Intranet management for dummies

The Oxford English dictionary announced that 2016’s “word of the year” is post-truth. In celebration of this counter-factual triumph, here’s our advice on how you can make your intranet keep on winning, bigly.

  • Insist on procuring a platform with every bit of functionality anyone has ever asked for. Don’t use any of it and fill your homepage with corporate news instead. Who doesn’t like seeing the same stock photo of the CEO every day?
  • Hire in an expensive consultant. Don’t listen to any of their advice.
  • Promise users everything. Then don’t give them any of it.
  • Find a great project sponsor. Then choose someone else.
  • Don’t bring in additional resource. Just get your existing team to deliver it on top of the jobs they were already doing. It will be great career development for them, and they didn’t like their social lives anyway.
  • Say yes to everyone. Even if their requests are entirely incompatible.
  • Make sure that nothing really works seamlessly. People like barriers. Build the walls!
  • Delay your launch. It creates intrigue and interest.
  • SPEND SPEND SPEND then, like a puppy, divert your interest into something else you fickle thing.
  • After spending far more than necessary on the platform and rollout, immediately cut the budget on launch. It will run itself.
  • For the $4m programme cost, you could take every employee out to an expensive lunch once a month and talk them through the key news in person. But they don’t want lunch. No — they want more corporate news. Trust us. (PS – don’t ever do this calculation, it will kill you.)
  • By all means have governance, but dump it when someone more senior asks for something that is banned.
  • But do spend weeks coming up with policies and rules based on straw-man edge cases then over-communicate them. Introducing that element of fear every time someone publishes will really create a sense of excitement – and cut down on your community management workload.
  • For God’s sake, don’t give them a mobile version.
  • Passwords are everyone’s friend. Make sure you prompt employees regularly for them. Repeatedly. People will not be cheesed off — they’ll be reassured.
  • If you’re in a merger or acquisition situation, don’t merge intranets: duplication creates jobs, and that’s good for economies.
  • People have had enough of experts. Give responsibility for the intranet to someone who prints their emails.
  • Remember that the key steps of this project are: Research, Ignore research, Build what management want, Launch, Screw the adoption plan, laugh in management faces, quit in a huff.
  • If in doubt, run a competition and offer an iPad. This is an excellent replacement for true user-centric research.
  • Creating cast-iron reasons for someone to visit your intranet is a brilliant plan but please, undo your work by creating email digests of the same.
  • If in doubt, buy an app. Even if it re-creates functionality you already have. Choice is good; confusion is better.
  • The best designs are those drawn freehand by senior leaders in comms, finance, HR or IT on napkins from the canteen.
  • If you do go the old fashioned route and employ visual designers, they love it if you present them with the canteen napkin and ask them to ‘just do this’.
  • Hire someone with no experience, clear out the spectacularly good team that person had, and then watch them make it up with ever more outlandish claims and ideas until they lose their job, four years later. Or are assassinated.

People are eager for change – especially on intranets! So sack your team today, replace them with someone with no experience, and show them this blog post.

Good luck!

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