My daughter likes to visit the local pet stores and schedule “play time” with the various puppies. She often sends me videos of this interaction and asks “can we keep him?” In an effort to fool myself into thinking I am smarter than my kids (probably not true) I’ve recently changed my answer from “Heck no!” to “Are you prepared if I say yes?” That is, if I approve and allow this process to move forward is she ready to care for this puppy? Is she ready to “feed the beast”?
I tell this story to bring it back to intranets (note, I already have two dogs). It’s time to present your intranet prototype to the CEO and/or executive sponsors. You worked hard to build a solid framework, integrated a slick branding that makes the site pop, and you have a compelling message about how the new intranet will make business processes simpler. It’s a few days before the demo and you pump in current company news to make the site “feel real”. The demo happens… and it goes incredibly well. Yes, we can go live… We get to keep the puppy! Now what?
Who will feed the beast? Have we identified the resources that will continue to place content on the intranet? Is there a plan to ensure regular content refreshes? Have the appropriate resources been trained? Holy crap, caring for this “puppy” is more complicated than we thought!
Prepare. Have a solid plan that goes past the demo. Make sure someone is ready to feed the beast.