Friday, March 19, 2010

Is your intranet design working against you?

I was interviewed this week by @jessicascarpati for an Internet based publication called . Jessica works out of Newton, Massachusetts and I am in Sydney, Australia so I am 15 hours ahead of Jessica. I always find it hard to get my head around the fact that when I send an email to the states it is usually going back in time to yesterday.

I enjoyed doing the interview and was also enthusiastic about the topic. With many Intranet analysts exploring new applications and incorporating Web 2.0 into their Intranets, Jessica wanted to remind readers that we still need to get the basic things right if your site is to be successful.

Social networking, wikis and other Web 2.0 tools on intranets are snagging all the attention as enterprises try to breathe new life into their corporate portals. But the bricks and mortar still count. Ignoring intranet design best practices can spell death for even the most application-rich portals.

"All users are different, and we may never come up with a design that is perfect for everyone," Richards said. "[But] making assumptions about user needs and habits is a big mistake. Creating a site design based purely on rules of thumb and assumptions equals failure."

Thanks Jessica for making this such an enjoyable exercise and also for putting together a very nice article.

You can read the complete article here: Intranet design best practices start by tearing down department walls

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Video Snipits from Two IntraTeam 2010 Keynotes

After a little confusion regarding the year my previous posts videos were produced, I am pleased to advise that the following videos are definitely from this years IntraTeam 2010 event. I have only embedded 2 videos this time and they just happen to be from two of my favorite Intranet thought leaders (Jane is my absolute favorite but don't tell James). For anyone not familiar with Jane and James, read my previous post that includes a short bio on both.

Future Intranet for New Ways of Working - Jane McConnell NetJMC

Future Intranet 2015 James Robertson

Thanks to @KurtKragh and the crew at @IntraTeam for putting together the successful 2010 event and for giving those of us who were not able to attend such a rich selection of information from Intrateam 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Video Snipits from Four Intrateam 2009 Keynotes

Here is another example of how the organisers of Intrateam make the conference an interesting and informative event for those of us who were unable to be there in person.

I was under the impression that these videos were from this years event but I am advised by Kurt Kragh Sørensen from Intrateam that these videos were in fact from last years event. Kurt also advised that the videos from Intranteam 2010 are still to come. Something to really look forward to.

Each keynote speakers does a brief 5 minute video interview after their presentation. If you are an Intranet Manager interested in the future of entrerprise Intranets I enthusiastically recommend checking out each of the videos I have embedded below.

I have to admit that I am a little biased toward the featured presenters below having met and known two of them for a few years now and have enjoyed a professional online relationship with the others for some time also. For those who do not know these guys here is a short summary on each.

James Robertson - Managing Director, Step Two Designs
James is a true Intranet Guru. He seems to live and breath Intranet and always seems to have a finger on the pulse of what the future might hold for Intranets and Intranet management. James is also a prolific Blogger and blog reader and his Column Two blog is essential reading for any Intranet Manager. James and Step Two also run the annual Intranet Innovations Awards that I am sure many of you are familiar with.

Jane McConnell - Founder, Netstrategy/JMC
For the past 4 years Jane has produced the Global Intranet Trends Report. This report is compiled from the results of the worldwide Global Intranet Strategies Survey that Jane facilitates annually. I have participated in the last 3 surveys and would highly recommend that all Intranet Managers sign up to take part in the upcoming 2011 survey and you will be rewarded with a participants copy of the report once compiled.

Martin White - Managing Director, Intranet Focus
Martin is the author of The Content Management Handbook. He could also be called a Search Guru with a wealth of knowledge and experience in good, bad and ugly enterprise search implementations and management. Martin is currently working a another book, The Intranet Governance Handbook that is due out in August 2010.

Toby Ward - President & CEO , Prescient Digital
I have only met Toby via Twitter and have found him to be a fabulous source of Intranet Information. His blog, is a valuable source of ideas, thoughts and observations about Intranets and Enterprise 2.0. I hope one day to be able to meet and chat with Toby in person to expand on our current social media facilitated relationship.


