Staff Intranet Development: Where to Begin?
Staff intranets have become an essential tool for organizations to improve internal communication, collaboration, and productivity. A well-designed and developed intranet can streamline processes, provide easy access to information, and foster a sense of community among employees. SharePoint is a popular platform for intranet development due to its flexibility, scalability, and integration capabilities. In this article, we will explore the key steps and considerations for developing a staff intranet using SharePoint.
1. Define Your Objectives and Requirements
Before starting the development process, it is important to clearly define your objectives and requirements for the intranet. Consider what you want to achieve with the intranet, such as improving communication, centralizing information, or automating processes. Identify the specific features and functionalities you need, such as document management, team collaboration spaces, or employee directories. This will help guide the development process and ensure that the intranet meets the needs of your organization.
2. Choose the Right SharePoint Version
SharePoint is available in both on-premise and online versions. On-premise SharePoint requires hosting the platform on your own servers, while SharePoint Online is a cloud-based solution provided by Microsoft. Consider your organization’s IT infrastructure, budget, and security requirements when choosing between the two options. If you have limited IT resources or prefer a subscription-based model, SharePoint Online may be the better choice. However, if you require more customization and control over your intranet, on-premise SharePoint may be the preferred option.
3. Design the User Interface
The user interface (UI) of your intranet plays a crucial role in its adoption and usability. Design a clean and intuitive interface that aligns with your organization’s branding and visual identity. Consider the needs and preferences of your employees when designing the UI, such as the ability to customize personal dashboards or access the intranet from mobile devices. SharePoint offers various customization options, such as themes, templates, and web parts, to create a visually appealing and user-friendly intranet.
4. Develop and Customize the Intranet
Once you have defined your objectives, chosen the right SharePoint version, and designed the UI, it’s time to develop and customize the intranet. SharePoint provides a range of out-of-the-box features and functionalities that can be tailored to your organization’s needs. However, you may require additional customization to meet specific requirements. Consider outsourcing SharePoint development to a specialized agency if you lack the in-house expertise or resources. A SharePoint development agency can help you build a custom intranet that aligns with your objectives and integrates seamlessly with your existing systems.
5. Test and Launch the Intranet
Before launching the intranet, it is crucial to thoroughly test its functionality, performance, and security. Conduct user acceptance testing (UAT) to gather feedback from employees and identify any issues or areas for improvement. Address any bugs or usability issues before the official launch. Once the intranet is ready, communicate its launch to employees and provide training and support to ensure a smooth transition. Regularly monitor and evaluate the intranet’s usage and effectiveness to make necessary updates and improvements over time.
Developing a staff intranet using SharePoint requires careful planning, design, and customization. By defining your objectives, choosing the right SharePoint version, designing a user-friendly interface, and developing a customized intranet, you can create a powerful tool that enhances internal communication and collaboration. Consider outsourcing SharePoint development to a specialized agency for expert guidance and support throughout the process. With a well-designed and developed intranet, your organization can improve productivity, streamline processes, and foster a connected and engaged workforce.