Do it right: Building an intranet

Plan it. Have a good idea of what you want your intranet to achieve, and how it will grow. Clear thinking early on prevents total chaos later.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Create a one-stop shop. Online pro forma documents, such as appraisal and expense forms, save a lot of traipsing about the office. Throw in other useful items, such as CV, career and travel advice and small ads, and you'll have the staff coming back for more.

Make it easy to navigate. Abide by the 'two-click' rule. Users should be able to get where they need to be with two clicks of the mouse.

Discover talent. Create a forum for people to unearth hidden skills within the company. Say a project requires intimate knowledge of Bolivian cuisine: chances are someone in the company will know something, and posting the request online is a lot simpler than embarking on a desperate phone quest.

Be careful with staff profiles. There's a fine line between creating a temporary celebrity and a figure of ridicule. Use humour sparingly. Phrases that begin: 'The funniest thing that happened to X' invariably disappoint.

Stay true to the company image. An intranet should reinforce your corporate identity. But don't forget: people have to have a reason to go there. Allow the team input into what the intranet will become.

Be secure. Adopt a strong security strategy. You don't want unauthorised persons spreading misinformation throughout the organisation.

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