New project: A SharePoint Intranet - where to start?

By Bas Zurburg at 7. March 2011 02:00 in Collaboration, Content, intranet, SharePoint, Social Media

In a previous post I argued to call the intranet not the 'intranet' anymore.SharePoint for the intranet The reason is that the 'Intranet' is not always taken seriously, mainly because of an often unsuccessful history or a strategy that is not in line with the IT vision. Last week I was reminded to this when I visited a company where the IT department has a decisive vote on the tools that are used within the organization.


IT in charge of budget and tools to use

The current intranet is built with a CMS that has poor 'social' capabilities (This CMS is actually better suited for marketing websites) The IT department is not in favor of bringing in other applications to add some social features to the intranet. And they have a good point. Instead they say: "Use SharePoint". My advice: Go for it!

(Apparently there is plenty of budget for some tools when it comes from IT)


It's going to be SharePoint. Now What?

So... the IT department says: Launch SharePoint and your intranet issues will be solved. All your communication and collaboration issues will disappear.

A blog post by Chris Wright on CMS Wire highlights a common situation, I am sure you recognise this:

Client: “We would like to include some collaboration on our Intranet”
Business Analyst: “Of course, what type of people would be collaborating?”
Client: “Ideally everyone. We would like to use blogs and wikis”
BA: “OK.. before we get to that, what type of collaboration are you trying to facilitate?”
Client: “Good question. I think the blog type, and then probably the wiki type”
BA: “Right…”
Client: “OK next on the agenda, business intelligence..”

Questions to be answered

Last year I have read many articles about implementing a SharePoint intranet and one of the things I learned is that it is not that simple as it looks. Being quite a rookie in SharePoint intranets, there are many questions I would liked to be answered:

  • What Governance model do I need?
  • How does SharePoint fit in the communication Strategy? 
  • How will it be best adopted in the organisation? 
  • What is the best usability design?
  • Do the social features fit my organisation and are they sufficient?
  • Is the standard search good enough? 
  • Is SharePoint realy the best solution?
  • How to migrate the existing content?
  • And a lot more questions... 


But where should I start? How can I best prepare myself for this new SharePoint project?


On intranetLounge you can find many articles written by intranet managers and intranet professionals, describing their experiences with a SharePoint implementation project. These stories are not from a SharePoint marketing perspective, but real experiences from people working in the field. 

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