The third in the series of IntranetsLive events I have to say this one was much improved on the first one [notes on it by me]. Very much more professional, snappier and very useful.
Hosting were Paul Miller and Paul Levy.
I took notes this time, rather than live blogging - hence the delay in getting my notes online. Infact so slow that the 4th in the Intranets Live series is in about 6 hours time.
This is a record of what occurred, for those who couldn't attend. It is also a record of some of the great work that has been done by the organisations IntranetsLive profiled in the third event. As always the mistakes and omissions are mine alone. I've posted screen shots, and where appropriate I've removed sensitive material - if you would prefer the screen shots are removed please contact me, I'm very happy to address any concerns immediately.
245 people joined in with this event.
First up for the new year was Candice Cahill from Phillips Healthcare division (35,000 employees), one of three divisions at Phillips.
Also from Phillips Healthcare was Aida Kenyon consultant with Phillips design.
Aida works in design and strategy execution. she does intranet AI and usability. Phillips has usability facilities that are taken advantage of by the intranet but they also do lost of remote testing.
for Phillips Healthcare Candice says their major goals are to get everyone on the same platform and deliver a new IA. I asked Candice about the reasons for moving to the same platform, the reply wasn't very specific and I didn't have the opportunity to delver further into this. My personal opinion is that this is a nice to have, and often a very expensive one that means intranets deliver less to the bottom line of the business. More on this in another post on the topic of 'same platform mania'.
After talking with Phillips Healthcare Paul Miller moved on to the new section hosted by Nic Price. Nic Talked about the recent news that Telegraph media group were moving from Microsoft applications to Google Apps. A move Gartner research see as happening more and more.
Jane McConnell Global Intranet Trends report
The second major item on the program was Jane McConnell talking about the Global Intranet Trends report she has just produced out of her Global Intranet Survey in the last half of 2008.
226 organisations - 65% private - 24% public with <5000>100,000 employees.
Jane started by pointing out how turbulent 2008 had been for intranets as reflected by the increased numbers of mergers, organisational changes, sponsor changes and new reporting lines that survey respondents had mentioned.
Jane's second major issue to report from her findings was the large gab between reality and how senior management perceive the intranet's improtance.
- 60 - 80% of staff would be disrupted if the intranet went down for 1 hour - 1 day
- 40% of C level managers consider the intranet critical.
This again reiterates the need for intranet teams to get better at making the case for and selling the intranet up the management chain.
Jane joined this disconnect with governance and
- how low the number of business owners of content there are (36%)
- how less than 50% of organisations have communities of practice to support their networks of content contributors
Governance was seen, in the study, as the get out of jail card for social media concerns that many organisations continue to have.
Jane was surprised how low the percentages were for optimization of social media tools.
The information correlates well with Toby Ward's blog post [ Intranet 2.0 transformative powers and barriers ]. In it he talks about exec support being one of the main barriers to adoption. Which he then links to, and I agree, a lack of strategy and business case for the intranet. Jane's survey points out larger organisation tend to have better C level support. Toby points out that this support is one of the key things required for intranet 2.0 success. Jane and Toby's survey results appear to support these conclusions. Certainly my real world experience and the anecdotes I've heard support this hypothesis.
Dr William Hudson
The next section of IntranetsLive Jan 2009 was the intranet doctor - William Hudson (User experience specialist)
William was talking to Kurt Jones - MD intranet solutions for Charles Schwab - who show the Schweb (Charles Schwab intranet) HR direct page and talked about how he would like to redesign it so that
- it would be easier for new employees to use
- announcements weren't so buried
- people used the help, no one does now
- it is more friendly and viable
For a start William suggest http://www.greekthis.com/ a site he setup which will change all the characters into Greek. His suggestion was to Greek the HR direct page, then show screen shots of it to new employees and have them tell Kurt what each area was for.
William's point was that news items should look like news items that people see on news sites.
William then talked about reading order and how web page gaze is approximately F shaped, i.e. the bottom right of the page doesn't get much of a look in. So don't put important stuff there. This was in reference to Jacob Neilsen's study of eye tracking.
For quick links William suggests that they should be ordered by most used not alphabetically. In my experience you don't want to change them too often, when they do change often my staff find it easier for them to be in alphabetical order.
The doctor's final layout.
A day in the life of an intranet manager
This section was an interview between Paul Levy and Kurt Jones of Charles Schwab.
My notes on this section are pretty short compared to the time taken for the interview
- Kurt - "a lot of meetings"
- photo of Kurt's desk was a nice touch
- interwoven is the Schweb platform
- collaboration is via SharePoint
- moving to MOSS
- Kurt - "I'm a change manager and negotiator"
- HR is the intranet owner
The next section was the news - none of which was news (new information or information on current events). I'd find this section much more useful if it gave a snippet (url or delicious bookmark tag) and told why it was important to intranet managers or intranets. As it was the section was lots of stuff I could find myself, too waffly and WAY too much scrolling around web pages. Take a screen shot of the page, or company logo and talk to that, don't show me what you're reading to me please.
Deloitte's US intranet
The last session was with Jeffrey Ward, director portal strategy and ops from Deloitte. Jeffrey talked about the US part of Deloitte's intranet that he is responsible for.
Jeffrey is part of the comms team and the intranet is the primary vehicle for communication within the company. Three news editors collate, write and publish the articles on the home page and come up with special section ideas like 'Eye on the economy'
Deloitte have an internal social networking application that they built in house called Dstreet. It was this that Jeffrey gave us a tour of first.
One third of Deloitte's 45,000 staff have added information to their Dstreet profiles so far.
Currently Deloitte are using MS CMS 2002 but they're moving to SharePoint 2007. They're already using it for blogging by some teams on specific topics. Deloitte also use SharePoint's wiki option, their most successful application of this so far was a wiki setup in memorium of a well known staff memember who died unexpectedly. The in memorium wik provided a means for Deloitte's very distributed staff to grieve together on the intranet, sharing their stories, photos, experiences and grief.
In response to a question Jeffrey briefly outlined the governance structure DeloitteNet uses.
- Day to day operations - ops team and IT
- General - advisory committee of 25 staff making key decisions
- Governance board - made up of leaders of the primary business areas
Very quick as I have to get some sleep prior to the next intranets live event (4 hours away).
IntranetsLive Jan 2009 was very worth while, in writing this up 1 month after the event I've really had a chance to think about some of the presentations. Even to the point where, unfortunately, we may make use of the Deloitte wiki use case.