Understand how to establish intranet governance

During early project discovery for the intranet redesign, establishing a governance structure was identified as a key initiative for new content strategy. I led a design analysis and user research project, In order to understand the work experience for the intranet team. I found that the content workflow was a critical area to address for the establishment of governance.

The goal was to create a new digital governance to support improved content strategy.

Background

When the digital team decided to update content strategy and redesign the intranet, standing up governance was listed as one of the project objectives. In early project discovery, the intranet content maintenance and the lack of structured governance were both identified as breaking points for the new content strategy.

I identified the content request workflow as common tactical piece that impacted governance in both areas. Governance structure was loose and nothing was very well documented. Most processes where maintained and supported by word of mouth only. The request process and workflow was tedious and risky for publishers. There was a no training and and .

I knew that if addressed the content workflow it could return fast results.
I set out to identifying gaps, problems and opportunities with the content publishing process to establish governance.

Challenges

Team had no understanding of risks and challenges of current content workflow.

Previous attempts to establish governance around intranet content stalled.

Resistant attitude towards process changes.

Wide and vast content network, with no established training and qualifications

Detached understanding of the content publishing experience.

Create a new system to support digital governance on the intranet.

Approach

Explore experience for the business.

For this governance effort to succeed, it was vital that the intranet team and the content network were on board.

I wrote a project brief in order to identify and prioritize the outcomes for a new system and tool, as a result, the system and new tool were added to the charter for the intranet redesign project.

I identified challenges to address as a result I was able plan features and roadmap for user adoption.

I drew an experience map and task flow as a result I was able to share insights on what the root cause of user pains, and additional risks in the current workflow.

Design analysis for user experience.

Since this area had low visibility I used desktop research and heuristic analysis to draw out the problems with system and user experience.

I collected content request logs for 2 years as a result I was able to develop a framework for content.
I reviewed an audit of our intranet from our agency on retainer for the redesign project and I tapped the knowledge body at Digital Workplace Group.

I scheduled calls spoke with regional content managers in the company and external content managers in the DWG network, who had previously completed governance system projects. I was able to develop a wholistic understanding of change management challenges.

I was then able user type in the content network and I was able to identify a list of who to talk to in order capture the tasks, expectations and change requirements.

What is the challenge?

With a potentially resistant new user, I wanted to communicate potential outcomes that would interest and excite them and impact business goals.
Using multiple approaches for investigation, I was able to gather a picture of the content manager experience. In this way, I could present ideas and assumptions during early discussions. I setup exploratory conversations with functional mangers and the strategy owner. Through the early discussions, I was able to share insights on the root cause of user pains, and additional risks in the current process.

Designing a new content publishing experience

To design the interaction, I used an iterative approach. Testing features early and fast, with recorded interviews to captured user reactions.
Content workflows lacked a system for coordinating content author requests and content publishing workflows. I used Acrobat PDF to make a rapid prototype PDF form to collect user data. I took the form into interviews to validate that my solution would work. Additionally, I was able to gather reactions from content authors regarding the change in processes. Tests helped me identify which features were most important for an improved user experience, and how to craft the release story to encourage early adoption. I used a semi-agile approach to iterate versions of the early prototype into an internal tool to support the new workflow and intranet governance process.

Outcome

Redesigned content workflow

The redesigned publishing workflow and service blueprint led the way for a new work experience for the intranet team and content network. Two of the 3 tasks of the publishing management phase were automated and the request support phase was adde.

Over the 4 years, I lead the initiative I survived 2 workforce reductions, and I was promoted 2 times.

Before After

Solution defined

I built a full flow chart for how the new content request tool would support the new request process. The user flow also defined the platforms needed to support and how they would integrate with each other.

We scaled the program by automating workflows, defining the analytics experience, and using a dashboard to make reporting self serve.

Knowledge base on governance

The initiative started without a knowledge base, so I developed lessons learned and project management documents.

Work experience attitude shifts

The content network which started out as a highly resistant cohort of users, proved to be very cooperative to the innovation of the tool and process.