12 Weeks to a New Intranet

Erin Haines

With many organizations using their intranets as a lifeline for sharing knowledge, there is a push to ensure that it meets current and future needs. Many Jive customers are either upgrading their current community, or implementing Jive for the first time to further support their internal communication efforts. Recently I worked with a client on a project to pull off a full intranet replacement with Jive. The biggest challenge? This was not an integration of two systems, no gradual rollout ? just a cut off date?of less than 12 weeks. So, while the ?ripping off the band-aid? approach might not work for everyone (there is something to be said for a gradual/phased approach!) there were many moving parts to this project and we needed to prepare. To be on top of any potential issues, we implemented a full course of community management strategies that supported this successful launch.


Content & Organization

One of the biggest challenges we had to tackle was the content, as there was a lot. Determining what was to be moved, how much and how to move it, can be daunting at first. We got a handle on it by performing a detailed content audit. This content review identified a plethora of documentation across a variety of departments and teams which catered to different audiences across the organization. To tackle this the project team built a strong group of content owners and gave them control. Immediately these users were trained, brought into the strategy and planning sessions where they were key decision makers as the content was mapped to Jive and the new IA was built. Essentially the decisions around what to keep, ditch, move etc. were put in their hands, they were even accountable for the migration of the content itself. This not only took some of the guess work out of the project teams? hands ? but really gave each key business unit, and department a key role in the new community.


The added bonus? Through this process a strong community of early adopters, future champions and community managers was created. Post launch, many of these community managers were the first to jump in and answer questions and help the users new to the community, and they continue to manage their spaces and groups by analyzing usage and keeping the content fresh.


Unique Audience Requirements

Unlike your traditional "employees only' intranet, this community had to be a one- stop- shop for all global employees along with the organizations' [large] extended family of contractors, suppliers, partners etc. Each logging in for different purposes, accessing and interacting with different types of content, in multiple languages 24/7. The strategy here was to keep it simple. Anything we could keep consistent with the old platform we did, for example while the organization and use of Jive was different the content being added was familiar, so we kept familiar imagery, naming conventions and taxononmy to help ease into the new platform.


Who moved my cheese?

Even though there was not a lot of love for the current system, and Jive was being implemented to solve some some key issues - it was still new, and different. Even before launch questions like: "where is this?" "why can't it just work as it does now?" "where is the folder" "why did this get moved, updated, dropped etc.?" were cropping up everywhere. While the new Jive platform brought with it new features, and improvements on the old system, we had to keep it simple for launch; but in many instances, Jive was just different, and therefore the organization, how you find it and interact with information was different. First, Search was key (also one of the biggest improvements) it was highlighted in the UI of the community and echoed in every intro and training session. A built out Help section was created and promoted throughout the community so users had a place to go to learn as well as ask questions and more importantly receive prompt answers from the community team.


Eye on the Prize

With the compressed timeline, large amounts of content and many, many other moving parts - the main business use cases for implementing Jive remained at the top of the priority list. The existing community was a key hub for information needed to complete tasks, get access to other applications and most importantly get all the news and updates from the organization. While at many times it would have been easier to "just get it launched" and add features later - keeping these key pieces of the proejct moving, was crucial to a successful launch. Keeping these important use cases top of mind, and not letting them slip into post launch or a "phase two" gave users a reason to login to the new community and ease into the new features, organization and of course improvements.


The new Jive community was launched just three months after the project kick-off, seeded with content in multiple languages and built to cater to a diverse audience; the old community was turned off. Have you replaced an intranet with Jive? What strategies have you implemented when replacing and existing intranet with Jive? Share with us!