An intranet roadmap is a way to communicate, at a high level, how an intranet will evolve. In some ways it is a bridge between a strategy and a project plan, and the people who benefit most from it are often the power users and site owners that make up an extended intranet community, but who may not be part of the core team.
The roadmap depicts implementation against a specific timeline and shows the intermediate steps that may be needed towards an end goal. For example, technical upgrades that may be needed before blogging can be introduced.
See what we think an intranet strategy should look like, and notice that we’ve set the implementation phase of the strategy at one to three years (not five, as can be common).
Your intranet roadmap doesn’t need to show every new feature or enhancement, but it needs to show enough to:
Often enthusiastic employees set up ‘rival’ shadow tech services, like Facebook Groups, because they’re frustrated that their intranet can’t do something they see as important. Having a roadmap can buy you some patience, or even better, allow you to bring early-adopters on board at the pilot phase and turn them into advocates.
Intranets span so much of an organisation, and rely on technology, process, and people elements, that it can be helpful to have something that reflects how they all fit together. Sometimes it may feel like an organisation is always waiting for the ‘right’ tech to come along, but too often after a technical go-live nothing happens for employees because the content process and governance aren’t ready. Your roadmap should show all elements, not just the IT parts.
How you visualise a roadmap depends on what you want to communicate. Publishing and maintaining your roadmap will keep people updated and show that you’re committed to improving people’s digital workplace. At ClearBox Consulting we use the seven streams of our intranet framework to balance strategic, technical, process, and feature changes. An example is shown below for a one-year plan (but we’d go for longer if strategy allows).
Our buyer’s guide to ready-made intranet add-ons for SharePoint and Office 365. It’s an area that has grown prolifically, and this collection of independent, critical reviews will help you shortlist possibilities.