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Launching Your New Intranet Portal – Tips, Tricks, and Guidelines

So you’ve done your research, viewed several demos, and finally found the right intranet portal solution for your company. Congratulations, you have completed a very difficult step, and are now well on your way to increasing efficiency and improving company culture! That being said there is still one tricky step left in the process, how to roll out the intranet portal to the people who matter most in this decision, the intranet users. Over the many years we have come across countless great ideas for introducing a new company intranet portal to the employees. I would like to share some of those tips and tricks with you in our 5 step guideline to a successful intranet portal launch.

1.   How Setting Up The Main Navigation Can Affect Intranet Usage

Setting up the Navigation can be one of the most integral parts when planning a successful launch. It is very important to balance that fine line between keeping it simple, and providing access to all necessary tools and applications. Customizing your Navigation with company terminology is a great way to be sure that users can find what they need, when they need it. Including links and easy access to help/tutorials through your navigation is a must in the beginning, as there will surely be questions that require assistance.

2.   Branding The Intranet With Your Own Company Flare (How Many Intranets Would A Woodchuck Brand If A Woodchuck Could Brand Intranets?)

This can be a very exciting step, and is the right time to use some creativity. Your company has spent months, years, perhaps even decades building a brand and company culture, and now it’s time to show it off! Using familiar colours and logos will have your users feeling right at home when they login, encouraging them to stick around and see what this new “portal of knowledge and sharing” has to offer.

3.   Choosing The Right Launching Date

It is important to choose a date when things are going to be a little slower within the company. You want the employees to have the opportunity to get to know the ins and outs of your intranet portal, and have the right amount of time to do so. In the past we have seen companies ask employees to reserve a 2-4 hour block of their time for a new exciting development within the company. By not mentioning what the time block is for it will stir up some excitement among employees. Using that time to launch the intranet will have employees relating the intranet with something fun, beneficial and worthy of their time, not something they have to go and learn on their own.

4.   Training Your Employees To Use The New Company Intranet

There is no simple answer when it comes to training your staff for your new intranet portal. That being said, how you choose to train your employees can have a large impact on the success or failure of your intranet launch. There are several proven training methods, all with their own pros and cons. Live face-to-face training, live web-based training, users manual, knowledge base, or tutorial videos just to name a few. For more information regarding the benefits of each method and which one might be best for your intranet roll out view our Dec10/2013 blog, What’s the Best Way to Train New Intranet Users?

5.   Tracking Intranet Usage And Responding To Company Feedback

The navigation is intuitive, information is available and easy to find, collaboration is at an all time high, and employee spirit is better than ever. Great Job, you have planned and executed the perfect launch! That does not mean that your work is over. Keeping the intranet relevant by updating documents, posting new content, and responding to feedback is essential. Be sure to collect as much information from your users as possible, what they love, what they don’t love, and any suggestions they have to contribute. The intranet should be treated as it’s own living thing that will adapt to company needs as necessary and continue to grow with the company. It is critical to use that feedback to review and improve your intranet portal for many successful years to come.