How can I rekindle the romance with my intranet?

This Valentine’s Day we’ve reached into the Intranetizen mailbag to offer some advice to one anxious reader.

Dear Intranetizen

I really love my intranet. But lately I feel like it’s not like it was. When we got together – back in the SharePoint 2010 days – I was with him every few hours. Working late into the night to install a new web part or set up a document library. Updating the homepage two or three times a day. We had a flashy new look; quite the intranet-about-town. I had to pinch myself now and again when I remembered this beauty was in my portfolio.

Post-launch, things got comfortable. I moved on from a project resource. We went, you know, full time. Those heady long go-live nights were replaced by occasional patches and requests for new sections of content. We ate take-away when servers went down. I felt safe; maybe too safe. 

Back in 2012 our family expanded; we bought Yammer. Suddenly, things had changed. I had community management to look after now too. I was spending less and less time with the intranet. If I’m honest, things went off the boil somewhat. 

Lately I’ve found myself looking around. I keep thinking about Workplace by Facebook. I’ve been playing around with a younger model – Slack. The fast pace of updates and a giphy for all occasions makes me excited (or is that the thrill of doing it behind IT’s back?). Me and the intranet are spending less and less time together. I still love my intranet dearly. But the spark has gone. 

How can I rekindle the romance? 


Ann Reader

Dear Ann

We hear you. You and the intranet go back a long way. With familiarity comes contempt, sometimes. But even the strongest relationship takes effort to make it work.

Is it time for a change of scene? You might be tempted by a full redevelopment or replacement of the intranet, but you might find almost as many benefits from a good visual re-design, as these present a fresh new look to users to more effectively convey your brand and your organisation’s current interests.  This doesn’t have to take a lot of effort, just look for a few small changes you can make quickly and see if things start to improve.

If you’re struggling to find a solution yourself maybe you should consider counselling? You could bring in a consultant to help you think of ways to develop your intranet strategy. They could help you identify long- and short-term improvements to bring the spark back.

Have you tried talking about it?  Honest communication is essential, and raising those difficult topics to understand how you could both be doing better can sometimes be all you both need to get that connection back. Consider setting up an Intranet User Group to give everyone some space to air their views.

Maybe you should try something new, to bring a little spice back to you relationship. Find out what makes users happy and develop or introduce new functionality. You can’t hurry love; try taking a long wow approach and turn your intranet into something that continues to delight users as you add new features and content.

Give yourselves some space. Review your governance, delete unnecessary updates and content and focus on what makes your intranet special.

We hope some of these suggestions are helpful, but remember that making a relationship like this really work is about spending quality time on the things that matter.  It’s not enough to just turn up; you need to put in the hours. You need time to yourselves too, so clear the diary to focus on the things that really make a difference.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to rekindle their intranet love? Let us know in the comments below.