GenY to the Xpower

Sharepoint Designer Virgin by Valerie Hoven

I’m about to use Sharepoint Designer for the first time today! Our corporate IS team won’t let us use it, but I found out that our School of Medicine WILL let us use it! (I have to manage sites for both entities sometimes, but two different organizations on two different servers…)

So I already told our Webmaster to not expect any more Web work from me today, as I’m playing with my intranet site for the rest of the day 🙂

The co-organization project is actually for our marketing departments. Sometimes the hospital writes stories about patients with lung disease, but our school of medicine might have a video  from a doctor about lung disease, so I’m creating a joint intranet site where we can post our stories, videos and podcasts and share them with each other. No use in reinventing the wheel folks! I’m thinking of making the site a wiki. Any suggestions?


intranet *free* consulting needed by Valerie Hoven
March 31, 2010, 7:03 pm
Filed under: Intranet | Tags: , ,

Help a sister out!

My hospital’s intranet is almost done with the redesign, and now I need to work on a plan for the entire “relaunch.” Before I ask for help, I’ll tell you why a relaunch was necessary. First, our intranet has never been promoted to employees. Yes, they use it. It received about 2,000 hits a day (we have 9,000+ employees). I do not know how many unique hits are received daily though.

Based on survey results, focus groups and general anecdotal feedback, it’s generally decided that 1) our intranet isn’t popular, 2) users go there for news and cafeteria menus and 3) users would like to see a cleaner/fresher site and 4) site administrators want to do “cooler” things with their pages and 5) there is opportunity to grow the intranet and make it a better resource for employees.

Things I’m developing are 1) intranet vision 2) intranet goals and objectives and 3) intranet governance plan. The governance plan is pretty much done, and my corporate office liked it so much they adopted it for all 13 hospitals in my system. I need your help with the vision and goals. See my drafts below.

Vision: (1) Serve as an online community and idea sharing to drive employee engagement. (2) Offer the most resourceful and up-to-date information to create an efficient work environment.

Objectives: (1) Develop a web platform that offers resources for employees regarding hospital news, policies and procedures and Joint Commission readiness. (2) Create interactive Web applications that drive users to the intranet, including discussion boards, surveys, commenting, videos and more. (3) Integrate Web technology to improve communication with and between staff and leaders. (4) The intranet be included in department communication plans and viewed as the main outlet for department news, highlights and resources.

Goals: (1) Increase and maintain usage by X%. (2) Administrators will own their own sites and be mostly self-sufficient. (3) Enhanced Web applications will be introduced to employees every X months. (4) Decrease printed newsletters and all-employee emails by X%.

Help me with the goals. At relaunch, how many more users should I hope to adopt? Is there a benchmark I should aim for?

Other questions I have. Does your intranet have consistent navigation? For example, does the navigation on the homepage run across all intranet pages? Or do you allow departments to pick their own navigation?

What other policies did you put in place to help users and help administrators? For example, do you require them to have a link back to the homepage?

Any other thoughts/comments are welcome. by Valerie
March 17, 2010, 3:42 am
Filed under: Intranet | Tags:

I love this site. Just like, now there is a site for other people like me – those who have an intranet that isn’t supported. I can’t say that I have a favorite yet, but a high ranking one is this: “A company has a strategy for parking, but not the intranet.”

So true. Facebook and other social media sites spread like wildfire and get an entire team dedicated to manage them inside corporations. Intranet has been around forever, but why does it not get any love? Is it because it’s not new and shiny like Twitter? Intranet needs to be a core part in every company’s internal communication strategy. Don’t assign one person to manage it. As a matter of fact, don’t make it anyone’s specialty. Anyone who is a communicator should know how to use it.

Train all communicators how to use it.
Include the intranet as a part of all communication plans. Direct readers/users there for more information.
Develop a governance plan.
Get upper-management support.

My intranet gets about 2,000 hits a day. We have 9,000+ employees. I’m redesigning it currently, hoping to improve its value and functionality. In the meantime, I had one user ask me how to open a document on “Compass.” Compass is the name of one page of our intranet, and it’s about just one IT project called Compass. (I happened to do the communications for that IT project, Compass, and I made sure that all communications I distributed linked back to the Compass intranet site.) Now… this user thinks the name of the whole intranet is Compass.

Clearly, our audience will go to the intranet when you tell them to, but only one project (that affects almost 8,000 of our employees) actually uses the intranet to its full potential. And I developed that plan and trained the users.

Now, all department need to catch on.


Banners on intranet sites by Valerie Hoven
February 15, 2010, 6:35 pm
Filed under: Intranet | Tags: , , ,

Today I read a great blog post about banners on intranets. Do they work? This blog is a great model for me I think because it poses the problem AND the solution! There are so many blogs and articles out there that just list why things don’t work with no further information on how to make things work!

Our intranet tried to have rotating banners, but that failed when we realized that users spend less than five seconds on the homepage, and our banner rotated every five seconds. Users never saw any banners after the first! I did find the HTML for rotating banners where it can show the next banner upon refresh rather than always defaulting to the first one.

Our intranet will continue to have one banner that showcases a new photo every week or so, but it doesn’t link to anything and it’s not necessarily a promotion. Any events or news that requires heavy promotion still just get a calendar item and possibly a news announcement. But we include photos any time we can!