Header image for the current page Developing a bespoke intranet for Norfolk and Waveney CCGs

With a strategic need to work more closely together, the five CCGs covering Norfolk and Waveney approached Arden & GEM’s IT service to help them design and develop a more effective intranet system.

By utilising agile project management methodologies, our team was able to undertake a complete design and development process in under two months. Norfolk and Waveney CCGs now have an intranet system which provides an effective communication channel to engage staff during a period of change, as well as a shared working space to collaborate on projects.

The challenge

An effective intranet allows organisations to store knowledge, connect people, store and find files, share company updates and information, and collaborate in teams, departments or groups.

With a strategic need to work more closely together, the five CCGs covering Norfolk and Waveney (Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG, North Norfolk CCG, Norwich CCG, West Norfolk CCG and South Norfolk CCG) approached Arden & GEM’s IT service to help them design and develop a more effective intranet.

The CCGs needed a new intranet system that would meet two key objectives:
Provide a central location where all staff could share and collaborate on work
Provide a single communication channel to underpin a period of structural change.

Our approach

Arden & GEM’s Systems Development and Software Applications team has a wealth of experience in working with clients to design solutions to meet their specific needs. With an expertise in Cloud solutions, the team has helped a range of clients get the most from tools such as Office 365.

In order to develop a system to meet the client’s objectives, the following process was undertaken:

Gathering requirements

We engaged with the CCG communications team to fully understand what was needed, not just in terms of practical system requirements but also the strategic direction of the combined organisations.

We were able to help the client prioritise its requested features and functionality using MoSCoW analysis (Must do, Should do, Could do, Would like to do) as well as using our development expertise to highlight additional areas for consideration, such as user profile and content management.

Our team then put together a series of ‘user stories’ to support the delivery of a solution that would be aligned to the wishes of key groups including the CCG senior leadership team, communications team and wider colleagues. This helped us translate the MoSCoW analysis into something more tangible.

Designing a solution

Based on stakeholder engagement and requirements analysis, we reviewed a series of options – including reworking the existing intranet site and building a new site on the same platform – and made a clear recommendation to build the intranet on Office 365.

This option would fulfil both the immediate organisational needs as well as implementing a solution which could grow to support the strategic aspirations of the five CCGs. The client accepted our recommendation, enabling us to move quickly to develop and present wireframes to representatives from each organisation.

Developing the system

To deliver the solution at pace, we used a development approach which enabled us to get to an 80% completion point for all features and functionality. This was reviewed with key customer stakeholders before a series of rapid development cycles to refine the final requirements.

Launch and ongoing support

Before a full site launch, a pilot launch took place with the communications team to test the system. Concurrent face-to-face and virtual training sessions were also organised with the content managers. Once the communications team had had chance to fully populate the site, and put in place a launch communications plan, over 450 users were invited into the system.

Ongoing support has been built into the contract, however, there is a limited need for this as the system is so intuitive to use and the content management training was so comprehensive.

Outcomes

By working in a fully agile manner, our team was able to undertake this complete design and development process in under two months. Within the first month of launch, user acceptance reached over 70%.

Norfolk and Waveney CCGs now have an intranet system which provides an effective communication channel to engage staff during a period of change, as well as a shared working space to collaborate on projects.

By investing in the Office 365 platform, the organisations can also leverage the full range of applications available through this technology to support their long term, strategic vision.

"We commissioned Arden & GEM to provide us with an intranet solution using SharePoint as we needed a quick solution.

In just a few weeks, the CSU had created the site and trained our staff on how to populate it. They also on-boarded over 400 users very quickly and deployed the site as the Internet Explorer homepage. We were very pleased with the work."

Pete Ward, Contracting, Digital and Procurement Lead for Norfolk and Waveney CCGs