How to Plan an Intranet Development Strategy
An intranet is a powerful tool that can enhance communication, collaboration, and productivity within an organization. SharePoint, a popular platform developed by Microsoft, offers a comprehensive set of features and capabilities for building and managing intranet sites. However, planning an intranet development strategy requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure its success.
1. Define Your Objectives
Before starting the development process, it is essential to clearly define your objectives for the intranet. Identify the specific goals you want to achieve, such as improving internal communication, streamlining document management, or enhancing employee engagement. These objectives will serve as a guide throughout the development process and help you prioritize features and functionalities.
2. Assess Your Organization’s Needs
Next, assess your organization’s needs and requirements. Conduct interviews or surveys with employees to understand their pain points and challenges. Identify the areas where an intranet can provide the most value and address these needs in your development strategy. Consider factors such as user roles and permissions, integration with existing systems, and scalability to accommodate future growth.
3. Choose the Right SharePoint Deployment Option
SharePoint offers two main deployment options: on-premise and online. On-premise deployment involves hosting SharePoint on your organization’s servers, providing full control and customization capabilities. On the other hand, SharePoint Online is a cloud-based solution that offers scalability, accessibility, and regular updates. Consider your organization’s IT infrastructure, budget, and security requirements to choose the right deployment option for your intranet.
4. Plan the Information Architecture
The information architecture of your intranet is crucial for organizing and structuring content effectively. Start by identifying the different departments, teams, and projects within your organization. Determine the hierarchy and relationships between these entities and create a logical structure for your intranet. Consider using SharePoint’s built-in features such as sites, libraries, and lists to organize and categorize content.
5. Design the User Interface
The user interface (UI) of your intranet plays a significant role in user adoption and engagement. Design a clean and intuitive UI that aligns with your organization’s branding and visual identity. Consider usability best practices, such as clear navigation, consistent layout, and responsive design for mobile devices. Leverage SharePoint’s customization options to create a visually appealing and user-friendly intranet.
6. Develop and Test the Intranet
Once you have defined the objectives, assessed your organization’s needs, chosen the deployment option, planned the information architecture, and designed the UI, it’s time to develop and test the intranet. If you have the necessary expertise in-house, you can develop the intranet internally. However, outsourcing SharePoint development to a specialized agency can save time and ensure a high-quality result. Test the intranet thoroughly to identify and fix any bugs or issues before the official launch.
Planning an intranet development strategy is a critical step in building an effective and successful intranet using SharePoint. By defining your objectives, assessing your organization’s needs, choosing the right deployment option, planning the information architecture, designing the user interface, and developing and testing the intranet, you can create a powerful tool that enhances communication, collaboration, and productivity within your organization.