Kathryn van Beek
Thursday 4 October 2018
Concurrent Session 2B
Creating A Dialogue: Nurturing Culture Through Empowered Internal Communications
Business problem: Otago Polytechnic’s intranet was not fit for purpose. It was hard to search, hard to navigate, lacked a business owner and lacked buy-in from staff. Content was old and unreliable, and we were using an ageing technology platform.
Our innovation: After engaging with staff and key stakeholders such as web champions we created a brand new intranet called Tūhono (names were suggested and voted on by staff).
Each section of the new intranet has a content owner, and we have reinvigorated the organisation-wide network of ‘web champions’ who are now highly-engaged with Tūhono.
We chose Silverstripe as our platform because our website and ‘Student Hub’ were already on the platform. This meant we were able to re-use functionality and easily share content between the intranet and the website.
We incorporated Microsoft 365 and staff are now able to access Outlook, OP Docs (SharePoint) and OneDrive from the homepage, and we have synchronised profile photos and calendar appointments and invitation management.
Staff are now able to easily contribute their own blog posts, news and notices. They can comment on news stories and interact with the Executive Leadership Team. And they can do all this from their mobile phones!
Our vision was to create an attractive, up-to-date, easy-to-use intranet that facilitated two-way communication. We had a strong emphasis on integration, reducing duplication and ensuing a single source of truth.
We were given a timeframe of 12 weeks so we took an MVP (minimal viable product) approach to phase one of the project. Further functionality was added during phase two (8 weeks).
We undertook the project in-house because we have in-house Silverstripe expertise and an in-house UX designer.
One complication was integrating our HR systems to create our contact directory. We had to create some work-arounds to make this happen.
Another complication was the different working styles of the different team members. By the end of the project we were a tight-knit team, but we learnt that taking the time to understand each other’s working styles upfront could have made for smoother sailing. Celebrating project successes brought the team together.
A key learning was that we are able to work in a more agile, modular way. We will take this way of learning forward into other projects.
The following technologies were leveraged as part of the project:
Silverstripe CMS (CWP), Microsoft Forefront Identity manager (FIM), Payglobal, Office 365 (Graph API), OneDrive, OPDocs (sharepoint), Outlook Online, ADFS (SSO auth)
Jono Aldridge – Enterprise Solutions Architect. Jono shapes digital experiences driven by changing business needs and customer expectations.
Kathryn van Beek – Internal Communications Specialist. Kathryn ensures that staff are informed of and engaged with our strategic priorities.