Friday, May 26, 2006

Intranet politics

Top intranet blogger Toby Ward recently published an article on the politics of intranets.
The article has some great further reading links as well.

As all of us involved in intranet management know for some reason intranets tend to be far more political than their external website cousins.

Guess the idea is that if the public don't get to see it then everyone wants it their way.

A recent intranet I was involved in had the ominpresent intranet steering committee made up of key high level management from the usual areas, Communications, IT, HR etc. (read Jane McConnell's article 'Abolish the Intranet Steering Committee?'. I would say abolish it if they aren't creating postive progression.)

The problem was that the group had little input from actual operations and it tended to become a soap box for the CIO whose department incidently did not 'manage' the intranet day to day.
The steering committee meetings I attended were perhaps the most political of my time at that organisation and I quickly formed the opinion that unless the politics could be removed that the committee was indeed a waste of time.

Interestingly enough an intranet I'm currently involved in doesn't have a permanent steering committee and there's not a full on desire to have one. I do see a need for an occasional high level review and support committee though.

It is important that for a successful intranet internal politics need to be consigned to the bin. Internal politics are simply a waste of time and energy and are largely the product of managers being too focused on their own ambitions rather than the organisationa as a whole.

As Toby points out internal politics can simply lead to an intranet that becomes bogged down and stale.

For an intranet shared governance, direction, strategy, resourcing etc are all good things but the real 'owners' need to be users. It is their needs and desires that should be looked after not upper management internal political ambitions.

A successful intranet needs people from across the organisation to come together and really focus on a 'one organisation' approach, share a vision of success for the intranet and share the belief that successful intranets provide true value to their workplace.

Completely unrealistic I know but I hold high hopes.

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1 Comments:

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really amazing! Useful information. All the best.
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