Background: Pam Sharpe is the Internal Communications Manager for Human Services. She provides strategic internal communications advice to senior leadership and on department-wide projects. Pam also oversees the internal communications tools, including newsletters, all-staff emails, videos, podcasts and the intranet. She works in partnership with the web team on the strategic direction of the intranet, specifically on leveraging the intranet as a communications tool.
The Human Services intranet has had an interesting journey. When the department was created in October 2011 by bringing four ministries and portfolios together, each of those areas had their own unique intranet site (each with separate platforms). The first step was to create an interim Human Services intranet. The next step was to consult with staff, review all content from the four previous ministry intranets and bring that content together in a cohesive way. The first real Human Services intranet launched in June 2012. However, one month before the site launched, government reorganized and more pieces of ministries were added. Over the course of the next eight months, we migrated content from those areas to the Human Services intranet.
Question: What are some of the highlights of working on your intranet?
Pam: November 2011: Interim Human Services intranet launched
June 2012: Human Services intranet launched (without new ministries’ content)
March 2013: Content migration from all previous ministry intranet sites complete
Over the course of our intranet’s short life, we have been introducing more social aspects to the site. We have had a very popular Buy & Sell feature and a community discussion board from the beginning. In August 2012, we launched our Faces of Human Services series, which are weekly profiles of staff members that allow commenting. In February 2014, the Deputy Minister launched a blog on the site. Highlights for me are the major milestones we achieved and the social features. I love seeing staff interact on the intranet.
Question: What are some of the opportunities you see for the future?
Pam: For the future, we will continue to add more interactive, social elements to our intranet. We hope to launch a polling feature very soon. Since we’re coming up on the two-year mark, this summer we will review our entire intranet and ask ourselves some tough questions. Are we using the right platform for what we want to achieve? Is there a better way of organizing the information (information architecture)? How do we best organize ourselves to manage an intranet with such a large amount of content to keep everything up-to-date? In short, is the intranet meeting our staff’s needs? Will we continue to meet their needs in the future (for example, as more staff want to access the intranet via their mobile devices)?
If you would like to hear more on what Pam has to say about intranets, register for our Better Intranets conference on June 12. Tickets are available by clicking here.