Sted/kunde 00. april 2013the perfect intranet business case
And its barriers@onlineredin #intranetnow@onlineredin #intranetnow
one of our largest clients at Think! Digital is a large scandinavian retailer with more than 500 shops in denmark and Sweden. They have what is probably the oldest living intranet in Scandinavia. This year they are looking at consolidating that with the intranet in Sweden or possibly replace them with a new common platform. Before they could do this they needed to know what the current intranets were used for and by whom. It turned out the only way to find out was to go out at see the intranets in action at the shop floor. This gave me some insights that I it is quite rare to have when it comes to intranets. So I will share some of them with you.
This presentation is about perfect intranet business cases.It is build on my experiences from a recent project. It wasnt supposed to be about business cases. It came about because IT was afraid to close down the oldest danish intranet, because none knew what it was used for or by whom.
The only way to find out what it would take to close it down then was to visit the users on their shop floors and investigate the role that their intranet played in their everyday work life.
Ive heard of many many digital experts who tried to get to do this and never was allowed. The amazing thing is, that the exercise gave us insights we couldn't have obtained any other way.
I cant tell you who the organisation is, but I will tell you some stories of the people we met.
ContentEverything is AwesomeThe perfect intranet business case and why it is difficult to executeThe perfect intranet manager
Think! DigitalWill your CEO sing about the intranet?
this is the happy CEO of LEGO. He did a big turnaround and now they are doing really well. so well that he sings about it.
Would he sing about the intranet?
This man isnt singing about his intranet, probably not at all and definitely not specifically
Can you get your CEO to sing about your intranet?Probably not.
The thing is, that even if the intranet is important and can make a great difference it is never the most important thing to fix.If you can give me examples of the opposite Id love to hear them.
My shopMore money, shorter hours
Everything is Awesome!@onlineredin #intranetnowDont disturb the workers!Make it perfect!
The company I worked with looked very much like any other organisation embarking on an intranet project. There was a pressure from the top to consolidate the technical platforms and an inherent fear of disturbing customer facing staff. INtranet responsibility and communication through the internal channels reside in the mid layer where product managers work to disseminate messages through the agreed channels. They produce 100 page pdfs because it is so difficult to use the intranet for proper content management. Because they dont have proper notification functionalities they cant trust that users will read what the publish, so often information on the intranet is also accompanied with an internal email on which they can attach a receipt.
At my old job we used podioHere, there should be a stream of updated contentThese news should be visible here before they are available in the papersCan you integrate my personal list of direct phone numbers hereBetter SearchI dont want to keep track of so many logins.@onlineredin #intranetnowThis information has to go here, because it always has.
Because of the organisation and because the users havent been heard, initially the project was surrounded with a lot of standard requirement and a belief that the shop managers and assistant would follow the rules of compliance.
so the middle management layer have control, but they are not really allowed to disturb the rest of the work force, they are just supposed to support them. And they are measured on how compliant the rest of the business is, how many standards they can implement and their own efficiency. And they are fairly close to the infrequent but opinionated intranet stakeholders at the top of the organization.
They have a general idea of what the main bulk of staff would need, but they are not allowed to really look into it.
Sted/kunde 00. april 2013but what ifwe disturbed the business
So the task was to investigate what it would take to close down the existing intranets and which functionality that would have to be replaced immediately and what could wait.
Because we really didn't have any reliable quantitative data about how the intranet was used and because this is an organization under massive pressure to deliver results we had to go out and talk to people.
And I told them that the methodically right thing to do would be to
The real worker
And I think everyone who worked in a corporate function have had a yearning to get to analyse the real potential of building for the customer facing staff first and the admin end second and third.
