Determining the stakeholders who are responsible for signing off on your project is a critical step in building your intranet business case. While it may be tempting to underestimate this step or skip it altogether, identifying these individuals early in the process ensures that someone won’t voice their concerns too late, catch you off-guard, and potentially derail your project. Knowing your decision makers ahead of time also helps you recruit potential ambassadors for your intranet project. Who doesn’t want that?
Who are these people?
There may be different stakeholders throughout the life of your intranet project. These stakeholders could be team members who are directly engaged in the project, external consultants brought in to manage the project, or even end-users who also play a vital role.
Typically an intranet project (depending on the size and the scope) will involve someone from IT, Human Resources (HR), Communications, and your Executive team.
Some of these people will be invested in carrying the project forward, but others may be intent on preventing it from happening at all. For this reason, it’s important to understand which stakeholders have the most influence over the success of your project, which may be your largest supporters, and which might be your most important opponents.
If you have doubts on what matters most to your stakeholders, don’t be afraid to ask them. Most stakeholders will be more than willing to discuss how they feel about a potential new project, and what their influence may or may not be.
What are their concerns?
Presuming your stakeholders fall into the four categories (IT, HR, Communications, and Executives), let's take a closer look at what specific concerns or questions they may have that relate to your intranet project:
IT: Whether it is a senior IT manager or a junior IT administrator, this group will have some important concerns to consider. You should begin by addressing the overall security of the intranet solution you are proposing, as well as discussing where it will be hosted, any potential integrations, and whether it requires IT resources to build.
HR: With a mandate of ensuring the hiring, retention, and overall happiness of employees, human resources has a vested interest in the success of your intranet platform. Discuss elements such as employee onboarding, employee engagement, and workplace culture.
Communications: Often a huge driver of intranet software, communication professionals desire tools and process that allow them to disseminate important corporate news, events, and employee information. Discussing how the intranet will impact their ability to reach staff and ensure their messages are read is a good place to start with this group.
C-Suite: As long as you focus on decreasing costs and increasing revenue, you are speaking the c-suite language. For example, rather than saying “We need a document collaboration solution”, you can position it as “We are spending too much money on challenges related to poor document collaboration, so here is what I am proposing to fix that.”
End-users: Your end users might not get a vote in which intranet vendor you choose, but don’t lose sight that communication, knowledge share, and employee engagement affects every single department. If you don’t address employee concerns from the start, you risk low engagement with your new intranet, and that’s not good for anyone.
As you can see, identifying and involving stakeholders is critical to the success of your intranet business case. But to gain their participation and support you need to understand their interests and influence. From there you will have the knowledge to address their concerns, and demonstrate how the project will benefit them individually, as well as the overall organization.
This is just one step of seven in building an effective intranet business case. The full guide is available for free! Download your copy now to ensure the best possible outcome for your intranet project.
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