Level Up Your Intranet Stakeholders

Did you know there are three levels of maturity among intranet stakeholders that provide services and info on the intranet? Let me explain.

Level one is when the stakeholder doesn’t realize at all that information is important.

In my opinion the intranet is not important. You know, I don’t use it, so I don’t think anyone else does. I can’t see why we should have any information about the routines and services we provide. But we demand a page where we can present our unit and contact info. And a big picture of us all, that would be great!

Representative of level 1 (im)maturity

Thankfully, stakeholders with this mindset are rare today.

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Level two is when the stakeholder has undergone a revelation—information and communication are so important!

You know—we have all these documents, processes and additional information about this topic. All this must be on the intranet page, the more the better. And we know the perfect disposition for this! We need to present a watertight case. First a lot of background, then a lot of disclamers, info about what is not allowed and so on. Then info about every possible variance. In the bottom we want to have the trigger button for the routine. And we demand to write the info ourselves, because we have the most intimate knowledge about this topic.

Representative of level 2 (im)aturity

Some stakeholders today are at this level. They want to build a bible with all the answers in one place. More info is always better, more words mean minimized risk for end-user errors, they think. There is a sender perspective, not an end-user focus.

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Level three is when information on the intranet has been recognized as an important enabler of the services the stakeholder is responsible for, when the end-user first focus has been acknowledged, and when the stakeholder realizes that a great topic presentation needs a skilled UX Writer. At this level, we finally can build some great stuff.

We need to work together! I know the topic and facts, and you, intranet editor, know how to write about this in a great way. I admit that UX writing is a real profession. We need to listen to the end-user and make sure s/he actually can use the page. Now I can also see that that less is more on a page. And of course the sorting must be as the end-user would like to have it, not as our internal processes are sorted.

Representative of level 3 maturity

A few stakeholders in organizations are at this level, but most are at level 2, or “2+”, according to fellow Intranet Managers.

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So, what to do? A major task for intranet teams is to talk about information governance, UX writing, and to educate stakeholders about the relentless end-user focus needed in the intranet work. Sometimes you need to start with educating the intranet owner (no, the intranet is not a broadcast platform—it’s a business system for efficiency, with focus on the moment of truth!). (My own intranet owner is 100 per cent into this!)

Put rules in place about disposition, tone and content focus. Start interviewing end-users, record their statements about usage difficulties as movie clips, and show “hard truths” at stakeholder meetings. Use statistics and and end-user page ratings for proving your point. Build a great content production process!

Start changing the game plan. Your mission is to raise your stakeholdes to the next level!

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