Chapter 3

Planning Your Intranet Environment


In this chapter, you will learn how to plan your intranet. Creating a successful intranet is a matter of planning. Start your intranet on a solid foundation, follow through with good organization, and you can map out an intranet you will be proud of. This chapter covers the following topics:

Building Blocks for Creating a Perfect Intranet

Think of the creative process as a building process. Try to build the roof of the house before you lay the foundation, and you are going to have serious problems. Pour the concrete for the foundation of the house before you put in the necessary plumbing for water and sewer access, and you are going to spend more money than you bargained for. You build a house one step at a time. You ensure the house has a strong foundation. Buildings with strong foundations tend to weather the seasons and time. When you are almost done with the frame of the house, you build a roof. Although the roof of the house is the top of the structure, you do not stop there. It takes more than a covered frame to make a house. You hire an electrician to do the wiring and bring back the plumber to finish the plumbing. Afterward, you hang plaster board, add insulation, finish the exterior, add fixtures, and before you know it, you have a house that you can call home. You build an intranet in the same way, one step at a time. Your start on the intranet is about as glamorous as the water and sewer pipes waiting for the foundation to be poured around them; for just when you are ready to roll back your sleeves and dive into the intranet creation process with both feet, you might discover you need to conduct research, planning, or consider the requirements of the intranet. When you finally flesh out the foundation of the intranet, you start to build the framework. The basic components of any intranet are the hardware and software that make it work. The hardware your intranet uses will determine the way the intranet operates. The software your intranet uses will determine what the intranet is used for. Eventually, you finish designing the intranet, but find you still have to develop the hot Java-powered apps for the intranet. Even when you have completed the design and development processes, the intranet still is not finished. You check the structure of the work for flaws. You make sure you have used the right structure and created the best tools. You examine the fixtures. Once all this is done, you finally have an intranet worthy of the CEO's wholehearted embrace. Try to build the whole house at once and you will be overwhelmed. The same is true for any creative process. When you are building your intranet and its apps, you need to manage many things on a level of general organization and on a more specific level.

Managing Expectations

If you mismanage expectations, your intranet might not turn out as you planned. Your expectations and the expectations of your superiors might be totally different. Before you start to design the intranet and the Java-powered apps for the intranet, make sure your expectations and the expectations of your supervisors mesh. A good way to do this is to ensure that the communications channels are open and used. To ensure that your project is a smashing success, you should discuss expectations throughout the development of the intranet, especially as you develop your intranet apps. If you develop a rapid prototype of key apps, your superiors should be the ones to verify that the designs meet their expectations. If the prototypes do not meet their expectations, maybe the prototypes were an example of what not to do, or maybe the expectations of management are unrealistic. If your prototypes meet or exceed the expectations of your superiors, you have a green light and your project is well on its way to a successful implementation. You should also manage your personal expectations for the intranet and its apps. Your expectations play a major role in the success of the intranet. The following is a list of do's and don'ts to help you manage expectations:

Managing Perceptions

Realistic expectations ensure the success of your intranet. If you perceive the intranet as an impossibly large undertaking, you might cripple yourself mentally. If you perceive the intranet as a trivial undertaking, you will not produce the best possible structure and tools for your organization. It is best to find a balance in your perceptions about the intranet. As you begin to design the intranet, keep in mind that the intranet creation process is a team effort. Few individuals will be able to handle all aspects of creating the intranet and its apps. For this reason, you should have an accurate perception of your abilities and know when it is in the best interest of the project to delegate tasks.

Managing Strategies

Creating an intranet is exciting and challenging. You'll be breaking new ground, trying new things, and experimenting with new apps. Manage the intranet creation process in whatever way will motivate you. If one way of thinking about the intranet is not motivating you, change tactics. Do whatever it takes to get the job done. Do not limit yourself to a few strategies or stick with one strategy when it obviously is not working. Make a list of strategies. If one strategy is not working, switch to a new one. If you do not have a new one, create a new one. The strategy you use can be very basic. A great strategy to start with is to plan to work on the project every day until it is completed. In addition to this strategy, you should add planning to involve both management and users in the development process. The degree of involvement for management and users might need to be adjusted throughout the development process. Your role in the project should be a part of your strategy. Initially, you might want to work closely with the development team. Later, you might discover that your best role is to manage the development at a higher level. Or if you are the top programmer or network administrator, you might find that you need to work on app design rather than the actual programming. Adapting your role as necessary can help the project succeed.

