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Intranet Development Framework

A lot of times I heard a question – from customers, at conferences, on different other occasions – “How do you make intranet? How do you proceed? Where do you start?”

Although a lot of great books, and numerous blog posts have been written on that topic, there is no clear answer on it, simply because there are no two intranets which are alike – each organization or business has it’s specific problems and issues, which are of course reflected on their intranet requirements.

But, still, during the years, and out of experience, I have created for myself a framework, a path, how do I proceed when I am confronted with a task of creating a roadmap for a brand new intranet. And I have decided to share it here, on my blog, in two forms: a PDF poster, representing the framework, and a Microsoft Project file, with all tasks entered.

PDF Poster represent only a brief, high-level outlook of the tasks, without descriptions. Microsoft Project file is more detailed, with some of the tasks including descriptions what is to be done.

The framework is divided in 7 swimlanes:

  • Inquiry – situation and requirements analysis
  • Guidelines – creating basic guidelines for new intranet
  • Plan – thorough planning of new intranet
  • Implement – implementation phase
  • Educate and support – staff education and support
  • Evaluate and govern – success measurement, evaluation, and governance
  • Growth – adding functionality, user populations and growth

First a disclaimer: even if I find this quite suitable for myself, it does not have to be suitable for everybody. This is not a Holy Grail, not even for myself – I adapt this framework in every single project, for every single customer, and I find it to be a good starting point.

What this framework is not:

  • As I have mentioned, it is not a definite, ultimate guide. It is a starting point.
  • In the framework poster, the swimlanes are not the time lines. Even if the processes are parallel there, it does not mean that they are parallel in the implementation process
  • In the Microsoft Project file, tasks do not have duration, from a simple reason that it can not be set in a framework. It’s just a list of tasks, which, in some case, do have preceding task, but in most of the cases don’t – you need to figure that yourself, based on the situation and on the project requirements.
  • Definite list of all possible requirements and actions, which occur during the process of intranet development. No framework can be – I have tried to include the most common activities, but there will always be something that is missing.

What this framework is:

  • A cornerstone, a starting point from which I start developing intranets
  • Reminder and outlook of activities which most likely need to be done during the process
  • A poster, PDF file, with high-level overview of those activities
  • A Microsoft Project file, which goes more in depth. Needs to be adapted, sorted and squeezed each time, based on the business requirements and real life situation.

So if you think that it might be of any user for you – please go, use it. Every feedback is welcome, and if I, through the process, improve this framework, I will be very thankful 🙂


Download Intranet Development Framework as Microsoft Project File


Download Intranet Development Framework as PDF Poster