Business & Value

Things are getting better, aren’t they … ?

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in August 2007 ……

The second annual Global Intranet & Portal Strategies Survey is currently on going and as I said a few days ago, I want to go down on record with some predictions before I close the survey and begin analysis.

This post is the second prediction and focuses on the intranet manager him/herself.

(The first one was on whether or not the intranet has become the “way of working” in organizations: What keeps senior management awake at night and what is your intranet doing about it?)

Here’s my second prediction :

In spite of difficulties and some major challenges in individual cases, the intranet manager community is growing in solidarity, self-confidence and overall job satisfaction.

There will be significantly less professional frustration expressed this year by intranet and portal managers.

If you did not see it, you might want to check out my blog post from November 10, 2006 from the 2006 Report: No career path for an intranet manager. The change I sense since last year is in part because a growing number of forums, clubs and information services are becoming available for intranet managers  – including the Global Intranet Survey itself!

I’m personally aware of grass roots initiatives in the UK, France and the US – all kicked off by companies themselves, not consultants. Some are faring better than others.

Another change I feel is that intranet managers are becoming more knowledgeable and skilful in their jobs. The average “intranet manager” found him/herself in the role without training or preparation. Although in some companies the person fulfilling the role changes often, in other organisations the same person is in the role for a number of years, and becomes highly expert in the job. Of course the job itself is evolving, and offering more challenges and rewards.

I feel an increasing sense of communication, sharing and pride in the job role within the global intranet manager community. It will be interesting to see the answers to the 2007 survey question asking the intranet manager his/her opinion if the intranet is a tool that does or can do the following:

•    Increase an organization competitive advantage in the market place or arena of operation. It lets teams work better and faster, create value and better serve customers

•    Improve external communication and public relations in general because well-informed employees who understand the organization strategy consciously or unconsciously transmit positive or negative messages about their organization to the outside world.

•    Enable change: help the organization move to a more effective, productive and satisfying way of working.

•    Become one of the factors that make job applicants think that your organization could be “a great place to work” because the intranet is so appealing, efficient, modern and enjoyable

I expect the answers to be upbeat, with most managers at the higher end of the scale that runs from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”.

We’ll have to wait and see. The 2007 Report will be published in October 2007.