CSF – Thoroughly Understand and Document What it is You Are Building
I know, this sounds somewhat ridiculous right? Of course you know what you are building; an Intranet!
One thing I have learned over the years is to not assume everyone has the same understanding of what an Intranet is. Ask 25 different individuals in your organization and you are likely to get 25 different answers. In most cases, the old Intranet was implemented as a .NET/ASP.NET application and was managed entirely by IT. When new documents and pages needed updating, typically an e-mail would be sent to the resposible individual/party in IT and the Intranet would be magically updated. Is this the same goal for your SharePoint Intranet implementation? Do you wish IT to continue with the responsibility of managing and maintaining page content, links and documents on your Intranet? That certainly is one approach but not the normal. Most IT individuals have a vision of reducing this burder, pushing the responsibility and accountability of information management back on those who own it.
Okay, back to my original question; so… what are we building here? If your goal includes pushing content management responsibilities back in to the hands of those who own that content, improving the sharing of corporate information assets, improving corporate collaboration and so on, it sounds like you are building a Corporate Document Management or Knowledge Management solution.
I don’t personally have an issue with you continuing to call your implementation an Intranet. However, it is imperative everyone in the organization has a consistent and clear understanding of what that is. If your old Intranet has some “corporate bad vibes”, consider calling it something else. Regardless, make certain everyone thoroughly understands they will be taking back the responsibility and accountability of their information assets (documents, page content and so on).
The biggest mistake you can make, regarding this CSF, is to underestimate the amount of education that will be required to reduce ambiguity and promote a clear and consistent vision for your Intranet.
How can you avoid these mistakes?
Educate, educate, educate! I can’t understate the importance of educating your culture as to their roles and responsibilities with regards to moving off the use of file shares to managing their content in a new document management solution. If you are a technical wizard, you may find this change to be quite simple. However, most non-technical users will not.
As you begin working with the members of each department or division in your organization, I recommend educating them first. If you have ever been exposed to the incremental implementation lifecycle I use, the first and last elements of this lifecycle are education. Start by educating the individuals, telling them what it is you are building, why you are building it, what roles they will have in building the new solution and what on-going responsibilities they will have once it has been deployed.