No career path for an intranet manager?

November 10, 2006

Not surprising given senior management attitudes…

One evening during KMWorld & Intranets 2006, I stood in the dark streets of San Jose, light rain falling, talking with a colleague discussing  career paths for intranet managers  and we ran into a conference attendee, an intranet manager in a very large organisation  I will leave un-named.

He feels strongly that an intranet manager cannot move up, nor sideways, only down.

It”s disturbing to realize how many intranet managers feel frustration and discouragement. I noticed this overall tone in many of the responses in my Global Intranet Strategy Survey.

I quote from a free text field in  the answers to the question “what obstacles do you perceive that prevent the intranet from achieving its full potential?”

“It has taken awhile for top management to see its worth.”

  • The intranet is not seen as a priority by senior management.
  •  Not enough senior buy-in.  Not enough knowledge at senior levels of its potential.
  • Needs better awareness of how to optimize its use.
  • Not enough support from top management and budget from IT for development of the next steps.

Lack of relevance and integration into people’s work

  • Level of integration into employees’ processes and into other systems is not high enough. Too little impact on personal productivity for many employees.

Technical reasons

  • Out-of-date infrastructure technology.
  • Network issues make it difficult to deliver on some of the functionality that we would like to implement.

Governance and management issues

  • Not a high priority for contributors.
  • No central department managing Intranet, not enough resources, budget. Intranet has a complex structure, no clear order and it’s not easy to find information.
  • New roll-out has required employees to learn the new system and where to find things. Not everything has been migrated to the new portal yet. Disparate systems used for international offices in some cases. No strong mandate to use the portal versus other tools.
  • Most difficult task we face is getting people in the business to take responsibility for the content and to keep it up to date.
  • Lack of ownership, poor alignment between individual goals and objectives and intranet capabilities.

No clear purpose

  • Intranet is still largely at self-promotional stage, rather than productivity/collaboration/admin reduction. But getting better.
  • Too many corporate (global) sites that don’t matter. Is very confusing.
  • Fragmented content and poor findability. Duplicate and contradicting contents.

Yes, I DID focus here on the negative comments, but…

I invented nothing and left out a lot! All this from 101 intranet managers from around the world.

We have a lot of progress to make…

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Comments

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James McConnough

No so far from the reality from my point of view, especially for :
– Not enough support from top management and budget from IT for development of the next steps.
– Intranet is still largely at self-promotional stage, rather than productivity/collaboration/admin reduction. But getting better
– Out-of-date infrastructure technology
– Not a high priority for contributors
– It has taken awhile for top management to see its worth
…and a lot of fear around the web2.0 topic because people could share their opinion at all levels of the organization ….

David Gammel

I would flip the question with your nameless intranet manager. What next job does she/he want within the organization? What can they do to prepare themselves for that job and get the attention of whoever fills it? How can they leverage the power of the intranet to support that unit?
You may be waiting a long time if you rely on your employer to make opportunities for you.

Column Two

No career path for an intranet manager?

Jane McConnell has written about the perceived lack of career path for intranet managers. To quote: One evening during KMWorld & Intranets, I stood in the dark streets of San Jose, light rain falling, talking with a colleague discussing career…