This intranet was extra successful

Yalumba intranet

The Yalumba wine company is medium-sized with wineries in Australia, offices around that country, and offices in four other countries. It also is 160+ years old and still owned by the same family. It’s a treasure of the wine industry with some of the best people you’ll ever want to know. Like many wine companies, though, it took its time catching up with technology.

For instance, the “intranet” had grown like a spider’s web over many years, becoming less useful with each new addition and hack. I was asked back to Yalumba to accomplish three specific projects: the first mobile-friendly site, the first online sales, and the first modern intranet.

The intranet for 600 people in five countries took a massive amount of effort, from running focus groups so we could learn how new technology could make their jobs easier, to keeping more than 100 participants up to date, to directing the agency developing it, to user testing and finally training. And managing both the budget and people’s expectations!

And let’s not forget the content strategy: what information would be available, how would it be updated, who would manage each section, and what mix of serious business and lighter people news would keep users engaged?

I could tell it was a success early on. We saw the expected mix of early adopters, the great middle of people who figured out how to use it on their own (with a series of handy tips on the home page), and the complaints from people who didn’t like the “new way.” Even those were heartening because it told us that people were in fact using it!

Now it is the everyday resource for the company, and people use it without even thinking about it – unless they are submitting their own photos for the home page feature! I consider that a success.

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