For some organizations, a custom intranet or IT solution is the only choice to meet unique requirements. Having completed hundreds of custom solution projects in our 10 years, for some of the biggest brands in the world, we’ve compiled our 10 top tips for custom solution success.
Custom intranet projects have notoriously been a lengthy, expensive process that can lead to a drain of company resources and budgets. In 2011, research firm Nielsen Norman, reported that the average custom intranet project took a daunting 6.2 years to complete. Luckily, that’s changing, with the average build time down to an average 1.3 years in 2016.
However, to make sure your investment pays off you need to be on top of the overall objective and goals, but also have an eye for the detail to make sure of that perfect fit. We know that this can sound daunting, so we’ve put together our top 10 tips to ensure your success.
1. Mapping your requirements and knowing your users
The first thing to do before you even think of starting your project is to sit down figure who your users are and what they do. It’s great that you have recognized another way in which you can improve on your digital workplace but don’t rush in headlong with designs and wish lists of features.
Understand your culture, your employees’ behaviors and what it is they do on a day-to-day basis. Can they be grouped and segmented into functions and roles? Where do the lines of connection and communication fall between groups and how do they interact?
Knowing your people will allow you to more easily identify their challenges to success. What things make their job hard and waste their time? What are the most time consuming processes with the most complicated paths to completion?
2. Picking the platform of choice
When building any new enterprise solution, choosing the right platform to build on is crucial to success. Eventually this decision will come down to what is right for your business and IT structure. Most important of all – does your chosen platform allow you to meet the diverse needs of your employees?
We’ve put together a few questions to get you thinking:
- What existing technology & platforms do I have to work with?
- How will existing technology work alongside different platform options?
- Do you have the necessary skills to manage the platform technology selected?
- Will the technology give you flexibility in the future to adapt and integrate?
The quality of the user experience that you deliver to your people will be heavily impacted by having the correct underlying platform, so if you’re not sure, get an expert partner that can advise you on the topic based upon your requirements.
3. Futuristic functionality or best of the basics?
Two good questions to ask yourself when mapping the functionality of your new solution: ‘Are we getting the most out of our technology?’ and ‘Are we challenging the status quo?’
The answer to both of these questions does not have to be yes; however, they need to be asked and answered honestly. The world of enterprise IT is changing and companies are innovating all the time, so take the time to assess if any of these innovations are right to improve your business. Areas that you consider should include personalization & targeting to ensure relevancy, automated processes, and enterprise social to boost collaboration.