Intranets are often implemented to solve a common business problem. Namely, communication and collaboration.
This generally means adding news and current information to the home page. Additionally collaboration usually comes from documents and forms such as policies, expenses, holiday booking etc
There is nothing wrong with this approach. In fact it is a good way to start to solve those primary business problems.
Firstly, the main drawback of this approach is that not all news is relevant. Secondly, not all forms and documents are relevant. Lastly, and most importantly, irrelevant information will detract from your intranet and have a negative effect on adoption and engagement.
We all know it is impossible to please everyone, all the time. But when it comes to intranets we can and should try to make the experience relevant
So what do we mean by relevancy?
Relevancy often means different things to different organisations. Essentially you want your intranet to deliver content that means something to someone. That could be specific news to a specific type of user e.g. the latest code practices for software engineers.
Of course, relevancy extends beyond content such as news. Documents and forms should be relevant too. For example, there may be different policies according to a users role or business unit. This is especially true for companies who are made up of subsidiaries
Implications of Irrelevancy
Relevancy is everywhere nowadays and forms part of our everyday lives. Our shopping experience, travel management and social media are underpinned by relevancy.
Relevance is an expected part of how we operate outside of our working environment. The same level of personal experience should be extended to your intranet.
If a user sees the same irrelevant content repeatedly they are less inclined to use the intranet. Similarly if the intranet does not help the user to complete a task easily based on their working context they will not see the advantage of using the intranet.
Ultimately users will be less engaged and less likely to adopt your intranet
Preparing for Relevancy
Most organisations already have information in place to assist with relevancy. Usually this is from a directory service like Active Directory or similar.
Basic information such as job title, location and department are enough to enable you to target information e.g. Project Managers in the UK
If you don’t hold this information then you should start to think about creating it. Making use of this information will improve the communication and collaboration experience for your audience.
It will also help with simple things like finding people, content and knowledge.
A little work up front will pay long term dividends.
Implementing Relevant Intranets
Once you have contextual information then you can use it on your intranet to drive content and information to the right people at the right time.
Most modern intranet platforms will support the ability to target information to certain users based upon profile information, group membership or role.
SharePoint has provided this functionality throughout its many versions and it is our platform of choice for creating relevant intranets.
Document and page libraries should have audience targetting turned on so that when a user views the content, they are viewing what is relevant to them.
If you then aggregate the information onto your homepage you are effectively making your home page relevant, contextual and personalised! i.e. Relevant Intranets
If you would like to talk to us about making your intranet relevant please contact us. We’d love to hear from you