A guest post from Uju, a Master’s student at Warwick Business School.
‘Intranet teams’ mean different things depending on who is asked. How do you define an intranet team? Some say that intranets don’t work, but I say that enough attention and resources are not given to them to ensure a high chance of success.
Have you ever wondered or had second thoughts about the efficacy of your intranet team? Various practitioners agree that one of the primary success factors of the intranet is its relevance within the organisation. This determines how much resources intranet teams should command within the organisation. Such resources may include human resources, budget, skill type, and senior management support etc.
However, I find that there is often the challenge of defining need and allocating adequate resources. So, could it be a problem of insufficient team resources or the management of the available resources? And then the evasive question of ‘who are really intranet team members’ arises. This can be because intranets are inherently context dependent and allow the organisational culture play out, facilitated by the way that the intranet cuts across all sections and units of the organisation. Therefore contributors to the intranet span most of the business units within the organisation. For all these reasons, there may be a need to separate dedicated team members from non-dedicated support members for better resource allocation.
The next question that arises, is ‘at what point do we know that team resources are sufficient or in excess?’ in the context of intranets as part of a broader ecosystem where ubiquitious access, integration, findability are the basic expections. I find this question interesting as it should be common knowledge that the intranet is not a project but a programme that requires continuous publishing, management and governance.
Also, should intranet tasks be managed on the basis of organisational functions, regions or by categories (subsidiaries) or simply as just a single platform serving the varying needs of the organisation? Whichever way this is done will, amongst other factors, determine the way the intranet team is resourced.
These are real concerns or gaps that require investigation through which a resourcing model / models can be developed to serve as a guide to intranet managers by outlining the various options available. In this way they can benchmark their resourcing model to those best suited to their intranet and its context. This will ensure a more efficient intranet resource allocation and management leading to better governance, content management, and findability.
To contribute to developing a solution, I am researching intranet teams and how they are organised in various organisations within various industries. Factors to be considered include team structure, budget, geographical distribution, organisation size, industry, intranet usage etc. I am researching these topics though the following survey, and in-depth interviews. I will compare the results with relevant literature and general good-practices. My work is under the supervision of Professor John Baptista and I am working in partnership with ClearBox Consulting.
I will share the results with you at end of the research period.
Thank you very much.
MSc Information System Management & Innovation
Warwick Business School