How unique are your intranet problems, really?

In a workshop I ran about techniques for engagement for intranet projects I asked the participants to introduce themselves (as you do) and also asked them to say why they had signed up for the workshop. The intent of the question was to help me guide the session in a way that would be most relevant to their needs.

As I was taking down the numerous ‘reasons’ from each intranet manager I couldn’t help but smile. Each has several things to share which were familiar to me in my own experience, and that of so many other intranet managers I know. What started as a list of ‘reasons’ ended up looking more like the ultimate list of challenges for intranet managers.

I thought I would share the list with you:

  • Migration
  • Multiple platforms
  • Poor engagement
  • Ownership
  • Redevelopment
  • Limited resources
  • No ‘real’ intranet
  • Urgency
  • Governance
  • Content issues
  • Social
  • Structure
  • Remove and diverse workers
  • Old platforms
  • Complex environments
  • New to intranets
  • Mobility
  • People saving things everywhere
  • Scalability
  • Compliance
  • Accessibility

I don’t have the ultimate answer to these problems for you in this blog post, but I thought they were worth sharing anyhow. What I have found in my years of networking with other intranet managers is:

  • You are not a unique snowflake: well, YOU are, but your problem intranet isn’t. Someone somewhere has probably gone through the same problems, if only we talked about intranets more.
  • There’s always someone worse off: your intranet is probably not the worst in the world.
  • A problem shared: okay, so maybe it IS the worst in the world. Keeping it to yourself isn’t going to help at all, and by telling someone about it you might find they can help you.
  • Don’t undervalue your experience: we don’t learn anything when things are easy. The intranet managers with the complex sites, the tough projects, the ‘difficult’ teams have the best stories on how to overcome intranet adversity.


Can you relate to the items on this list? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below and add some more if you can.

2 Responses

  1. I’ve found users are pretty keen to contribute content – but try telling some of them their content needs to be restructured or rewritten. Many authors are chosen because they write lots of documents, getting them to change writing style can take a bit of coaxing.
    I must also point a figure at consultants, many times they are brought on as the experts, but they fail to inspire or provide options to meet particular issues or needs – and you find yourself doing the research yourself to find out what can be done.

    • Agree on both points Mardi. Content is a huge challenge as is finding a consultant who can support a project from business case to benefits realisation.

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