Intranets and extranets
The strategy for a successful intranet or extranet is never the same for any two organisations. It requires an intimate understanding of your organisation's goals, employees and, for an extranet, external users.
And an intranet isn’t just an internal-facing website – expert knowledge of its potential and purpose is needed so that it becomes a valuable asset to your organisation.
Lithe have this knowledge and we’re not aligned with a specific product so we review your needs and present the appropriate solution for you, be it an enterprise level SharePoint Extranet or a small custom intranet.
Intranet development process
Our intranet development process covers all phases of integration including:
- Set up of the intranet based on system design
- Integration of custom lists and libraries
- Custom event integration
- End user testing of all front-end and administration features
During the discovery phase we help you establish governance for your intranet, in a style that suits your organisation.
1. Governance Workshops
We’ll help you establish a governing body to oversee the project to keep the intranet aligned with its objectives and to establish policies, standards and processes.
We cover the following areas:
Accountability – implementing clear roles, responsibilities and duties for both site wide and subsite governance
Accessibility - considering any required integration with other systems and what devices and platforms the intranet can be accessed on
Analytics - ensuring visitor metrics are recorded and reported on, including processes for change based on analytics results
Community - considering change management, how to ensure all business units are represented and that the intranet contributes to a sense of community
Uniformity – making sure that there is consistency through a content style guide, information dissemination guidelines, pre-planned reviews of governance, key performance indicators and reporting cycles
2. Content Workshops
We’ll run Content Workshops, which will help us to build your information architecture (a blueprint) for your intranet and establish a content strategy.
Information architecture will also come out of the Features Workshops (outlined below) but is created with the content strategy in mind.
Content strategy includes:
- reviewing existing content
- appointing an owner of an organic, online style guide
- processes for creating, reviewing and can making changes to content
- policies for archiving and deleting content
- deciding who’ll perform the initial content population.
3. Features Workshops
Here we identify the groups (personas) who will be using the intranet and then talk through each of their needs and wants (creating user stories).
From this we establish the requirements of the users and match these with functional elements within the intranet.
We identify required features and whether these are available “out of the box” or require custom development.
Any required integration with external systems is also identified at this point.
The related cost and time of implementation for each feature is also identified.
Features can then be prioritised based on their importance to the organisation and users, and based on budget and time constraints.
Design phase / branding
We often work in partnership with creative agencies so have a highly refined process that allows our clients’ creative teams to direct brand integration while using our web expertise. Your team can choose its level of involvement but the process would at the very least include the following:
- Your team briefs our User Experience (UX) team and creative team
- Your creative team or ours develops design concepts based on the master template structure and branding guidelines of the selected system, in consultation with the UX team
- The creative & UX teams present concepts for review, discussion and approval.
- The approved custom design is integrated into the system
Contact us for help with your intranet or extranet project.