Written by IABC Volunteer Brittany Skinner
Imagine you’re working on a report when you hit a brick wall and cannot seem to come up with anything else to write. So you decide to take a break and read an online article, thinking it will only take a few minutes, and help clear your mind. However, after reading that first article, you click on a suggested link, and then another, and then a third, leading you further and further away from your report. Next thing you know, you’ve spent the past hour and a half reading articles, debating in comment sections, and conversing with people halfway around the world, before you get back to your original task.
As technology has taken an ever-greater presence in our lives, the Internet has allowed these worldwide conversations to take place, in real time. People now have the capability to tap into an endless realm of shopping centers, conference halls, movie theaters, and information highways, with the click of a button and from the comfort of their own homes. However, it is situations like the aforementioned, that leads people to question whether spending time online in the workplace is ‘wasting time,’ and whether ‘wasting time online’ is the same as ‘wasting time in the cafeteria.’ These questions, and many more, were discussed in Jayson Peltzer’s presentation “The Road to Intranet Collaboration” given on Wednesday May 21st
Without getting too technical, Jayson began his presentation by discussing the basics of open source software, before delving into the necessary steps to build an Intranet that increases employee engagement and productivity. By reinforcing that Content is still King, Jayson emphasized how information on your corporate intranet must be accessible, findable, managed and timely.
He explained that the first step towards building a successful Intranet is to define your information architecture/content types. In this regard, primary content provides context (users, groups, projects, services); secondary content augments the primary information through engagement (advertisements, alerts, announcements, events, polls etc.); and tertiary content consists of user-generated content (blogs, forums, FAQs, tweets, comments 2014.
Jayson’s next step follows the old saying, “If you build it, they will come.” As such you must build a dynamic navigation framework that allows users to navigate between content types, before you open your doors to public content creation. By creating mash-up pages, master pages and home pages, you can tailor your content in a variety of ways, such as faceted search functions, enriched sidebars/footers and ‘community spotlights.’ Only after you have your framework established, should you tap into your community of publishers (aim for 10%) to help add content.
Upon “unleashing your workforce”, the next step in creating a successful Intranet is to implement control measures using a ‘passive content moderation approach.’ In doing so, you restrict content creation on primary pages to a select group of people, while allowing your community of employees to self-moderate the content that is published on the tertiary pages. Some tools that can help the self-moderation process include ‘flag as inappropriate’ links; emphasizing ownership and banning anonymous comments; setting up an automatic page expirations; posting a ‘netiquette’ guide and creating an advisory committee that creates a process to handle inappropriate posts (if and when they arise). When setting your control measures, it is important to remember that ‘over-architecting’ limits things and slows everything down. The Internet runs in real time – employees want to see their posts immediately and converse with their peers as the activity is taking place.
Finally, it is important to give each employee his or her own profile that shows off their content and interests. Not only does this help lower the opportunities of anonymous posts, but it can also lead to internal mentoring programs, in which employees highlight their skills (such as Excel), and their willingness to help others (install an “open to mentoring” option), with the hopes that others will reach out and ask for help from those ‘experts’, thus leading to greater employee engagement.
“When people create together, they can achieve things that would otherwise be impossible on their own.”
Jayson then explained that once you have your intranet fully functional, it is important to maintain the infrastructure, and keep things relevant. Continue to provide more tools, and extend your intranet to provide collaborative spaces.
In concluding his presentation, Jayson then highlighted 5 key elements:
- Build one, and only one platform to keep everyone focused on the mission
- Your Intranet must continue to evolve as will technology and your organization
- Define your governance near the end
- Keep in mind the 1-9-90 rule (for every 100 people, 1 will be an avid user, 9 will be somewhat involved and 90 will be watching)
- Use Drupal
Click here to access Jayson’s presentation The Road to Intranet Collaboration.
Don’t forget to register for our AGM & Social season closer on June 18.
Thank you to our event sponsors:
IABC Ottawa would like to thank its generous Season Sponsors: