Building an intranet or portal is tough enough but doing it without a plan is close to impossible. I’m not talking about making even dramatic changes to what you have but starting over. With a strategy in place as mentioned in a previous Strategic Librarian post, Intranet/Portal Redesign: Developing a Winning Strategy, planning should be straight forward if you know what to do.
Redesigning anything is a large prospect. The good news is that even that task can be made simpler by breaking the process into phases. The most logical approach to redesigning your firm’s intranet/portal is to use a five phase process:
The research process allows you to learn more about what your organization needs, what platform is best for your needs, and what resources you will need to deliver a new portal or intranet.
The design phase is where you gather your research and make decisions regarding platform, content, and development tools. In this phase you use the user requirements gathered in the research phase to develop a design that responds to those needs.
The implementation phase is the phase where the rubber meets the road in terms of deliverables. Up until now, the results of the first two phases can be defined by additional planning documents but during the implementation phase, the end results take shape.
The rollout phase delivers the new intranet / portal to the organization taking into account the communication process that needs to take place with a new system. Some version of training is part of this phase.
The maintenance phase starts after the rollout as the the intranet/portal is evaluated and improvements are made. This phase is ongoing as long as the intranet continues to support the needs of the organization.
During the next few weeks I will be posting an article for each phase beginning with research. I look forward to your comments or thoughts on the topic.