Insights into Staff Intranet Development: Best Practices
Staff intranets have become an essential tool for organizations to improve internal communication, collaboration, and productivity. With the advancement in technology, the development of staff intranets has also evolved, offering more features and customization options. In this article, we will explore the best practices for staff intranet development, focusing on SharePoint as a popular platform for intranet development.
Understanding SharePoint Intranet
SharePoint is a web-based platform developed by Microsoft that allows organizations to create and manage their intranet websites. It offers a wide range of features and functionalities, making it a popular choice for intranet development. SharePoint can be deployed on-premise or on the cloud, providing flexibility and scalability to organizations.
Benefits of SharePoint Intranet
SharePoint intranet offers several benefits for organizations:
- Improved Collaboration: SharePoint provides tools for document management, version control, and team collaboration, enabling employees to work together more efficiently.
- Centralized Information: SharePoint allows organizations to store and organize information in a centralized location, making it easily accessible for employees.
- Customization: SharePoint offers a wide range of customization options, allowing organizations to tailor their intranet according to their specific needs and branding.
- Integration with Other Tools: SharePoint can be integrated with other Microsoft tools such as Office 365, Outlook, and Teams, providing a seamless user experience.
- Security: SharePoint offers robust security features, ensuring that sensitive information is protected and accessible only to authorized users.
Best Practices for SharePoint Intranet Development
1. Define Objectives and Requirements
Before starting the development of a SharePoint intranet, it is important to define clear objectives and requirements. This includes identifying the purpose of the intranet, the target audience, and the specific features and functionalities required. This will help in creating a roadmap for the development process and ensure that the intranet meets the organization’s needs.
2. Plan the Information Architecture
The information architecture of a SharePoint intranet plays a crucial role in its usability and effectiveness. It is important to plan the structure of the intranet, including the organization of sites, libraries, and lists. This will make it easier for employees to find and access the information they need, improving overall productivity.
3. Design for User Experience
The design of a SharePoint intranet should prioritize user experience. This includes creating a clean and intuitive interface, using consistent branding and navigation, and ensuring that the intranet is responsive and accessible on different devices. User feedback should also be taken into consideration during the design process to make improvements and enhance user satisfaction.
4. Implement Governance Policies
Governance policies are essential for the successful management and maintenance of a SharePoint intranet. These policies define roles and responsibilities, content management guidelines, and security protocols. Implementing governance policies from the beginning will help in ensuring the long-term success and sustainability of the intranet.
5. Provide Training and Support
Proper training and support should be provided to employees to maximize the benefits of a SharePoint intranet. This includes conducting training sessions, creating user guides and documentation, and offering ongoing support for technical issues. Regular communication and feedback channels should also be established to address any concerns or suggestions from employees.
Outsourcing SharePoint Development
Outsourcing SharePoint development to a specialized agency can offer several advantages for organizations:
- Expertise: SharePoint development agencies have the necessary expertise and experience in developing intranets, ensuring a high-quality and efficient development process.
- Cost-effectiveness: Outsourcing SharePoint development can be more cost-effective compared to hiring an in-house team, as it eliminates the need for additional resources and infrastructure.
- Time-saving: SharePoint development agencies have streamlined processes and workflows, allowing for faster development and deployment of the intranet.
- Customization: Outsourcing SharePoint development allows organizations to leverage the expertise of professionals to create a customized intranet that meets their specific requirements.
- Managed Services: Some SharePoint development agencies also offer managed services, providing ongoing support and maintenance for the intranet.
Developing a staff intranet using SharePoint can greatly enhance internal communication, collaboration, and productivity within an organization. By following the best practices mentioned in this article, organizations can ensure the successful development and implementation of a SharePoint intranet. Outsourcing SharePoint development to a specialized agency can further optimize the process and provide additional benefits. With the right approach and support, a SharePoint intranet can become a valuable tool for organizations to streamline their internal processes and achieve their business objectives.