Setting Up An Intranet Fast: From 0-100 in 2 Months

December 4, 2015
Robin Dominik Havre
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From the time when your company makes the decision to create a mobile intranet, you should set aside no more than two months to launch the first version.

For most larger organizations this might sound crazy optimistic – but the benefits of a quick launch by far outweigh the arguments for a more time-consuming process.

Want to reap those benefits for yourself? Read on for our rapid launch guide.

A quick launch is a good launch

A quick launch will often lead to a good launch, because:

You’ll make the best priorities
A positive side-effect of setting strict, short deadlines for the first version of your intranet is that it forces you to prioritize: The most important content and the most important features are all you have time for. Everything else comes second.

You get valuable feedback early on
You launch quickly with the key content and features, and before you move on to the next version, you have invaluable user-feedback and statistics – data you wouldn’t have if you planned a gigantic launch after a year or more of development.

This feedback might be vital: If the needs of your audience doesn’t match your original plans, you’re now in the fortunate position of being able to change course. In fact, one of the key points of an early launch is exactly this: You don’t know where you’re headed before you start walking. Thus, is makes sense to take everything one small, quick, step at a time.

You don’t keep your employees waiting
Ever heard of the Pareto principle? Also known as the 80-20 rule, it states that 80% of the effect comes from 20% of the effort. For intranets we could even call it the 90-10 rule: The main purpose of your intranet is for employees to find information easily, and for management to spread information to everyone. This is 90% of the soul and purpose of your intranet – so why keep your employees waiting for years when 10% of effort will cover 90% of your needs?

It’s cheaper
Not only will a quick launch lead to a qualitatively better intranet, it’s also a lot more cost-efficient. You don’t build complex stuff you don’t need, and for every feature you skip – everything else you do decide to implement is faster and cheaper.

Or to keep on the 90-10 track from above: 10% of the expenses will cover 90% of your needs.

Can it really be done in two months?

It’s not only possible, it’s what we recommend: From when the decision has been made the intranet should be up and running within 8 weeks.

Our development and your content work will go in parallel. That means structure, design and content area created simultaneously over this 8-week journey.

Here’s the schedule that the New Intranet team recommends to new clients once the decision to create a mobile intranet has been made (responsibility in parentheses):

  • Week 1 Decide on app-features (us + client)
    Decide main categories (client)
    Start preparing content (client)
  • Week 2 First draft of design ready (us)
    Feedback on first draft of design (client)
    Prepare list of testers (client)
  • Week 3 Second draft of design ready (us)
    Feedback on second draft of design (client)
  • Week 4 First test-version ready (us)
    Feedback on first test-version (us)
  • Week 5 Second test-version ready (us)
    Feedback on second test-version (client)
    Review main categories from week 1. Make changes if necessary. (client)
  • Week 6 Third test-version ready (us)
    Feedback on third test-version (client)
  • Week 7 Final app ready (us)
    Submit app to Apple for review (us)
    While we wait for Apple-approval, the last touch-up is made to the content (client)
  • Week 8/9 App approved by Apple (Apple)
    Depending Publish app on Apple App Store (us)
    on Apple Publish app on Google Play (us)
    review time Spread app to employees by SMS and E-mail (us)

What are you waiting for?

The advice in this article applies regardless of who will provide the technical platform for your mobile intranet.

First of all, you need to push a decision through internally at your company. Secondly, you need to find the provider that best matches your needs. New Intranet is one of many – contact several and do some research.

Once you’ve found your provider, the clock is ticking. After eight weeks you should be read to launch.

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Robin Dominik Havre

Robin is the CEO of New Intranet. He's helped many companies deploy successful mobile intranets that are easy to use and specially designed for employees not working in front of a computer. The goal of this blog is to provide research-backed intranet and internal communications advice for more successful HR strategies.

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