Our eWorkbook, 6 step guide for a social intranet business case, is an insightful methodology which aims to provide readers with a comprehensive guide to establishing a compelling business case for their social intranet strategy. This blog post is the third in a series of four, discussing some of the most important items within the guide.
Through six stages our new eWorkbook details the individual steps you need to take towards developing a good business case for a social intranet, and gives relevant tips and tricks to help you achieve this goal.
The six stages are as follows:
- Explore your organisation
- Identify areas of value
- Form your strategy
- Assemble supporting data
- Build your business case
- Engage stakeholders
This blog post will go through the third and fourth stages.
Stage 3: Form Your Strategy
The research you completed in Stages 1 and 2 will become very useful in this next step towards building your business case for a social intranet. Stage 3 is focused on strategy. Now that you know where an intranet might add value to your organisation, you should be able to propose a strategy for implementation and integration.
The goals for this stage are:
- Work out the path for your intranet
- Articulate your strategy
- Propose your strategy to stakeholders for approval and critiquing
Your Current Intranet
If your organisation currently has an intranet setup, assess your technology’s ability to deliver in the areas of value you identified in the previous stage. Document what you already have in place, how effective it is, how employees are using it and where it requires improvements.
Room for Improvement
If your goal with this intranet business case is to increase employee engagement or improve collaboration between departments, compare how your current intranet platform performs in these areas and identify how your new intranet strategy will help to improve these areas. Research common intranet capability issues most organisations face (such as insufficient collaboration) and identify how those companies overcame those gaps.
Tech Requirements for a Working Intranet
Existing intranets are often efficient but are held back by old technology. Some companies may not even have an intranet platform to begin with.
Deciding on an intranet platform is not a straightforward task, especially since every organisation is different and requires personalised intranet features.
A few things you need to consider include:
- the new platform should meet the organisation’s needs.
- intranets should have strong publishing capabilities.
- cost of ownership should be low.
- local support is a must.
- providers should meet your needs and offer customisation or development when needed.
Stakeholders can Improve a Business Case
Talk to experts about your proposed intranet strategy. Accept criticism and input from stakeholders who can help to improve your strategy before you develop a business case.
If your strategy requires a sign-off from management or stakeholders, ensuring you include them in the strategy process from the start increases your chances of an easier sign-off.
Stage 4: Assemble Supporting Data
With your strategy in place, move your focus to gathering data which will support your business case for an intranet. In Stages 1 and 2 you gathered data from both internal and external sources, however, there is always room for more data when trying to prove your point to stakeholders and others within your organisation.
Goals for this stage include:
- Collect data and case studies that will inspire stakeholders
- Follow best practices to support your strategy
Additional Internal Data
At this stage, additional data from within your organisation will strengthen your intranet business case. Keep in mind the themes of your strategy when collecting data such as email usage, IT helpdesk information or customer service enquiries. Most of this data should have already been gathered in the first stages of this guide, however, any additional relevant information you can find might prove useful in the final draft of your business case.
Additional External Data
Provide a deeper context for your business case by assembling data from external sources. Look for best practice articles and other resources focused on intranet business case development, like case studies.
A few sources of intranet-related information include:
Case studies can help to spark ideas and show what is possible with a good intranet platform. Check out Elcom’s customer success stories, as well as conferences and intranet-related awards.
Informal Intranet Teams
Before you progress with your business case, connect with other intranet teams on social media to gain valuable ideas. Join networking groups and share details and questions about your own intranet strategy.
In the next stages of our 6 step business case methodology, the eWorkbook will show you how to build your business case and work successfully with stakeholders.