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Leveraging Our Intranet to Drive Performance

Diana Hvistendahl, PMP

A colleague recently shared an article from the website simpplr titled, “Why a Great Intranet Matters More than You Think.” This article outlined how “leaders in internal communications have significantly better intranets” and how effective intranets have become “one of the main contributors” to strong internal corporate communications programs. This quote stands out in particular: “[T]he goal of internal communications is to align executives and employees and help employees understand the purpose of their work.”

As the person responsible for IWCO Direct’s intranet, it was encouraging to see my team’s efforts to make our intranet a thriving community confirmed by a third party.

Our intranet is built on SharePoint and helps all our teams access and share information, research a variety of topics, and communicate efficiently. What can be found there? So much—perhaps too much! But it is better than digging through network folders or contacting a department’s busy subject matter experts every time you want to use the latest and greatest form or document.

Our Intranet Lets Us Store and Access a Wealth of Information

Here are some of the knowledge assets available on our intranet:

  • Corporate Calendar – An online visual calendar of this month’s company events, including picnics, tours, fundraising events, and meetings.
  • Glossary – An online dictionary of all our acronyms and industry-specific terminology that is very helpful to new hires.
  • Forms and Templates – A repository that contains all online forms used to submit information, plus templates employees can use to craft their own corporate-branded content.
  • Team and Project Sites – Separate pages where departments and project teams control their content for easy department reference and use.
  • Standard Work Repository – A fully searchable set of our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), along with other documentation like system user guides, process flows, etc.
  • Process Flow Mapping – An online world of navigational process diagrams with links to SOPs.

Keeping Content Fresh and Secure

When you search our intranet from the home page, the amount of information can be overwhelming—that’s why we’ve made it easy to filter the results further. SharePoint security settings not only secure the sites to a specific audience, they also further filter to local search results, which certainly helps.

For security assurance, we annually audit sites to update permissions and to clean them up content-wise. The simpplr article says what we all think: “[O]utdated content is a pain and an eyesore for everyone.” Agree?

A Resource for Projects and Teams

The project and team sites certainly help with execution. These sites provide document libraries, of course, but also “trackers” of all kinds. Some are forms with workflows and email notifications. Other “trackers” are for project status updates, issue tracking, and workload tracking.

Some departments even use these as their daily scheduling and work assignment tools. With this type of tracked information, leaders throughout IWCO Direct can gather data on many processes and projects. This execution assurance and tool helps us provide quality products and information to IWCO Direct clients and business partners.

We also take a survey each year to set new goals to meet the needs of our intranet “customers,” and improvements continue to roll out all the time for added ease of use and efficiency.

Want to learn more about how our SharePoint intranet helps keep IWCO Direct communicating and moving forward to increase value for clients? Contact me here.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2019/11/19/intranet-continuous-improvement/
Diana Hvistendahl, PMP


Diana Hvistendahl, PMP

VP Strategic Planning. Holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College and a master’s from Metropolitan State University. Has been viewing challenges as opportunities for team-building at IWCO Direct for more than five years. When not improving processes and creating new tools to increase efficiency at IWCO Direct, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and visiting her husband’s distillery.

More Posts by Diana


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