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Nov 16, 2023
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How to Create a SharePoint Online Intranet that Boosts Collaboration, Productivity, and Engagement

How to Create a SharePoint Online Intranet that Boosts Collaboration, Productivity, and Engagement

Teamwork and productivity are two of the most important things to having a well-rounded, successful business. Creating an intranet is a brilliant way to ensure that everyone within your organisation is informed and connected.

But, how can you make one? Microsoft SharePoint is the best way to create an intranet within your organisation. By building a SharePoint intranet, you can easily boost your organisation’s collaborative capabilities as well as enable higher levels of productivity and employee engagement.

In this article, we’re going to go over the step-by-step process of creating a SharePoint Online Intranet, to help you get started with yours.

We’ll also show you how to take steps after the launch of your intranet to continuously improve it and ensure that it remains successful.

Step 1 – Plan the Project

Like with any good project, before starting on the details you’ll need to create a well-detailed plan to take you through the process.

The first step here is to define your key objectives. By asking yourself and codifying what you want to achieve with your intranet, you can ensure that nothing vital is missed in the process. Another important part of this is establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ensure that you can track whether the project was a success.

Here, you’ll also want to identify key stakeholders to ensure that everyone involved is familiar with the requirements and expectations of department heads and end-users throughout your organisation.

Step 2 – Design a Sitemap

What you’ll need to do next is create a thorough sitemap, which will act as the backbone of your whole intranet. This sitemap will define how your intranet is laid out and will be vital throughout the process.

You’ll want to organise content logically, categorising by creating departments, sites for specific teams, and structured document libraries, all of which will reflect your organisation’s hierarchy.

The important part here is ensuring that your site map is easy to navigate. By making sure that your sitemap and structure are intuitive, you can ensure that your users can easily find what they need.

Step 3 – Plan for Governance

Planning for governance is going to be integral to the long-term success of your intranet. By creating access control and content management systems, you can ensure that all of the systems are in place to make sure that your intranet is governed correctly.

By using access control settings, you’ll be able to set permission and access levels to restrict access to sensitive information, and content management settings will let you keep the content within your intranet up-to-date.

This is the last step of preparation before building your site and is incredibly important to make sure that you have the right tools and settings in place to manage your intranet properly.

Step 4 – Build the Site

The next step is to build your site. This is where you’ll actually create the intranet and develop the site’s content from the ground up.

By using your sitemap and plans from earlier, you’ll be able to create different departmental sites and document libraries organised based on your teams and departments and populate them with information and data for easy access.

During this process, you’ll also be able also customise your intranet to fit your organisation’s branding. This is important to create a cohesive feel, as branding is important. If you’re unsure, you can use the built-in templates to begin with. Once you’ve done this, your intranet will be ready to go.

Step 5 – Launch and Collect Feedback

Launching was simply the first step. Collecting feedback and educating your users on how to use the intranet is also vital, to ensure that it actually works in the long term.

By training all of your employees on how the intranet works and creating a robust training plan, you can ensure that anyone who is onboarded after launch can also figure out how to use it with ease.

Feedback will help you with the final step of planning for improvement, ensuring that you can easily take steps to continuously improve your organisation’s intranet as time goes on. That being said, you’ll want to constantly seek new feedback, which means encouraging your employees to submit feedback as well as using surveys and forms to be able to get wider feedback on your intranet.

Ultimately, this will help you start planning for your intranet’s future, to help it improve as time goes on.

Step 6 – Create a Plan for Continuous Improvement

Your plan for continuous improvement will ensure that the intranet remains successful as time passes. This means enabling its evolution and growth in the long term, through careful planning and utilisation of feedback constructively.

While improving based on feedback is very important, there are also other important improvements that you need to consider. The first one is upgrading SharePoint for access to new features as time goes on, as doing so will allow you to keep your intranet modern with the latest SharePoint features and technologies.

Another vital part of planning is preparing for scaling. Scaling allows you to grow or downsize your implementation depending on how much you need, and ensuring that you know how to effectively do so is vital. As your organisation grows, you’ll need to scale up to accommodate this, meaning that you have to be always aware of your organisation’s trajectory.

How We Can Help

Intranets are great for boosting collaboration and productivity within your organisation. SharePoint is the best tool for developing your intranet and can transform the way your organisation collaborates. With these steps, you can easily set up a SharePoint Online Intranet and ensure that it’s successful and works exactly as you intend it to.

If you’re looking to get started with SharePoint but are still puzzled, get in touch with us now and see how we can help you.