In most companies, an intranet is the channel of choice for internal communications and knowledge management. But while news in the "classic" intranet is usually controlled centrally by a few people in a top-down fashion, with the system often quickly degenerating into an information desert, a "social intranet" offers new possibilities. It connects all employees across all hierarchical levels, departmental boundaries and locations. In this model, communication in the company no longer just takes place top-down, but also from the bottom-up, as content can in principle be created and shared by all employees. This is a trend that has been unbroken for several years. After all, many people use this type of social media communication and thus project corresponding expectations onto their employer as well. Associated with this is also access via mobile apps, which make it easy to use the intranet while on the move and reach employees who do not have a PC workstation. However, what is often forgotten is that an intranet relaunch is much more than purely an IT project. Bringing together many different internal requirements, searching for a suitable solution and finally transferring and sorting out existing content takes time. In addition, the introduction of a social intranet also marks the beginning of a more modern communication culture, characterised by more openness and decentralisation – things that often need to be "learned" by many in the company. SKM's task was to accompany the client throughout the intranet relaunch project from kick-off to the live launch, both strategically and operationally.
In the kick-off phase, SKM – along with the client – defined the requirements of the intranet. A project team was formed with representatives from the different parts of the company to ensure broad participation right from the start. After initial training in the use of the new system, the team was divided into different working groups. In parallel, the requirements of the new intranet were analysed, a schedule for the migration of old content was developed and new ideas for content and formats were collected. The works council was also involved from the beginning, with the ongoing project status discussed by the parties in regular meetings. While SKM, together with Corporate Communications, took over menu management and migration in the development process, an IT service provider was responsible for the technical implementation of the information architecture and configuration of the Valo software.
The aim of the new intranet was to create a central platform for information, exchange and networking across all company sites, and to ensure that the relaunch was embraced by all employees. In order to make the new intranet clearer, the information architecture was conceptually revised during the course of migrating the old content. A news concept was also implemented on the start page, which enabled a clearer sorting of news according to relevance and sender. In the future, articles will no longer be developed solely by Corporate Communications, but also published independently by a cross-departmental editorial team, which will strengthen the personal responsibility of the employees. By liking and commenting on contributions, every user also has the opportunity to interact with the content and participate in discussions. In addition, each department was given the opportunity to introduce itself with its own department page and contribute its own content. This was particularly important to strengthening transparency and the feeling of togetherness in the company. In addition to disseminating news, the new intranet also contributes to knowledge management in the company by presenting important facts, structures and work processes in detail on individual pages. The live launch of the social intranet was accompanied by an internal communications campaign. A comprehensive starter pack distributed to all employees at the intranet launch increased awareness about the new functions and the mobile app, and also supported easy access at the workplace.
SKM’s services up to the point of the live launch included:
- Conceptual management of the IT service provider and the internal working group
- Development of the news concept and the intranet menu navigation
- Preparation and implementation of regular meetings with the cross-departmental intranet team
- Development of management presentations, basis for decision-making with regard to internal consultations
- Editing the intranet etiquette
- Overseeing the migration of content from the existing intranet as well as quality assurance
- Composing FAQs, manuals, various information materials and conducting short training courses
- Developing introductory communication content (posters, welcome message, video greetings from the management, starter packs for all employees, webcast)
SKM continues to support the client in the preparation and implementation of regular intranet editorial meetings, as well as in the development of new formats and content for internal communication.