But so often you end up guessing or getting 2nd hand information from managers, sales reps or via unofficial channels.
the perfect intranet business case
E-mail floodingSecure that handbooks are up to date and read Secure that handbooks are read Information is based on hearsay and rumoursLocal phone lists and org chartsThey ask for a social tool and use FacebookSupport office answer the same questions all the timeNo consistency in customer experienceLack of structure in communication from HQ departments to franchise networkResponsive scenariosShop@onlineredin #intranetnow
So we went out there and talked to people. and we found: a great case for going responsive because staff was already using their smart phones to communicate with each other And they wanted to be able to bring digital content with them into the store. For instance recipes for making sandwiches, and planogrammes for stocking the shelves right
We also found a need for optimising the access to safety information and forms to deal with regulations regarding environment
making it easy to find pre orders so shop manager can easily adjust if they have enough on stock.
And what you will find is a really good and relevant business caseIn the study that I got to do we unexpectedly got to do a couple of things differently than usual: Instead of looking at the shops close to HQ we actually got budget to visit some that had never been interviewed before and were far awayWe got to spend time, not just interviewing but also observing their work
And the business case is really solid.
Man on the floor: barriersNo access to intranet from customer facing workplaceCompany policy prevents use of available devicesAD doesnt allow differentiation of information to customer facing staff
And some barriers.
So there are all these right things to do, and a lot of barriers. Some of them require technical effort, but many of them can be solved with process and politics.
CompliantGrumpy but compliantSuperficially compliant
Think! DigitalThe really important intranet stakeholder
Shop managerA great tradeswoman/manA good bossA doerWill do anything to improve salesMakes do with what there isNegotiating corporate and local is second nature. Sales focus@onlineredin #intranetnow
So, while looking at whether we could close down the oldest intranet in Denmark or not I met this gorgeous young shop manager. She had just become manager of a completely new store - a dream had come true for her. And she showed us how she works. She manages a crew of 8-12 full and parttime employees who are never there at the same time for a meeting. So she relies heavily on people handing over the latest instructions when they arrive. She showed us all her indexed binders with everything from instructions on how to fix the car wash to making sandwiches. She had never really reflected on what was actually on the intranet, to her the only thing that mattered was the front page indicators of sales and profit margins. this woman will upsell a packet of matches at the same time that she is logging onto her emails and supervising her staff. She has great people management skills, she is a very clear communicator and if the tool she needs isn't available she will create it herself. She knows that there are rules, but on the other hand she also lets common sense be king when necessary.
Shop managers are potentially perfect intranet managers. If they were made to run the intranet everything would be optimised towards making our business targets There would be no governance issues because they are all authoritative leaders.She is a great merchant, with all the classical skillsShe is a great manager, and controls a staff of full and part timers around the clockShe applies her own structureIn her hunt for results on the bottom line she will invent new systems where she needs them. If HQ wont supply her with a list of bar codes that matches her stock, she will create one herselfShe will make her own Facebook group for employees ann keeps track of their personal cell numbers and email addresses to be able to communicate with them whenever necessary.She has no prior experience with intranets from other companies, so is happy with what there is. When she has to look through 100 page slide decks to see the next campaign she assumes this is the only way the information can be disseminated so doesnt complain about it. Frankly, when you look closely you are surprised at how much she does in one day.When you start browsing through it with her, she has opinions and would love to have smarter tools.
At the end of the interview, she is really excited about how easily her job could be made more simple. Not because she wants more time off, but because she could then dedicate more time to the customers and optimise her business.
If she claimed the intranet, it could be really successful. She has the business skills, the requirements and the drive to get things done.
SALES + MARGINS@onlineredin #intranetnow
if your focus is on always optimising your sales and margins and you deliver through a firm grasp of the bigger picture. Then it isnt only about what the system can do and how it does it. It is also about driving adoption and always optimising the information your staff needs to work as efficient as they can. How to do that is what we can learn by getting a 360 degree perspective on our customer facing staff. But it is also by working in that way that we would run better intranets. However, I doubt that although Elina, that I met on the shop floor in the northern part of sweden would ever like to work in an intranet team. She just wants to do better in her line of business.
Sted/kunde 00. april 2013business critical intranet
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