Managing Goals

When you start working on the intranet design and creation process, one of the first things you should do is develop goals. Your goals should take into consideration the complexities and nuances of the intranet you plan to develop for your organization. Goals should be clear and relevant to the problem at hand. Set major goals relevant to the purpose, scope, and audience of the intranet. Also, set minor goals or milestones for the stages of the intranet development and its apps. Goals and milestones help define the intranet development process as a series of steps or achievements. One major goal could be to complete the planning of the intranet; another major goal could be to complete the design of the intranet. The series of steps necessary to complete the major goals are the minor goals or milestones. Your first milestone will be to start work on the intranet. Another milestone might be to select and purchase the necessary intranet software, such as Web server software, browser software, and a Java Development environment. Your goals are to complete the major steps of the development process, such as planning and design. You will learn all about these major steps later in this chapter in the section titled, "Mapping Your Intranet in Four Easy Steps."

Managing Rules

As the intranet designer and manager, you will probably create or be provided rules that pertain specifically to the intranet's layout or scope of control, such as the Information Systems department that will have overall responsibility for the intranet after completion. As you start to create the intranet, these rules might seem perfectly acceptable. However, as you conduct planning for the intranet and its apps, you might find that the overall responsibility of the intranet should be divided amongst the departments that will set up intranet servers. If these early rules cannot be modified to fit the current situation, you will have problems. You might encounter delays due to loss of efficiency or the final product might not be what was expected. No rule should ever be considered absolute. Even the best of rules should be interpreted as guidelines that can vary depending on the situation. Rules for a complex project like your intranet should be flexible and make sense. A rule that conflicts with something you are trying to do should be reexamined. The rule might be inappropriate for the situation you are trying to apply it to.

Managing Behavior

Your intranet will never be implemented if you avoid working on it. Putting off work until something is due is a poor practice. Quitting when things do not go your way or when you seem to have a block is another poor practice. Even if you thrive on deadlines, plan to work toward intranet's goals and milestones regularly-every day if necessary and possible. You should also plan to work on the intranet and its apps during those times when your thoughts are not flowing. Everyone has bad days and good days. Some days you take more breaks. Some days you work straight through the day and into the night. You might tend toward other destructive behavior besides avoiding or putting off work. Sometimes programmers go to the opposite extreme. They tear things apart impulsively before letting the work cool off so they can look at it objectively. Never hack your code just because a few users didn't like your app's interface.

Determining the Best Organization for Your Intranet

Managing the aspects of the intranet's design and creation is only the beginning. The next step is to determine the best organization for your intranet. Over the years, three models have developed for information systems like your intranet: centralized, decentralized, and a combination of centralized and decentralized.

Learning from the Past

The three computing models are really driven by the types of computers in use at an organization. Following the centralized model, all computer resources are centered in one location and under the management of one organization. When you think of centralized computing, think of mainframes and computer centers. With the introduction of file server and client server computing, most organizations moved away from the centralized model toward a decentralized model. In decentralized computing, computer resources are spread throughout the organization and under the management of the departments in which the computers are located. When you think of decentralized computing, think of the high-power workstations and servers. After the big move to decentralize computer resources and dismantle massive computer centers, many managers had a rude awakening to the anarchy decentralized computing can cause. Imagine an organization where each department sets the rules and decides the standards, like what hardware and software to purchase and how that hardware and software should be set up. Then imagine the nightmare of trying to support the gauntlet of software and hardware installed throughout an organization the size of AT&T. Because of a lack of control with decentralized computing, many organizations are moving to the happy middle ground of a mixed computing model. In this mixed model, a centralized Information Systems management sets broad policy, such as the direction and purpose of key computing initiatives, and the individual departments are free to work within those guidelines.

Applying the Past to Your Intranet's Future

As you discuss the implementation of the intranet with management, keep the three computing models in mind. While your organization might currently use a specific model, you can apply any of the models to the design of your intranet and should encourage management to choose the model that will best serve your organization. Ideally, the final decision will be based on the necessary responsibility and control of the intranet resources. Following a centralized model, a specific department within the organization will be responsible for the intranet. This same department will be responsible for the setup, design, and administration of your intranet servers. The department will also be responsible for creating the necessary publications and apps based on user requests. With a centralized model, there will usually be a formal approval process for new publications, apps and services. This means that if the Human Resources department wanted an app to track employee files, a formal request would be required. Once the request is approved, the intranet developers would work with Human Resources to create the app. The problem with centralized control and formal approval processes is that they put creativity and timeliness in thumbscrews. Can you imagine having to get formal approval to change the dates in an intranet published memo? Following a decentralized model, each department within the organization is responsible for its section of the intranet. All departments that want to create intranet services will have to set up, design and administer their own intranet servers. Each department will also be responsible for creating the publications and apps used by the department. When you use a decentralized model, you cut out the formal approval process for new publications, apps, and services. This means anyone can create intranet resources. Greater freedom and few controls means that new services can be set up quickly by anyone who wants to set them up. This freedom and lack of controls can also lead to abuse of the intranet resources. Who do you blame when someone publishes potentially offensive material or when the usefulness of the intranet deteriorates because so much junk has been created? By adopting elements of both the centralized and decentralized model that fit the needs of the organization, you might be able to balance the need for strict control with the need for creative freedom. For example, you could create an intranet with a centralized Web server that links together departmental servers. The IS staff would be responsible for maintaining the central server and updating links to resources throughout the organization. The individual departments would be responsible for maintaining their own servers. To ensure the intranet is not abused, one person within each department could be responsible for that department's intranet resources.

Creating Content for Your Intranet

The real stars on your intranet are the apps you plan to develop. Still, you will need content for your intranet. Most of your content will be in the form of hypertext documents that are served by your Web server and displayed by your chosen Web browser. As you consider the type of content you want to publish on your intranet, think about how you will organize that content. You can organize hypertext documents in many ways. The structure that is best for a particular document depends on the complexity of the material you plan to present. As complexity increases, you manage it by adopting a more advanced structuring method. Specific design models for hypertext documents include

For a small document with limited complexity, a simple structure is often best. Simple structures include linear and linear with alternative paths. The simplest way to structure a hypertext document is in a linear fashion. Using a pure linear structure, you can create a hypertext publication with a structure resembling a traditional print publication. Readers move forward and backward in sequence through the pages of the publication. An alternative path structure gives readers more options or paths through a document. By providing alternative paths, you make the structure of the publication more flexible. Instead of being able to move only forward and backward through the publication, readers can follow a branch from the main path. In a linear structure the branches will rejoin the main path at some point. The hierarchical structure is the most logical structure for a publication of moderate complexity. In this structure, you organize the publication into a directory tree. Readers can navigate through the publication, moving from one level of the publication to the next, more detailed, level of the publication. They can also go up the tree from the detailed level to a higher level and possibly jump to the top level. The directory tree closely resembles the way you store files on your hard drive in a main directory with subdirectories leading to files. You could also think of the hierarchy as a representation of an actual tree. If you invert the tree, the trunk of the tree would be the top level of the publication. The trunk could be the overview of the publication. The large boughs leading from the trunk would be the next level of the document structure. The boughs could be chapter overview pages. Branches leading from the boughs would be the next level, or the pages within chapters. A combined linear and hierarchical structure is one of the most used forms for hypertext publications. This is because it is an extremely flexible, but still highly structured method. Readers can move forward and backward through individual pages. They can navigate through the various levels of the publication by moving up a level or descending to the next level. They can also follow parallel paths through the document. The most complex structuring method is the integrated web. This method lets the reader follow multiple paths from many options. This is a good method to use when you want the reader to be able to browse or wander many times through the publication you have created. Each time through the publication, readers will probably discover something new.

Intranet Development Tools

After considering the various styles for hypertext documents, you should examine the various tools you will need to develop the intranet. A tool is anything that supports the task you are working on. The tools for unleashing the power of your intranet are based on the existing tools for the Internet itself, which includes protocols, resource tools, and information services.

Implementing TCP/IP Networking

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol Internet Protocol) is the foundation of the worldwide Internet. You must install TCP/IP on your network to enable intranet services. A protocol is a set of rules for programs communicating on the network. It specifies how the programs talk to each other and what meaning to give to the data they receive. Without TCP/IP setting the rules for your network communications, you cannot use Internet technologies. The good news is that if your organization already has access to the World Wide Web, you might already have the necessary TCP/IP structure in place. Additionally, TCP/IP is built in to some operating systems, including Windows 95, Windows NT, and most variants of UNIX. If you have an operating system where TCP/IP is not built in and do not have TCP/IP installed, you will need to purchase TCP/IP software. Fortunately, TCP/IP software is widely available from software vendors. For example, if you want to install TCP/IP on a Macintosh, you can obtain the software directly from Apple or third-party vendors.

If you plan to use a commercial browser, check to see if the software package includes the necessary TCP/IP software.

Creating Web Services with HTTP

An intranet without Web services is like a world without water. The key to the World Wide Web is the hypertext transfer protocol. HTTP offers a means of moving from document to document, or of indexing within documents. Accessing documents published on your intranet involves communications between browsers and servers. In a browser, such as the Netscape Navigator, the HTTP processes are virtually transparent to the user. All the user really has to do is activate links to move through your Web presentation. The browser takes care of interpreting the hypertext transfer commands and communicating requests.

To reduce time spent on training and support, you might want to select a single browser package for use on the intranet. Before selecting a specific browser package for your intranet, you should ensure the developer of the browser makes versions for all the operating systems in use on your network. If the developer does not, you might want to consider another browser.

The mechanism on the receiving end, which is processing the requests, is a program called the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Daemon (HTTPD). A daemon is a UNIX term for a program that runs in the background and handles requests. The HTTP daemon resides on your Web server. Before setting up or installing server software, you must determine what platform the Web server will run on. Until recently, your choices were limited, but this changed rapidly as the World Wide Web grew in popularity. Today, Web server software and server management tools are available for almost every platform. And, like other software developed for use on the Internet, this software is available as freeware, shareware, and commercial software. You will find that UNIX platforms have the most options for server software. Until recently, there was only one good choice for the Windows NT environment, but this has changed. There are now many excellent commercial and freeware choices for Windows NT. For other platforms, there is generally only one choice in server software. Having only one choice of server software for your Macintosh or Windows system doesn't mean the quality of the server software is poor. Quite the contrary, the quality of the software is often quite good. The following listing shows the most popular servers listed according to the platform they
run on:

Platform Server Software
Macintosh WebStar (formerly MacHTTP)
UNIX Apache
Netscape Servers
Open Market
Windows Windows HTTPD
Windows 95 Website
Microsoft IIS
Netscape Servers

The best server software for you is most likely the software that will run on the workstation you plan to use as the network's Web server. This ensures your installation and management team are familiar with the server's operating system. An excellent resource for setting up and administering a web site is the Web Site Administrator's Survival Guide from

Intranet Developer's Resource Tools

Tools are an essential part of any operation. Resource tools provide the means for sending and retrieving information. There are three basic tools of intranet working: E-Mail: Electronic mail is a great way to communicate. Think of e-mail as a way to send letters to anyone within the company instantly. Many e-mail programs enable delivery of mail to single users or groups of users. Some e-mail programs even provide ways to automate responses. Most browser packages are packaged with e-mail software. FTP: File transfer protocol provides the basic means for delivering and retrieving files around the network. The files can be text, sound, or graphics. FTP provides a springboard for many information-based approaches to retrieving information. Many higher level tools that have friendlier interfaces use FTP or a protocol similar to FTP to transfer files. Just about every browser currently available supports FTP. Telnet: Telnet lets you remotely log in to another system and browse files and directories on that remote system. Telnet is valuable because it is easy to use and basic to the network. When you telnet to another computer, you can issue commands as if you were typing on the other computer's keyboard. On some platforms, like UNIX, telnet is a built-in resource. On other platforms, you will need a telnet tool. The basic resource tools are indispensable when used for the purpose that they were designed for. They even provide the fundamental basis for many high-level resource tools, but they simply weren't designed for the advanced manipulation of the wealth of information available on the Internet. This is why dozens of information resource tools have been designed to manipulate networked data. Here is a list of high-level resource tools you might want to use on your intranet: Archie: A system to automatically gather, index, and serve information on the Internet. Archie is a great tool for searching your intranet's file archives. Once you set up Archie services, users can access Archie resources with their browser. Gopher: A distributed information service that enables you to move easily through complex webs of network resources. Gopher uses a simple protocol that enables a Gopher client to access information on any accessible Gopher server. Most browsers directly support Gopher. LISTSERV: An automated mailing list distribution system. Users can subscribe to LISTSERV lists you set up on the intranet, which enables them to read e-mail posted to the list or to post e-mail to the list. Once you set up a LISTSERV server, users can join lists and participate in lists using standard Internet e-mail software. Most browser packages include e-mail software. Usenet: A bulletin board system of discussion groups called newsgroups. Users can participate in newsgroups posting messages to the group and can read messages posted by other newsgroup members. Once you set up a newsgroup server, users can browse newsgroups and post information to newsgroups using a newsgroup reader. Most browser packages include a newsgroup reader. Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS): A distributed information service for searching databases located throughout the network. It offers indexed searching for fast retrieval and an excellent feedback mechanism that enables the results of initial searches to influence later searches. WAIS servers are best accessed via CGI scripts, which allow users to search WAIS databases using their browser.

HTML Development Tools

Using HTML development tools, you can quickly and easily create HTML documents for your intranet. There are three basic types of HTML development tools for intranet publishing:

HTML editors have features similar to your favorite word processor and enable you to easily create documents in HTML format. Typically, these editors enable you to select HTML elements from a pull-down menu. The menu has brief descriptions of elements you can add to the document. The editor places the element in the document in the proper format, which frees you from having to memorize the format. When creating complex forms, you'll find HTML editors especially useful. Here is a list of some of the most popular HTML editors:

HTML Author
HTML Writer
Netscape Gold

HTML templates enable you to add the functionality of an HTML editor to your favorite word processor. The great thing about templates is that you can use all the word processor's features, which could include checking grammar and spelling. More importantly, you'll be using the familiar features of your word processor to add HTML formatting to your documents. Here are several popular HTML templates:

Internet Assistant

Although the task of creating HTML code is fairly complex, some helper apps called converters try to automate the task. HTML converters convert your favorite document formats into HTML code and vice versa. At the touch of a button, you could transform a Word for Windows file into an HTML document. Converters are especially useful if you're converting simple documents and are less useful when you're converting documents with complex layouts. You can find HTML converters for every major word processor and document design app, including BibTeX, DECwrite, FrameMaker, Interleaf, LaTeX, MS Word, PageMaker, PowerPoint, QuarkXPress, Scribe, and WordPerfect. HTML converters are available to convert specific formats, such as ASCII, RTF, MIF, Postscript, and UNIX MAN pages. There are even converters to convert source code from popular coding languages to HTML. You can convert your favorite programs to HTML if they are in these languages: C, C++, FORTRAN, Lisp, or Pascal.

Mapping Your Intranet in Four Easy Steps

Now that you know the basics of intranet organization, content structure, and development tools, you have everything you need to develop a plan that takes you through the creation and implementation of your intranet. The best way to start is to break down the plan into a series of steps, which ensures the intranet development process is manageable. Here are four steps you should follow:

  1. Determining requirements
  2. Planning
  3. Designing
  4. Implementation

Step 1: Determining Requirements

In this step, you try to figure out what you need to complete the intranet design and implementation. You do this by first examining the intranet's purpose, scope, and audience. Your statement of purpose should identify:

When you examine the scope for the intranet, think in terms of size and focus. Will the intranet be company-wide? What types of documents, files, and apps will be permitted on the intranet? Your audience for the intranet is your customer base. Your customers could include all company employees, employees in specific departments, or employees in a single department. Here's a preliminary plan for an intranet within a specific department:

Intranet for Sales Department
Provide support to the regional sales department. Services to include record searches of the customer databases, sales computation, order processing, and automated inventory updates.

computers within the sales department. All resources are to support and promote regional sales. Limited human resource data will be available to management staff.

All personnel assigned to the regional sales department.

After determining the purpose, scope, and audience, examine your reasonable expectations for the completed intranet. You translate these needs, goals, and purposes into requirements for the intranet. The basic needs for any intranet are the software development tools that will help you build the necessary intranet services. Software tools for implementing your intranet are examined in the section titled "Intranet Development Tools." You will want to think beyond your software needs and also look at your hardware needs. Many types of computers are on the market. The IBM pc and pc compatibles have many generations of computer systems based on the different chip sets. Some pcs are based on the 80286, 80386, and 80486 chips. Other pcs are based on the Intel's Pentium chips. The same is true for Macintoshes-you might choose from a whole line of PowerMacs. There is even a Powerpc, a cross between a Mac and a pc. UNIX systems come in many configurations from Oracle' popular Sparc workstations to Silicon Graphics workstations. Very often, the best platform for your intranet services is the platform you are most familiar with. The primary reason for this is that different computer platforms use different operating systems and it is the operating system that your intranet services will run under. If you are unfamiliar with the operating system, there will be an extended learning curve as you study both the operating system and the software your intranet runs on. Here is a sample plan for hardware and software requirements:

Web server: Existing 486DX/100Mhz in System Administration area
app Server: Add service to Sun SPARC 10 file server in System Administration area
Database Server: Connectivity to existing SYBASE databases

Web Server: Microsoft IIS for Windows NT
Browser: Internet Explorer 3.0
E-mail: Add-on module for Internet Explorer

Next, you should consider time, budget, and personnel constraints. If you have only 10 weeks to completely implement the intranet, you might need to hire additional team members to get the intranet finished on time. In this case, hiring a specific number of additional team members would be one of your requirements. Here's a sample plan for the initial time, budget, and personnel requirements:

Setup and installation: 30 days
Phase-in and testing: 30 days
Follow-up training and support: 90 days


Management and planning: 1
Installation team: 2
Training and support: 2

If you have a $5000 budget, you will have to scrutinize every aspect of the budget to keep costs down. In this case, you will probably be extremely selective about the development tools you purchase. You will also hire outside help only as necessary. And if the budget constraints are so severe that they would materially affect the success of the intranet, you will want to ensure your superiors are aware of the situation, and possibly make a case for getting a larger budget.

Step 2: Planning

After you determine your requirements for the intranet, you should plan the intranet. An essential part of planning is determining how long the project is going to take and the steps necessary to carry you through the project. For this reason, the planning step can also be a reality check for constraints or requirements. For example, you determine that it will take a minimum of five months to complete the intranet and install all the necessary services, yet the deadline for project completion given to you by management is two months away. Here, something would have to give and you would have to work hard to manage perceptions and expectations concerning the intranet. You might have to renegotiate the deadline, hire additional team members or eliminate certain time-intensive parts of the intranet. The more complex your intranet, the more involved your planning will be. The plans for a small intranet could be very basic, a list of steps with deadlines for completion of each step written down in a notepad. The plans for a large intranet could be rendered in detail using a project management tool such as Microsoft Project. Ideally, your deadlines will not be carved in stone. The best planners use windows for project steps, such as five days for planning or two weeks for preliminary design. There could be hundreds of steps, with multiple steps being performed simultaneously or a handful of steps with each step being performed one after the other. Some steps would be dependent on other steps, meaning they could not be started until certain other aspects of the intranet were completed. Other steps would not be dependent on any other steps and could be performed at any time during the intranet's development.

Part of your planning should include scheduling necessary training on the intranet and promoting the intranet to company employees. If you don't sell the employees-your customers-on the intranet, your intranet will not succeed.
One way to help sell the intranet is to develop focus groups. Using the focus groups, you can get your customers involved with the development process. Continued involvement in the intranet throughout its development and after its implementation ensures you create an intranet the customers want. It also ensures they have a solid investment in an intranet that they will want to promote and support.

Step 3: Design

The design step is one of the most critical steps. During this step you take your plans to another level of detail. You do this by determining how and where the intranet's hardware and software will be set up. For example, will the intranet's main Web server be located in the computer department or how will the software be distributed? Use this step as a reminder to sit down with your system administrators and network personnel. You should discuss how you plan to install the hardware and software for the intranet. If there are any misgivings about the intranet, it is better to hear about them before you begin installation. If there are great ideas for improving the planned intranet, you definitely want to consider them before installation.

For a small intranet, you might be inclined to skip this step altogether. Don't. During this step, you might discover something you overlooked in planning.

Part of your design might be to use a specific section of the current network as a test bed before you deploy the intranet company-wide. In this way, you install the intranet services within a specific department or office. The users in this group are then given access to the intranet for a testing period. Based on the outcome of the testing, you would either continue with the company-wide installation of the intranet or revise your plans accordingly. Ideally, your intranet team will work closely with the test group. During installation, and when users start using the new services, you should ensure someone is on hand to answer questions and problems that might arise. This individual or group from your intranet team should take notes and make daily progress reports. Based on the input, you could modify your plans as you proceed through the various phases of the implementation for the test group.

Step 4: Implementation

The implementation step tends to be the longest step in the development of your intranet. During this step, you install your intranet services and create your intranet apps based on the requirements, plans, and designs you created.

Don't stop trying to enhance your plans once you have your intranet blueprint. The key to building a better intranet is to improve your ideas.


Learning the building blocks for creating a perfect intranet is only the first step toward implementing your intranet. Your intranet will need content, which can be organized in a variety of styles and created with a variety of helper apps. You will also need to set up basic networking protocols, like TCP/IP, and services like the WWW. Once you have selected the basic tools you need to create the intranet and considered how you will organize it, you can map it through completion.

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