Prioritisation is key when putting together the road map for your intranet. Requirements come from many angles.
All angles have to be considered and the benefit of them weighed and put into some kind of prioritisation matrix (shown below). We then put together a road map and bite off the low hanging fruit and quick wins. "Tell me something new." I hear you say. Well there is something new and that’s the devices we are using to access these features.
Traditionally a feature on your intranet would have been accessed via a browser on a desktop, and ok, you might have had to cater for a couple of browser versions, but other than that the audience was pretty uniform in terms of device access. Now however, we have to consider the prioritisation of not only the features for our intranet, but also by which device that feature or let's call them apps (I previously introduced the concept of viewing everything as an app) would be accessed. Take a webpart that searches for expertise within your business; it’s a great feature and can definitely drive efficiencies, but you can already achieve this using your search engine so it can end up being a "nice to have". What about your mobile workers however? Using search probably isn't a great experience on their mobile so for them this feature is far more than a "nice to have" in fact it can literally save them time.
How do you represent this in your matrix?
Well, I like to make it three dimensional so, along one axis you have value to business, along another you have cost to build, and then along the z axis (your third axis) is the target device, e.g. browser, responsive mobile widget, native app and going forward, a windows app.
This allows us to prioritise not just on the feature (or app) but also the device that feature is being targeted at.
Increasingly, organisations are starting to think about how they expose the various chunks of functionality across devices (usually mobile). We need to start thinking about this on a deeper level and become more intelligent about how we target this functionality. Just saying that you want your intranet available on a mobile isn't enough now. Users expect more. They know apps and widgets and what they can do, so why should your business apps be restricted to the browser? I can see a future where the intranet homepage is obsolete. Replaced by device apps (like you see on smart phones now) except on the desktop. With both Apple and Microsoft investing heavily in app stores this stuff is not going away.