Intranet redesign: rolling content inventory

Most of you have either recently undertaken or plan to undertake in the near future an intranet home page redesign. Hence, the focus of redesign over the past week.

Content curation on the intranet
Content curation on the intranet

Why are so many companies in a position to redesign their intranet? Well, it’s time. The corporate intranet, in most organizations, has changed very little in the past five or six years. Meanwhile, the available technology and platforms – such as content management systems and portals and self-service applications – have evolved considerably. In addition, the intranet, like the business it represents, is in constant flux and evolution. A redesign forces the necessary change and process revisions to keep pace with the business and the market.

Read Intranet redesign: building a business case and Leading an intranet redesign.

A redesign should be driven by business needs and a business case that details the needs, requirements and value of a redesign.

Part of the process, prior to any designing or redesigning the look-and-feel, is addressing the little monster known as content. The monster requires feeding and likely has been well fed. As such, a number of key questions must be answered:

  • What content from the old site needs to be migrated as is?
  • What content has to be edited and updated?
  • What content has to be forgotten and deleted?


One client undertook an intranet content audit and was able to rid themselves of 70% of their content. Yes, 70%. Run that through the ROI calculator for your redesign business case!

In Rolling Content Inventory Louis Rosenfeld espouses the need to not look at site content just simply once, as a simple snap shot in time, but to continually examine content as the intranet rapidly expands and evolves.

“When you’ve got hundreds or thousands of distributed subsites and other pockets of content, you simply won’t not know what’s out there. If you send a spider on a content reconnaissance mission, you’ll still likely be overwhelmed by the volume of content that turns up. And even if you can send, as one past client put it, an “army of monkeys” to swarm over and survey your content, well, that’s not good either. No measure of simians can deal with the jungle truth that your content is a moving target. Any snapshot you take of it will be instantly out of date. And in your efforts to grab a comprehensive view of your content environment, you will surely go insane.

That’s why I’m increasingly recommending pursuing a rolling content inventory. Instead of a snapshot, as all those silly IA books suggest, inventory your content on an ongoing basis. Put another way, a content inventory is an process, not a deliverable. Put yet another way, content inventory shouldn’t be something that you allocate the first two weeks of your redesign to; allocate 10% or 15% of your job to it instead.”

Keep reading… Intranet Redesign


1 thought on “Intranet redesign: rolling content inventory”

  1. Excellent point. Take for instance the dominance of social media in business alone. The top social media platforms are constantly undergoing a “facelift”. This is a model that many company intranets are copying (or need to if they aren’t already).

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