An Intranet Redesign on a Tight Budget

An Intranet Redesign
on a Tight Budget
Therese Griffin, Mgr. Marketing & Philanthropy
Christy Season, Sr. Intranet Strategist
Please note: SCANA is not endorsing SharePoint over any other product. We are simply
sharing our experiences with SharePoint.
SCANA Corporation is a Fortune 500 energy-based holding company with
businesses in NC, SC, and GA.
• Headquartered in Cayce, SC
• ~ 10,000 employees and contractors (6,700 have access to intranet)
• Corporate Communications: 8 employees (1 dedicated intranet strategist)
• Web team (internal/external): 3 employees
• IT (internal): 3 employees (about 25% dedicated to intranet)
Where we started
Our redesign process
Where we are now
What the future holds
Early warning signs
• Communications survey indicated need for
– In 2008, 67% of employees use intranet at least
once per day
o 58% in 2005 and only 44% in 2002
– In 2008 about 99% of employee respondents said
they have access to the intranet
– Employee intranet use grew 25% in just 2 years
– Employees indicated need for search functionality
Old Intranet
What we started with…
Old intranet had been around for four to five years
• Experienced typical problems of any home grown intranet
– No search
– No Web metrics
– No processes or governance
– Corporate Communications managed all sites; every
department site update went through our dept.
– Not a flexible template, heavy reliance on already busy IT
• Fixing these issues usually requires multiple vendor solutions
and a large budget.
• Biggest problem = No Funding!
But we did have SharePoint
• IT Dept. purchased SharePoint as a project collaboration tool for
employees (2005)
• SharePoint was rolled out ‘quietly’ (more pull than push)
• Employee adoption of SharePoint grew over time – number of team sites
quickly multiplied
• Realized after getting familiar with SharePoint that a lot of our problems
could be solved with SharePoint “out of the box”
– SharePoint already purchased, continuously updated with new
features as Microsoft updates product
– Search functionality
– Web Analytics
– Blogs
– CMS  giving others outside our department the ability to edit
content on the intranet
By ‘converting’ our intranet to SharePoint, we would get the benefit of
SharePoint functionality at zero additional cost.
Intranet Conversion
We didn’t want SharePoint ‘out-of-the-box’ because of
limitations with design and formatting
• Developed Business Requirements for a new Intranet based on
employee research (usability tests, survey results, etc.)
• Met with IT
– IT could easily customize style and design
– Extra functionality that wasn’t ‘out-of-the-box’ SharePoint
IT could provide by building custom Web parts
Called redesign project “Intranet Conversion” because “conversion”
communicates zero budget increase as opposed to “redesign”.
Usability Testing Key Driver
• Conducted several usability tests prior to redesign
– Card sorting with employees
o Group of employees who represented general employee
o Wrote every site (over 1000) from old intranet on separate index
o Asked employees to sort cards in logical groupings
o Data was main driver for top level navigation categories
– One-on-one interviews and observation of employee
intranet use
o Traveled to different locations and watched employees use
intranet (office, plants, business offices)
o Gained great insight into how different employees were using
intranet daily and what major needs existed
Redesign Lesson Learned
• Used agile development process throughout 18 month
– Used process called ‘SCRUM’
Write all deliverables on index cards
Organize by priority
Separate into manageable smaller phases, called “sprints”
Address each phase in predefined time period (we used two weeks)
– Allows for easier change management and a more flexible timeline
Employee Feedback
• Asked for employee input throughout process
• Pilot Testing
– Pulled together intranet power users (site owners, IT
employees, Marketing & Communications employees)
– Opened up access to pilot testing group month prior to
official launch date
– Created forum for group to post feedback
– Found many issues and small typos our team overlooked
– Identified areas that needed greater communication than
others for launch
Intranet Pilot Test site
New Intranet
New Intranet in edit mode
Employee Benefits Site
Example of Corp. Comm. managed interior site
Content Search Results
People Search Results
People Profile
Video Communications
Content Decentralization
• New platform has less reliance on IT resources
– Documented all technical and administrative info related to the
new intranet
– Multiple resources across IT and Corporate Communications will
be knowledgeable in all aspects of the new intranet
• Corporate Communications can now manage and
coordinate intranet layout, structure, and security
• Utilizing SharePoint allows for easy content decentralization
– Site Owners Community
o Identified and created a group of site owners who represent
department sites on the intranet
o Trained group in building and maintaining their department sites on
the new platform
o Provided with guidelines and will participate in future content audits
o Win/Win for everyone
Example Department Site
Grassroots communication plan
• Needed to communicate new intranet launch with minimal cost and time
• Created 30 second ‘commercial’ videos as teasers and posted on old
intranet prior to launch
– Used employees as actors; filmed in office
• Involved Site Owners Community & Pilot
Test Group
– E-mailed signs to print and hang in their
work area
• “Ask me about The Edge”
– Created stickers and mailed
them to Department Site Owners and
pilot group testers to wear on launch day
– Asked group to act as ambassadors
and answer questions
• Held live Web cast during lunch on launch day giving tour of new intranet
Grassroots communication plan
• The Edge – Apply directly to your workday
• Extreme Edge Makeover
Where we are now…
• 6,700 employees and contractors have access to the intranet
• Usage up for 2010
– About 91% of employees who can access intranet did at least once per month in
– Currently through September, about 92% access on a monthly basis
– Helps build case that it’s not just office employees using intranet anymore
The Edge Unique Employee Visits
Search Analytics
• What we track…
– Top search keywords
– Keyword searches with no Best Bets
– Searches with no clicks on results
• How this helps…
– Identifies popular topics, need for more info
– Identifies need for additional Best Bets
– Alerts us if employees can’t find info on topics
• We’re continuously improving search so
employees can easily find info to do their job
Where we are now…
• Employees are using search consistently. It is one of the most popular
tools on the new intranet
• Top search keywords are typically online work tools specific to job
functions or locations
Employee Feedback
• Surveyed employees about six months after
launch of new intranet
• Goals
– Measure usage and satisfaction with the new Intranet
compared with the previous version
– Measure usage and satisfaction of specific sections of
content and tools within The Edge
– Identify unmet demand for functionality and
Employee Feedback
81% of respondents use The Edge daily
Q: During the average work week, how often do you use the corporate
Intranet (The Edge)?
