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How to Get Executive Sign-Off for Intranet Software: 9 Things You Need to Know

5/21/20 5:57 PM

Planning to buy intranet software but need approval from your executive team? 

Intranet solutions can greatly improve employee experience, customer service and make it easy for people to find the information they need to do their job. This has a massive impact on business success.

Before you buy intranet software

Showcasing the value of a new solution can be difficult, but if done right, it can transform your workplace and day-to-day operations, making employees more productive, connected and happier.

Before you buy your new intranet software, you need to know how to sell it. In order to get buy-in and approval from your executive team and stakeholders, there are a few things you need to know to ensure your case for a modern intranet and digital workplace is successful for the business and employees.

9 things you need to know to get sign-off

In order to get buy-in from your executive team and stakeholders, there are a few things you need to know to ensure your case for a modern intranet and digital workplace is successful.

We’ve put together our top 9 essential elements that will help you make your case for buying intranet software and solve the pain points of your workforce.

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1. Be clear about your desired outcomes

Understanding what you are seeking to achieve and why a change is necessary is a critical first step to selling your intranet solution.

If your executive team doesn’t know what the outcome of a new software solution is, it will be difficult to get them on board. This is why it’s important to make sure you’re clear on the reason for implementing the new solution. 

For example, if your workforce is working remotely, their ability to easily find information and access leading-edge technology would be a key component for getting work done. By connecting employees across your organization, a digital workplace empowers people to build communities of interest, drives knowledge management and promotes collaboration. 

2. Survey your current intranet landscape

Is your intranet challenging to navigate? Does your workforce find it difficult to find the information they are looking for? Maybe people feel overloaded with data they receive from multiple sources or find it time-consuming to log into your system when working remotely.   

Make sure you survey your current intranet landscape and technology before buying new intranet software or even trying to introduce or pitch something new. Show your executive team why your existing solution is no longer the best way for the business to achieve its goals. It’s also a good idea to include any relevant workplace trends that are likely to continue to change such as demographics and or working from home.

Outside of work, people are used to consumer-grade technology, including popular social platforms. A digital workplace makes it simple to provide employees with a relevant, interactive experience in a similar way to the services most organizations aspire to offer external customers.

3. Conduct employee research

Employee research is a crucial step when deciding on the best intranet platform for your needs, after all, they are the ones who will be using it. 

Start your research with discussions or by sending out online surveys in order to gather requirements from employees on what they would like to see in an intranet platform. You should be able to gather a conclusive set of results and a better idea of what employees need to enhance the way they work. 

For example, employees might seek improved collaboration, being a part of a global community with shared values, or having a voice to contribute more effectively to business challenges and opportunities. 

4. Explore different intranet solutions

Once you have surveyed your current landscape and gathered requirements from stakeholders and employees, you need to look at the range of intranet solutions that are available to achieve your goals. This will enable you to choose the right one to get the most buy-in from your executive team. 

Look at the pros and cons of each solution and make sure to analyze trends in the marketplace. One of the best ways to get your executives on board is to show them different options with a recommended course of action for each.

Ensuring there is a connection between your business strategy and the employee and digital workplace research will only strengthen your business case.

5. Align with your strategy

Every organization has defined goals, understanding how your intranet will enable the success of your business is essential. This might include ways your intranet will contribute to key metrics such as business growth targets, flexible working requirements, new product developments and employee experience. Demonstrating a tangible ROI is critical to successfully selling the case for a new intranet.

There may be additional specific business drivers that will make your case compelling as well. These may include a merger or acquisition, a company rebrand, changes to your IT infrastructure or changes to the design/location of your organization.

6. Outline the benefits

The way an organization communicates, collaborates and listens will determine its success. Involving employees in conversations about strategic priorities creates buy-in, an improved customer experience and ultimately profitable business growth.

There are many benefits that a digital workplace brings to a business. The most significant benefits are:

  • Enabling your workforce to find and access the information they need to do their work and serve customers
  • Helping leaders communicate company strategy
  • Improving the employee experience by creating advocacy and engagement
  • Facilitating remote and flexible work with cost efficiency and productivity in mind 

When exploring a new intranet solution, it is also worth capturing both financial and non-financial benefits. 

  • Financial benefit: A quantifiable decrease in travel costs.
  • Non-financial benefit: A significant improvement in employee motivation.

Winning the hearts and minds of different stakeholders is important and you can do this by calling out benefits that are related to their interests, values and concerns. For example, HR may be interested in ways your new intranet will impact on employee engagement, internal comms wants to deliver the right message at the right time to the right people and IT may want to see the impact on their technology approach. 

7. Summarize investment and resource requirements

‘But what’s it going to cost?’ is a question you can expect to answer. When it comes to budget and investment, the executive team will need to see a realistic estimate in order to be comfortable with any recommendation. Make sure that you reference all costs, including upfront payments and longer-term fees and ensure you have considered how these costs might change if workforce numbers alter significantly. 

In addition to costs, you also need to support the new technology over time. This starts with allocating adequate resources for implementing a new intranet solution. Be clear about the short-term, dedicated project resource that you are likely to need to both deliver the technology and encourage people to use it effectively.  

8. Create a timeline and project plan

Your executive team and stakeholders will ultimately be interested in a smooth implementation process, which means you should have a timeline and project plan. 

This will demonstrate that you have thought through the project in some detail and have a reasonable idea of how long it will take, what resources will be necessary and how to mitigate any risks. Include any critical decision points to ensure clarity of expectation.

A typical intranet implementation period takes about two to four months depending on the solution.  

9. Measure the results

Measuring the impact of your intranet platform against your business results is important for keeping stakeholders and your executive team on board. They will want to see a direct connection to their business goals so they can clearly see how the intranet is helping them to succeed or improve.

Best practice is to combine both quantitative and qualitative measurements in order to determine the impact of your intranet and ROI.

Ways to measure the success of your intranet might include surveys, total views, comments and more.

Make your case for buying intranet software

A new intranet solution will give your workforce the tools they need to improve their communication, collaboration, knowledge and processes. If implemented effectively, it also allows you to mitigate common risks to improve the employee and customer experience.

Before you buy intranet software, create a solid business case. Make sure to be clear and concise and outline the benefits and impacts on business value for stakeholders and your executive team.

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