Launching a new intranet might seem like an overwhelming challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right things in place, careful planning and diligent execution it can all come together.
At FiveP we have cumulatively clocked up decades of experience with delivering intranets. We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work. When we as a team reflect back, we observe patterns of success (and of failure, but that’s for another day!).
This article describes the first of the three important roles involved in delivering a great intranet project.
1. Sponsors – Committed executive leadership
Working for more than 15 years in this space makes me constantly realise how smoothly intranet projects can go when one or more executives support and are actively involved in the project. This also improves the chances of any enterprise project running better when the organisation knows that leadership is backing the new intranet.
Getting executives on board is, indeed, the first step. Often the implementation of a new intranet is a part of an executive’s strategic plan. If the decision makers come up with the idea and decide to go ahead, the funding will be allocated. Congratulations, you are past the first hurdle.
When it comes to the executives sponsoring intranet projects, they need to confidently espouse the benefits. In addition, they need to ensure that the project team are aware of these perks and that the project stays focussed on the outcomes.
1.1 Delivering Value: Focus on benefits during project execution
The project will take some effort from various stakeholders so it’s essential that those involved are given the permission and endorsement to commit their time to making it happen. Speaking of time, normally executives are too time poor to spend large amounts of time on a project like this. Typically, the sponsor and other leaders are there to create the conditions for success.
1.2 How to Be an Effective Executive Sponsor
The executive sponsor must:
- Ensure that the project team is empowered to make decisions on behalf of the organisation
- Explain the reasons and evangelise the benefits for the change
- Coordinate and communicate at the leadership level
- Clear the path for the project team to succeed by providing the support and resources they need
- Step in and resolve disputes or deal with impediments
- Stay abreast of the project progress.
Another thing to keep in mind is that an intranet spans an entire organisation. Therefore, it’s not just about the executive sponsor. The entire leadership team needs to at minimum know about the project and they should all advocates for the initiative.
Stay tuned and soon you’ll be able to know more about the other two roles involved in launching a great-working intranet!