Ongoing basis / several times a
At least once a day
Few times a week
Once a week
Rarely / never
Employee Feedback
Over half of the respondents would be affected within a day if The Edge
was unavailable.
Q: If The Edge were not available, how long would it take for your work
activities to be affected?
Almost immediately
Within 1 to 5 hours
Within a day
Within a week
Within a month
It wouldn't affect my work at
Employee Feedback
• Asked several open ended questions
– What site improvements can we make to help employees
find information more easily?
– What changes or improvements would help improve the
People Search?
– If there was a magic button on the home page that would
make your job easier, what would it be named and what
would it do if you clicked on it?
Employee Feedback
Humorous Magic Button responses…
– "Bonus" and it would deposit $1000 into my checking account.
– it would be called the "employee improvement/eraser" button
and it would bestow knowledge and a proper work ethic on any
employee you thought needed it including yourself. However if the
button was pushed more than 3 times for any specific person in a
24 hour period by 3 different individuals than that person would
simply vanish.
– Let me order food in Cafe and have it delivered to my desk.
– The button would be named "Clear" and it would automatically
and intuitively clear my calendar from unnecessary meetings or
meetings with no agenda.
– The button would be named "Park" and it would magically
rearrange the cars in the parking lot to place my car closest to the
walkway with empty spaces on either side to prevent door dings.
Employee Feedback
• Categorized responses into top themes
– Personalization/Customization of home page
– Continuous improvement to search tool
– Improve content organization
– Not aware of available tools, sites, content
Biggest theme: need for greater customization and
personalization – employees want to get to their critical
online work tools easily.
What’s next?
• IT updating to SharePoint 2010 (includes potential for added social
• Creating ‘My Links’ section on home page for employees to customize
with work tools they use frequently
• Customizable RSS feeds on home page of industry news feeds and
targeted information
• Mobile Intranet
• Commenting/Rating on news articles,
videos, and other content
Social Intranet
• Very family oriented which leads well into social media
• Aging workforce and a large percentage of employees eligible for
– Social and collaborative tools could help capture and retain a great deal of
knowledge from employees that might otherwise be lost
• Recently implemented and communicated Social Media Guidelines
• But are we ready?
– Sr. level leadership still not completely comfortable with social media
• Regulated utility, growing culture of compliance
– Conservative culture
– Resource constraints
Testing the social media waters
CEO Blog
• Initially blogged about new corporate campus, but
need arose to discuss other topics (economy)
• CEO writes his own blogs
– speaks in his own voice, uses humor
– blogs about economy and major company initiatives
• Latest posting reached over 2,500 employees
• Comments sparse at first, but employees
getting more comfortable leaving comments
• No anonymity
CEO Blog
Employee Bulletin Board (internal Craigslist)
Ask SCANA Q & A site for employees
Frontline – online employee-focused publication
Customer Service Challenge – Employees submit ideas
What we learned…
Look for in-house solutions by partnering with your IT department. If your
company has already made the investment in SharePoint or another technology,
take advantage of the “free” functionality it has to offer.
Involve employees as much as possible throughout the entire process. Involve
them in defining your needs, testing, and for getting continuous feedback for
future enhancements.
We recognize that we are a conservative company and not quite ready for all the
bells and whistles of a full-scale social intranet. Right now we have to focus on
strategy first and build the social media business case using existing Web 2.0
tools and pilot programs.
Originally, thought intranet would be used primarily by office employees;
however, metrics show much wider adoption among all employees.
Thank You.
Therese Griffin
[email protected]
Christy A. Season, CAPM
[email protected]

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