.

Feature Pillar 3 -User Engagement & Empowerment

Champions. Each intranet must have a champion (or a group of champions). These are the people that are passionate about presenting their organization or department to the workforce in an electronic medium. They may also be interested in running their business processes on an intranet platform.

User Empowerment. The intranet platform must have tools that are provided either out of the box or custom developed, and given to the intranet stewards to customize their experience in a way that meets their needs. If you do this, it will be easier for non-technical employees to assist (and feel ownership) in composing the intranet.

Here are some of the tools available on a typical modern SharePoint intranet: