Danish local municipalities have a lot in common, this includes how intranet and digital workplaces can support the daily work and internal communication.
This is why sixteen local Danish municipalities recently participated in the Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC). There are two major benefits of the common approach:
The results are very easy to compare. As one of the participants explains: “It is very effective to show our management that our results are poor compared to other municipalities. It really calls for reflection. And for action”.
It’s easy to take the benchmark results one important step further - towards 'bench learning'. You can make a better intranet and improve your results by learning from peers, because it is simple and rewarding to translate and use their results and real practice in your own organization.
The first step in the ‘bench learning with peers’ for Danish local municipalities was a whole day workshop in April 2014.
Participants from 18 Danish local municipalities met and discussed intranet best practice on the basis of the results from the WIC benchmark. The presentation of results was supplemented by sharing intranet screen shots between the participants.
Highly relevant and usable best practices
The main outcome of the workshop was a range of convincing and useful ‘best practices’ evaluated by intranet users similar to each other and presented by and confirmed in discussion with peers.
Key learnings were closely related to the special conditions for municipalities: being organizational and geographical diversified and embracing very different types of employees and tasks. This pointed to:
- The importance of local management support, and
- Segmentation as a central way to create easy access to relevant content for different users.
The conclusions were not surprising or 'never-heard-before' conclusions, but they provided the participants with extremely relevant learnings and points to note for their further intranet development.
Important to challenge the ‘blindness of peers’
Even though the peer-to-peer sessions are extremely effective and useful, it is still important to challenge and supplement these learnings. This may require a diplomatic and professional analysis to inspire local municipalities with best practices (e.g. Coca Cola or LEGO) and can be a very important eye opener for using the intranet in brand new ways, unleashing even more of the digital potential.
About the Danish ‘benchlearning with peers’ concept
The WIC benchmark and workshop for Danish municipalities was arranged in collaboration with the Danish community for intranet and digital workplaces Intra2.dk. The next step – besides benchmarking and learning from more local municipalities – is ‘data mining’, e.g. looking at differences between different user groups. Another “benchlearning with peers” activity in the pipeline is planned for SharePoint intranets.
About the authors
Mads Richard is the Danish partner in Worldwide Intranet Challenge. He is also the founder of Intra2.dk, where more than 250 Danish companies share knowledge about intranet and digital workplaces, and works as a consultant in his firm Intracom Consult. Caroline Simony is facilitator of Intra2.dk.