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Thanks for visiting the Digital Workplace Group (DWG) website. You'll see this post may refer to the "Intranet Benchmarking Forum (IBF)," the "Digital Workplace Forum (DWF)" or "IBF Live." But that doesn't match our website name!

In a nutshell, we merged IBF and DWF into one service and changed our name to "Digital Workplace Group." The new name represents the broader set of services we've grown to offer, beyond an original focus on just intranets. We also changed the name of our monthly webinar from "IBF Live" to "Digital Workplace Live."

Although we've relabelled things, we're proud of our decade+ history and have left this page intact. Enjoy your time on our site and please contact us with any questions or comments.

As part of the Digital Workplace Group’s research programme they have just published a detailed research report for it’s members on the challenges of managing intranet strategy and governance, written by Helen Day and John Baptista.

Following a survey of nearly 70 large organisations, and analysing the benchmarking data IBF has from all it’s Global members, we summarised the potential challenges faced by intranet managers in this area – the ‘vicious circle’ of intranet management (click on the image below for a larger version)

Even though most of the organisations we analysed have a developing intranet or portal supporting key business processes, we found that in most organisations here is often a lack of understanding about the strategic importance of the organisation’s intranet.

This often means that senior leaders struggle to see why they should be involved with intranet development, and leads to little or no obvious senior level support.

Jane McConnell also recently discussed this trend in her blog post What keeps senior management awake at night and predicts this is an area won’t have changed much in the near future.

If no one senior leader champions the intranet, other senior leaders also may not see the need to be that involved, and if senior leaders are not energised by the intranet, those underneath them will not be either – leading to a general lack of involvement in strategy development from the wider business.  The lack of senior involvement also reduces the prospect of developing an effective steering committee. 

Without this process to ensure input from all areas of the business, local units who DO want to develop the intranet to support their business processes find there is often no formal route to ensure the group wide intranet supports their developing needs. Local units then start developing their own local plan to serve their needs.  Whilst this works locally it can cause problems for the wider intranet plan….

More on this tomorrow.

About the author

Nancy Goebel - DWG's Managing Director for Member & Benchmarking ServicesNancy Goebel is the Digital Workplace Group’s Managing Director, Member Services & Strategic Partnerships.

During her six-year tenure with DWG, Nancy has been involved in account management, benchmarking, research, blogging and executive producing Digital Workplace Live and DW 24.

Prior to joining the Digital Workplace Group, Nancy was a accomplished executive at JPMorgan Chase where she built and led a global team in desigining and implementing an award-winning intranet. She also led digital enablement and business re-engineering initiatives.

Outside work, Nancy is a wine maker, fundraiser, meditator, wife and mother of two.

Connect with Nancy on Twitter: @nancyatdwg or on Google +.

2 Comments

  1. Intranet strategy: the intranet manager’s challenge

    Helen Day has posted an entry outlining the intranet manager’s challenge. To quote: Following a survey of nearly 70 large organisations, and analysing the benchmarking data IBF has from all it’s Global members, we summarised the potential challenges fa…

    Reply
  2. Great chart, Helen! Simple, yet a clear illustration of some of the biggest problems in intranet management and their interconnectedness.
    From my experience the best (maybe even only?) point to break out of this vicious circle is at the top: really anchoring the intranet into the organisation when a major rework of the intranet is being undertaken by getting the “right” people on board and addressing the “right” topics.
    Therefore the company has to be very aware about what future intranet management issues can (and will) typically arise and how they can be addressed in the initial phases of the project, i.e. esp. in the setup (or “update”) of the intranet strategy.
    Later on in the project (or intranet lifecycle) it is often not possible to direct the required (management) attention to this themes, anymore.
    I’ve just recently finished a series of seminars on intranet management with some dozen participants and have (regrettably, but not surprisingly) found only faint traces of this awareness.
    Let’s hope your latest report will help to change this situation a little bit.
    Stephan

    Reply

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