James Robertson - Transforming the Intranet into a Business Tool
Managing Director - Step Two Designs
Blog - Column Two
Twitter - @s2d_jamesr

Jane McConnell - Main Conclusions from the Global Intranet Trends Report
Founder - Netstrategy/JMC
Blog - Globally Local-Locally Global
Twitter - @netjmc

Martin White - Why is an Intranet Strategy Important
Managing Director - Intranet Focus
Blog - Intranet Focus Blog
Twitter - @IntranetFocus

Toby Ward - Pros and Cons of the MOSS Platform
President & CEO - Prescient Digital Media
Blog -
Twitter - @Tobyward

Intrateam 2011 is planned to take place in March next year and if this years event is anything to go by it will be well worth any Intranet Managers effort to attend.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Intrateam 2010 - Conference day one summary as viewed via Twitter

Intrateam 2010 is an International Conference about Intranet and Enterprise 2.0 currently taking place in Copenhagen. This event is THE place to be if your are interested in the future direction of Intranets and the people who use and manage them. International Intranet thought leaders like James Robertson, Jane McConnell, Michael Sampson, Mark Morrell and Martin White have been wowing delegates with their extensive knowledge and thought provoking presentations on day one. Needless to say I am green with envy at all who have had the opportunity to attend this gathering of Intranet gurus.

Now those of you who regularly use twitter to follow information on Intranets would have no doubt seen tweets from conference attendees in the past. I have never really been a huge fan of this practice. The tweeted comments on presentations usually lack context and seldom provide any value for people on the outside looking in. But that was before I started following the #IE10 comments posted from Intrateam 2010.

Following event proceedings last night from my home in Sydney was just fantastic. The tweets from #IE10 were gems of information. Thought provoking questions, insightful observations and valuable advise were coming thick and fast in less than 140 characters. I am now convinced that provided the person tweeting from the event has the ability to communicate key points and not just a stream of topics, following conference presentations on Twitter can be an entertaining and informative experience.

Here are some of the tweets from 4 of the English sessions on day one.

Future Intranet for New Ways of Working - Jane McConnell, Intranet and Portal Specialist
(Jane presented some of the key results from her Global Intranet Trends 2010 report)

Building the Best Practice Intranet - Andrew Wright, Managing Director, CIBA Solutions and Stephan Schillerwein, infocentric research

How Newsdesk helped Shell save $5 million - by Rossen Roussev, former Shell Enterprise Portal manager
  • Shell saved $15m on a budget that was 10% of that amount.#IE10
  • Shell portal rolled out to 142k people in 142 countries #IE10
  • Few users will personalise - most want content profiled for them #IE10
  • Use words and phrases that help management achieve their business objectives. Rossen Roussev Shell #IE10
  • More important than the (impressive) number of $ saved by shell's intranet was that it was done in a way that management bought into #IE10
  • shell's savings came from overlapping media contracts being stopped #IE10
  • Comms people were creating a lot of newsletters round the world. Replaced by centrally Newsdesk. Rossen Roussev Shell #IE10
  • Contracts rationalization 73 contracts identified USD 17 million a year replaced by internal newsfeed Rossen Roussev Shell #IE10
  • Think about your organisation. Value and perception. Walk and talk. Rossen Roussev Shell #IE10
  • Don't explain to management how great the intranet is. They don't care. It's all about value and perception. Rossen Roussev, Shell#IE10
  • "Get out there, talk to people, do your homework!" Rossen Roussev, Shell #IE10
    (PR - Loved this snipit - sometimes feel like shouting it at people)

Is your Intranet Ready for 2012? - Martin White, Intranet Focus Ltd
  • Try to type "confidential" in your search box on the intranet. Scared? Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
    (PR-Tried this morning. Not as bad as I first feared it may be)
  • Abandon hope for those enter here. Is that then welcome message on your intranet? Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Information is not seen as a business asset. Why not? Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • You can't be an intranet manger for the rest of your life, you'll go insane! Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Security gets blamed for everything. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • The intranet is NOT an IT system The intranet is the only IT-system not having a specific purpose. Challenge? Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Be more specific when asking about what employees do? Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • The value of your information is the sum of all salaries in the company and you are failing to manage it! Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Collaboration technology gets rolled out without specifying collaboration requirements and goals. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Not many had made the requirements BEFORE installing collaboration tools. Not done with many other things! Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • Challenger launch decision. Good book about collaboration according to Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • We share information because we trust each other. Break trust and collaboration breaks. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • What is the career path for intranet managers? (We can't do the one job for the next 20 years) @s2d_jamesr #IE10
  • We focus on the media not the social. A social media guide does not make it social. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • The biggest intranet challenge is where they bump up to ERP. Millions invested in ERP. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10
  • The future intranet has to be independent on location, language, department and technology. Martin White @IntranetFocus #IE10

I plan on following the #IE10 tweets from day two of this event tonight and am looking forward to another sessions from Jane McConnell, Step Two's James Robertson, Mark Morrell from British Telecom and Collaboration guru Michael Sampson. Does it really get any better than this?
If this event is on again next year I am going to pull out all stops to attend. Just the conversations during breaks would be well worth the price of the airfare from Australia.