Roundup of ‘The Everyday Intranet’ forum

Today I was at ‘The Everyday Intranet‘ a forum being run by Ark Group. I was invited to speak after another speaker could not attend and happy for the opportunity to network and hear from other intranet professionals.

Here are some of the high level themes from today’s speakers which  I pulled from my notes and tweets.

  • Tamsin Stanford of Australia Post headed up the day talking about how to establish a strong intranet foundation. Speaking from extensive experience she impressed on us that it is important to 1. Do less, 2. Find more money and 3. Do it smarter, in order to get a good grounding for your intranet. “All you need is people, money and requirements. We know it’s not that simple.”
  • Rebecca Makila and Ben Mabon from AMP Australia and New Zealand respectively shared with us the challenges of an international intranet. The key to their success and senior management buy-in was the commitment they had to a user centred design approach.
  • Eng Ung of La Trobe University talked with us about the SharePoint team site set up to support Library staff. They moved from an email focused culture to one of online collaboration after doing the work to get their users engaged and trained in the tool.
  • Geri Overberg from Medibank shared with us their plans for a new intranet which will be reflective of their businesses focus on Activity-based working and their values, behaviours and culture. She expressed that it was important that their intranet reflect the business strategy and culture.
  • Ben Fernando spoke to us about his experiences at the Department of Primary Industries and Target Australia. His experience and advice leaned to a phased approach. To break things down into manageable chunks and not try and fix everything.

My favourite presentation of the day was Lyndon Sharp of the Board of Studies NSW.  He got it right when he described his presentation as a smorgasboard of intranet information. Here are just some of the great tidbits from Lyndon’s presentation:

  • Board of Studies has multiple intranet and internet instances and that they adopt the principle of sites for targeted audience rather than a huge Swiss Army Knife intranet.
  • Look to blogs for great examples of web content and get our authors writing in that style (citing CopyBlogger as an example).
  • Remember Jakob Neilsen’s 90-9-1 rule when it comes to social media
  • Think about the different ways people engage with social media, using Forrester’s 6 different types of social media users as an example.

The day was wrapped up with the opportunity to ask questions of a panel of intranet experts. On the panel were Simon Rawson – Principal at Microz Australia,  Andrew Wright – of the Worldwide Intranet Challenge,  Lisa Garnsworthy – Director at Virtual Ink Australia and Shefik Bey – Managing Director of UsabilityOne. The panel reinforced the key threads from today which were about ensuring a user centred design and the importance of senior management buy-in.

A couple of extra things I picked up along the way….

Intranet names…. I love hearing different intranet names. Today we heard about in some way or another, ‘The Hub’, ‘The Loop’, ‘Max’, ‘PrimarySource’ and ‘Connect’.

Lastly, a pile of good information about sources for benchmarking, networking and just learning more about intranets:


Well the only thing I haven’s spoken about is my own presentation. I will blog for you at a later date about the details but in the meantime here is my Prezi (love Prezi) about Cleaning up our Phone List.

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