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Part One: Managing an Award-Winning Intranet Project

Managing an Award-Winning Intranet Build Project

An overview of how I managed an award-winning SharePoint intranet project from start to finish.

Introduction

After managing projects for almost 10 years, I have discovered the practice of running the most successful projects – one of which was an award-winning SharePoint intranet. Consequently, in this blog, I will review the best practices from project kickoff, delivery, and continued support.

Kicking off the project

One of the most important parts of a project is to ensure that all parties involved are on the same page. We do this by starting with an internal project kickoff meeting followed by a client kickoff meeting. During both meetings, we ensure that the loop between the sales to the delivery team is closed. All involved agree on what we will be delivering at the end of the intranet build, the timeline, meeting expectations, and the level of commitment.

A typical agenda for an internal kickoff meeting include:

  • Client and Project Background
  • Team Members and Roles
  • Scope of Work
  • RAID (Risks, Actions, Issues, and Decisions)
  • Access Request(s)
  • Project Timeline
  • Q&A
Miroboard Project Design Template
Figure 1 – Miroboard Project Design Template

A typical agenda for an external kickoff meeting includes:

  • Team Introductions
  • Project Overview (project goal, deliverables, and workshop overview, out of scope)
  • Project Timeline
  • Action Items and Next Steps (access request, meeting requests)
  • Q&A

Overall, the project kickoff sets the tone for the project’s success. It establishes a rapport and initial trust with the client and delivery team.

Project Delivery

The delivery phase is the most complex part of running a successful project. Consequently, the project involves executing the plan and staying ahead of the timeline. This includes removing roadblocks, driving meetings, and coordinating schedules and dependencies. It also involves keeping track of the RAID, managing changes, and ensuring customer happiness. To make all of this happen, communication is the key. It is the most important part of a project’s success.

Keeping open and continuous communication protects the project’s success as it ensures that all parties involved are always on the same page. If there is a risk, we identify it before it grows. If we are ahead of schedule, we discuss what we can pull forward. Generally, making sure that good notes are taken and shared with the entire project team and documenting risks, action items, issues, and decisions help result in project success.

At the end of a project, it is important to have a meeting to demo the final product. This provides an opportunity to receive the client’s feedback. Therefore, we will make sure any loose ends are tied up, make any final refinements, and support the launch of the project. As we strive to make business processes and collaboration easier, we do this by ensuring the client and end users are happy and satisfied with the result.

Figure 2 – TSI SharePoint Intranet Demo

Continued Support

Once a project is completed, we do not like to “walk away” and leave our clients on their own after launch. We provide various levels of support. In addition, we highly recommend going with one of our offerings to have our team on call to continuously refine, answer questions, provide training, and make enhancements. For the award-winning intranet, we met weekly to review new end-user and power-user requests, prioritize them, and also delegate the requests between team members.  As a result, by keeping strong communication, we continuously grow the collaboration of an intranet keeping 3,000+ employees easily informed and growing value towards their business.