Ready to start on your social intranet project? Are you sure?

AnalysisYou know you want to get going on introducing your internal social platform. You’ve got people clamouring for it, and it’s the big project you are desperate to get your teeth into.

 

But are you ready to start? You may have some great creatives for a launch campaign that will grab everyone’s attention, and personally, be keen to start conversing, collaborating, knowledge-sharing with your colleagues – but the rest of the business may not be quite up to speed.

 

If so, hold fire for a while. If you want your platform to succeed, it’s critical that you don’t skimp on the groundwork.

 

Have you done your research into what colleagues really want in this area? Maybe they’re already happily using apps that cover their immediate needs – and if so they won’t welcome “yet another thing to check every day” just because IC wants them to use it.

 

Have you spelled out the objectives in a crystal-clear way, and expressed them as a USP that can serve both as a brief to the designer and as an elevator-pitch to any managers you bump into? Has the management bought into your vision, and have they agreed to help you set KPIs that relate to it?

 

Have you got support up and down the hierarchy – a sponsor who will argue the case and help explain to busy managers why they should prioritise it, champions who will assist you in proving what the social platform could do, and a task force of early adopters who will help you plan it in a way that means it will feel like something owned by the staff, not imposed on them?

 

People are often reluctant to use social platforms at work because they are unsure of how their contributions will be judged – whether by their boss, by HR, by their team, or by their colleagues. The platform has to feel safe to staff, and safe to managers. Everyone needs to know how decisions will be made about how it’s presented, how it’s used and how it’s managed. This is governance. The most effective social networks at work are those where people from across the business are involved in the governance. Have you set these wheels in motion yet?

 

Then of course, there’s the technology. There is an ever-growing list of vendors, some extremely established in the enterprise marketplace, others recently released and much-hyped apps. Does the one you have chosen meet the needs of everyone who will be affected by it – IT, the IC, the staff themselves?

 

Check out our readiness self-assessment questionnaire, and get a rounded sense of how much more prep work you need to do before you commission that viral video and poster campaign.