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Robertson, James

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34 Ideas for Promoting Your Intranet

The promotion of an intranet is never-ending. From the day it's launched, through to its eventual retirement, an intranet must be constantly advertised to staff. Without this, many staff will remain unaware that the intranet even exists. Others won't recognise the full value of the intranet, or use anything but a tiny corner of the site. This article outlines 34 ideas for promoting an intranet, ranging from the obvious through to the very unusual. Somewhere in this list should be a few approaches that you can apply to your own intranet.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2003). Design>Web Design>Intranets


After the CMS Implementation Project

Much effort is focused, on the selection and subsequent implementation of a content management system (CMS). While it is obviously vital to ensure that the initial implementation project is successful, this is only the beginning of an ongoing commitment to growing and enhancing the use of content management throughout the organisation.

Robertson, James. CM Briefing (2004). Articles>Content Management>Project Management>Workflow


The "All Together" Rule for Intranets

The primary purpose of intranets is to support staff in doing their jobs, to help them complete common business tasks. In practice, however, this can be very frustrating on many intranets. Policies are located in one section, procedures in another section, and forms in a third. Information then needs to be hunted out in order to complete even simple activities. The effectiveness of intranets can be greatly enhanced by bringing together all of the information and tools relating to a task or a subject, and presenting them in a single location.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2005). Articles>Web Design>Intranets>Information Design


Avoid Long-Term Strategies

When it comes to information management or content management strategies, particularly at the enterprise level, there is a strong tendency (and desire) to create long-term plans. This briefing will explore some of the issues encountered when creating and executing long-term plans, and will argue for an approach that delivers benefits on a much more frequent basis.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2007). Articles>Content Management>Content Strategy


A Better Approach: Requirements-Focused CMS Selection

Your organisation is unique, and as such, has a unique set of content management system (CMS) requirements. There is also no single 'perfect for everyone' content management system. Each product has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, and distinctive design principles. Unfortunately, the selection process followed by many organisations doesn't recognise this, leading to the purchase of a CMS which does not match business needs. Selecting a CMS does not have to be a lottery. By following a requirements-focused methodology, instead of a features-driven approach, the right CMS can be identified, and the business risks minimised.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2003). Design>Content Management>Software


Choosing an Intranet Project Sponsor

Numerous surveys across a diverse range of IT projects have identified that the lack of support from senior management (project sponsorship) is one of the biggest causes of project failure. This briefing explores the need for a project sponsor, the role they need to play, and how to choose one.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2004). Design>Web Design>Intranets>Collaboration


Choosing the Right CMS Authoring Tools

There is no single best authoring environment provided by a content management system. Instead, the authoring tools must be matched to the job at hand to ensure they are easy and efficient to use.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2003). Articles>Content Management>Single Sourcing


Conducting Intranet Needs Analysis

The fundamental question to ask for all intranets is: what is the intranet actually for? While this is an easy question to ask, answering it meaningfully involves gaining an in-depth understanding of staff and organisational needs.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2005). Articles>Web Design>Intranets


A Consumer Survey of CMS Vendor Websites

In March 2003, an online survey was conducted of consumer opinion about CMS vendor websites. This was extensively promoted through the CMS mailing lists, and on key CMS websites such as CMS Watch, the Intranet Focus and Step Two Designs sites. In total, 168 responses were made to this survey, representing consumers from across the globe, and in every type of organisation. This briefing provides a high-level summary of the results of the survey.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2003). Design>Content Management>Web Design


A Content Management Project Presents Unique Challenges

At a basic level, implementing a content management system (CMS) is like deploying any other large software package. Fundamental project management principles must be followed, along with best practice technical guidelines. Beyond this, however, a CMS project presents a number of unique challenges. These must be recognised and addressed for the project to be successful.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2003). Design>Content Management>Information Design>Content Strategy


Content Reuse in Practice

Few organisations are able to realise this vision of content reuse in practice. Instead, content reuse is typically only used in a few limited situations, with authoring and publishing continuing unchanged to a large extent.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2004). Articles>Content Management


Create a Strong Intranet Brand

The intranet needs to have a strong brand, a sense of identity that, at a basic level, distinguishes it from the public website and other information sources within the organisation. Beyond this, the intranet brand should be designed to build staff trust, and to convey a clear sense of what the intranet can offer and when it should be used. This briefing explores the role of the intranet's brand identity, as well as outlining how to put it into practice.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2006). Articles>Web Design>Intranets>Marketing


Creating an Upwards Spiral for Your Intranet

Many intranets are trapped in a 'downwards spiral': process and resources issues lead to poor-quality content, which reduces trust, which leads to more problems, and so on. This briefing explores the nature of the problem, and outlines some approaches to reshaping the intranet into something that grows and prospers.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2005). Articles>Web Design>Intranets


Definition of Information Management Terms

There is considerable confusion in the marketplace regarding the definition of various information management terms. The scope and role of specific information systems is particularly blurry, in part caused by the lack of consensus between vendors. With the aim of lessening this confusion, this briefing provides an at-a-glance definition of terms for a range of information systems.

