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How to find out what's important
As a best practice, it’s a good idea to establish a point person tasked with leading an intranet development project. This person is often an IT project manager responsible for coordinating all stakeholders, content, design and development associated with rolling out the new intranet system. Perhaps that person is you.
Once you’ve explored the business goals and user needs for your intranet, you’ll need to verify these in the field and assess the overall scope of your project. Most corporate intranet projects have executive sponsorship from various business units , such as sales, marketing, human resources, and/or finance. Getting appropriate input from representatives in these groups is critical to the success of your project.
You’ll find a variety of opinions when you go out into the field. A good first step is to set up some informal, individual conversations with everyone who needs to be involved. This will help you get the corporate “lay of the land” and identify any areas of potential conflict before everyone is in a room discussing what needs to happen.
After you’ve had your informal conversations, schedule a meeting for everyone to get together. Take careful notes and make sure that your stakeholder representatives can also provide a resource to work with you during the lifecycle of the project. You’ll need a liaison in each department to provide you with the right content and confirm department goals are met at each project milestone.
An intranet development project is often a high-profile project within an organization. If it sounds a little intimidating, it can be. That’s why it’s so important to use a tool like wireframes to help ensure everyone is on the same page.
After you’ve taken this step you should have a good understanding of overall project goals and content requirements. At this point you’ll be ready to start sketching out a high-level outline of your intranet, also known as a site map.
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