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Overcoming the Hurdles to Intranet Adoption

Like most people I’ve been swept up in Olympic fever, each night dutifully recording the coverage so that I can fast forward through the commercials. There have been many historic moments in the Olympic Games but the USA men’s and women’s hurdlers have provided some of the most exciting. For the first time ever the US women placed 1-2-3 in the 100m hurdles when Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin finished with the gold, silver and bronze medals. Then Dalilah Muhammad and Kerron Clement took the gold medal in the women’s and men’s 400m hurdles respectively, an event that no American has ever won.

The USA’s Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin celebrate after they won gold, silver and bronze in the women’s 100m hurdles final respectively. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The USA’s Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin celebrate after they won gold, silver and bronze in the women’s 100m hurdles final respectively. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The accomplishments of these athletes and the dedication to their sport is commendable. To be sure running down a track with world-class speed is hard, throwing a few hurdles in the way just to make it more interesting is even harder. So how does this all relate to your intranet? In any company’s intranet adoption journey you can be sure that there will be hurdles to implementation and gaining user adoption. My aim is to provide some insight into these challenges and provide some strategies to overcome them.
The intranet is a team sport
While each of the Olympians I mentioned won medals in an individual event, I’d be willing to bet that if asked each of them would credit their victory to a team effort. From the coaches that helped them train, to the support staff, parents, friends, and loved ones that supported them. To accomplish great things requires a team effort. The same is true when it comes to your intranet, you will need a cross functional team to achieve the most success. When members of IT, Human Resources, Corporate Communications, Marketing, etc. work together toward a common goal of uniting the workplace the intranet can become a hub of collaboration, enabling a true digital transformation within your company. The extra work to gain consensus and create that common vision is the first step to winning gold.
Take a long-term perspective
None of these Olympic athletes was born with the ability to sprint around a track at seemingly super human speeds. They each identified a talent early in life and then spent countless hours in preparation, measuring their progress in 10th’s and 100th’s of a second until they’ve arrived at a moment when they were at the top of their sport and could achieve their dream. It is always tempting to throw technology at a problem with the hopes of immediate gratification. More often than not our technology is not the problem, sometimes there are organizational and cultural considerations that are always much trickier and harder to work through. There is no technology that can force organizational or cultural change within a company, these changes must be nurtured over time. Technology can facilitate organization and cultural shifts, by embracing a crawl, walk, run approach with proper communication planning and organizational change management. Don’t overwhelm people with change instead help them to embrace your vision with new and better ways of working together.
The right tool for the job
I have been fascinated with the pre-race routines of the sprinters and hurdlers. The minute adjustments to the starting blocks, each racer with their own routine and style. They are all running toward the common goal to cross the finish line first but with their own unique individuality. Our intranet is no different, we are all working towards the same goals of a connected and collaborative work culture but often going about things in different ways. It is important that we have the right tools at our disposal to accomplish the goal. Many organizations have invested in Office 365 and the enterprise tools available there such as SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Delve, Exchange, Yammer, and Skype for Business. While all of these tools are powerful on their own accord, when leveraged in a cohesive and integrated manner they can help bring about the connected and collaborative workplace we are all working toward.
There are many hurdles to achieving the adoption and cultural shifts that you seek through the deployment of your intranet initiatives. With the right team, hard work, dedication, and the right technologies leveraged in smart and effective ways you too can win the gold.
And now for this commercial message…

At Perficient we have a long history of implementing intranet solutions for our customers, we recognize the challenges that you face. That is why we have built Rise, our intranet-as-a-service product that can effectively help you navigate the hurdles of your intranet deployment. The Rise team operates as an extension of your intranet team, providing a dedicated development and support team to ensure your ability to deliver on the vision you have set internally. Rise operates as an intranet-as-a-service making sure that we can meet your intranet needs today and for years to come as technology and trends shift. Rise puts your users at the center of an integrated Office 365 experience surfacing the right tools to enable your connected and collaborative workplace.

Learn more in our latest guide: Accelerate Your SharePoint Intranet with Rise.


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Patrick Falgoust

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