Robertson, James. Step Two. Articles>Content Management>Single Sourcing>Glossary


Review: Demolition Derby

I started The Myths of Innovation in a positive frame of mind, generated by my interest in the topic (and the excitement of seeing my photos in print). I ended the book similarly enthusiastic. While it isn't a long read (I started in Cambridge and finished before I touched down in Los Angeles), good books don't need a lot of words to make their point. Scott Berkun clearly presents his arguments, demolishing many of the misconception about innovation. For those of us running businesses or developing new products, it's a must-read.

Robertson, James. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Articles>Reviews>Information Design


The Difference Between Usable and Useful

In the past, many sites were redesigned solely on the basis of the vision of a designer. Some of these sites worked well for users, most did not.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2004). Articles>Usability


Does Your CMS Vendor Have Product Expertise?

Choosing a content management system (CMS) is not just about finding the product with the right functionality. It's also about dealing with a vendor who can support your needs for the lifetime of the solution. This briefing explores the way most CMS vendors have evolved, what this means for the way they work, and what you should be looking for when purchasing a solution.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2007). Articles>Content Management>Assessment


Drawing Clear Lines Between Information Systems

In many organisations, the intranet competes with e-mail, file shares, the document management system and records management. Information is scattered between these systems, making it difficult for users to know where to look. What is needed is a clear policy about when these information systems should be used, and what they are for.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2003). Design>Web Design>Intranets


Dynamic or Batch Publishing?

There are two main publishing models used by content management systems: dynamic and batch publishing, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2003). Articles>Content Management>Methods


Eleven Usability Principles for CMS Products

The functionality of the content management system (CMS) is obviously a key deciding factor when purchasing a new product. Equally important is the usability of the CMS.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2007). Articles>Content Management>Usability


Five Intranet Reviews, Five Different Results

This case study presents the findings from five different intranet reviews, with the aim of exposing some of the issues being confronted across different organisations. These reviews also show that even within seemingly-similar organisations, the intranet issues can be quite different. This highlights that there is no 'one size fits all' intranet solution, and emphasises the value of conducting meaningful 'needs analysis' activities, such as those outlined in this article.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2005). Articles>Web Design>Intranets>Case Studies


Five Key Intranet Policies

Most intranets have some form of policies and procedures, typically focusing on authoring guidelines and standards. The question is: are these the right policies to have? In many cases, intranet teams have established policies that they find difficult to enforce, while missing the opportunity to develop policies that will be much more beneficial for both the intranet team and the site itself. This briefing takes a different look at the role of intranet policies, and outlines five policies that all intranet teams should develop.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2006). Articles>Web Design>Intranets>Policies and Procedures


Five Minute Intranet Self-Evaluation

How well is your intranet working, and is it meeting business needs? These are the fundamental questions facing many intranets. Having grown organically for years, most intranets are now suffering from major structural and content issues. This briefing presents a simple checklist that will allow you to judge just how much work will be required to bring your intranet back to top performance. Work through this checklist, and tick all those statements that apply to your intranet.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2003). Design>Web Design>Intranets


Future Principle: It’s More than the Intranet

There are some that would like to dump the “intranet” name, as it’s associated with the “old” vision of intranets as a publishing platform, a dumping group for documents, and a place for the CEO to post his thoughts. This narrow vision of the intranet must certainly die. In the process, intranet teams need to go from being custodians of an internal website, to facilitators for business improvements. In many ways, the word “intranet” has too much baggage, and is an anchor for much-needed changes.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2010). Articles>Content Management>Intranets>Web Design


How To Evaluate a Content Management System

Selecting and implementing a content management system (CMS) will be one of the largest IT projects tackled by many organisations. With costs running into the millions of dollars, it is vital that the right CMS package be selected. This article outlines some of the lessons that we have learnt when assisting clients to chose a CMS. It offers ideas and tips, and provides an approach for identifying your business' actual requirements for a CMS.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2002). Articles>Content Management>TC



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