The 4 Most Common Intranet Mistakes

by Esther Daga

And How to Avoid Them

Creating an intranet is a very active process that can be challenging. The process revolves around a lot of careful thought. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake. The Powell 365 team is here to offer you some advice and keep your intranet project on the right path. We put together a short list of the most common intranet mistakes companies make when tasked with creating a corporate intranet. Don’t let your intranet project get stalled by any of these common mistakes.

Mistake #1: Not keeping the end users in mind

Before ever setting your intranet up, you need to understand how your employees will use it. The main benefactors of an intranet are the end users. Companies must always build a digital workplace with its employee in mind, as it is the employees who will be using this internal tool on a day to day basis. The easiest way to ensure the success of your business intranet is to ask end users for their feedback. Engaging people and getting user input is a necessary step in building the best intranet for your enterprise.

How to avoid this mistake:

An intranet should always be tested by the staff. If there is no communication between end users and portal creators then the result will be useless. Start out by sending employees a company questionnaire to better understand their specific needs. Then hold usability tests, before launching your collaborative intranet. By testing beforehand, you know exactly what needs to be tweaked for your teams and save time in the refining process. By the official launch, everyone in the company is on the same page and the intranet project launches smoothly.

Mistake #2: Poor search results

It is very important to include a search field into the design of a corporate intranet. The easiest way users find the information they need is through a quick search. It is an ineffective use of time to filter through pages of search results. It is even worse, if the wrong document content is used because of inaccurate search results. An intranet is built to save time. Having an effective search functionality that brings forth the most relevant content is required for a successful digital workplace.

How to avoid this mistake:

The easiest way to avoid this mistake is to include a quick search bar at the top of each page within the digital workplace. Having enterprise search available within each page limits the search fields and simplifies tagging and categorizing efforts. This way anytime an employee types a keyword into a search box, a concise and accurate list of results will appear and includes the desired document.

Mistake #3: Build a good governance model

One of the most important parts of creating an intranet is instituting governance. Without the proper structures, policies and management a corporate intranet cannot be clearly defined to the end users.  At the same time, governance is not strictly the rules behind a business intranet but more the model to encourage conversation and help change behavior.

How to avoid this mistake:

You will need to find the right balance. Putting a good intranet governance in place will help drive the implementation process down the road. When building the governance model, start by defining the few things that matter the most. Be clear and decisive. Then, base your governance planning and processes around these few important points.

Mistake #4: Don’t think for the long term

When building an intranet into corporate culture, it is important to think about long term benefits. You need to think beyond the implementation and even the launch of your digital workplace. The one step many portal creators overlook: what happens afterwards? Over time, a tool can lose its relevance if not kept up to date. New content must be added or updated, new functionalities must be added, even entirely new sections will need to be created. If you do not think for the long term an intranet can quickly turn into an unsalvageable mess.

How to avoid this mistake:

Having a plan in place allows for easy management and intranet sustainability in the long term. The intranet team must know how to handle ongoing updates, site management and new improvements. Your intranet must grow with your business.


The Powell 365 team understands the challenging process of creating a collaborative intranet. Keep your intranet project on the right path and stay clear of these common mistakes.

Need some more intranet advice? Don’t start from scratch, get Powell 365! Powell 365 intranet solutions are ready made with the end users in mind. We provide the most functional and responsive designs that include state of the art communication and collaboration features. Our team helps you through the tough process of creating a digital workplace that employees will love and use. Contact us today!

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