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Delivering a High-Performing Intranet (Case Study with Iron Mountain)

via Intranet Blog :: Delivering a high-performing intranet (Case Study with Iron Mountain), by Toby Ward

“There is an enormous thirst for communications… we really dedicate almost the entire home page of the intranet to communications,” Cheryl Travis, intranet manager, Iron Mountain.

Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE:IRM) helps organizations around the world reduce the costs and risks associated with information protection and storage. The Company offers comprehensive records management, data protection, and information destruction solutions along with the expertise and experience to address complex information challenges such as rising storage costs, litigation, regulatory compliance and disaster recovery. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain has 20,000+ employees and is a trusted partner to more than 120,000 corporate clients throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Rim.

Iron Mountain’s intranet (wireframe), Scout

The following is a summary of the “Delivering a high-performing intranet (Case study with Iron Mountain)” intranet webinar on May 28, 2009, with Cathy Mcknight and Cheryl Travis.

6 stages of project management (Cathy Mcknight, Prescient Digital Media):

1- Enthusiasm

2- Depression

3- Panic

4- Search for the guilty

5- Punishment of the innocent

6- Rewards for the non-participants


  • “Failing to plan is a plan for failure.”
  • “A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”
  • “Ensuring you have key planning documents in place (be it the style guide, or content plan)… it’s absolutely critical, and its saved my (intranet) project in many ways,” Cheryl Travis, Iron Mountain

Planning involves understanding

  • business needs
  • functional needs
  • the right technology needs
  • resources (internal and external)
  • budget

Planning is done – now what?


  • Governance structure
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Supporting documentation


  • Engaging leadership
  • Engaging content owners & publishers
  • Pre-launch employee communications
  • Launch
  • Ongoing communications (keeping momentum)

“We certainly need to engage leadership because frankly these are the people that fund the intranet,” Cheryl Travis, Iron Mountain


  • Content audit
  • Content ownership
  • Approvals and publishing
  • Creating and repurposing
  • Translation
  • Archiving
  • Reviewing and updating


  • System requirements
  • Resource requirements
  • Ongoing support

(Note: Iron Mountain uses SharePoint for their intranet, Scout)

  • Site Build
  • IA
  • Wireframes
  • Design

“For information architecture (IA) and wireframes you can’t rely on your own internal team because they live the company everyday,” says Cheryl. “You want the IA to live no matter how your organizations changes. To have a 3rd party to structure your IA is critical.”

Lessons learned at Iron Mountain

  • Engage content owners at the start
  • Rely on your independent resources
  • Trust your sixth sense
  • Keep communications lines open

“The sooner you communicate with them (content owners), the better,” Cheryl Travis, Iron Mountain.

The intranet gap

“What the business wants and what IT delivers can be two different things,” Cathy Mcknight, Prescient Digital Media. “An intranet is a process, not an event.”

“Its really good to have an outside expert to apply best practices,” says Cheryl “They have the clout and experience to do this (Prescient Digital Media).”

via Intranet Blog :: Delivering a high-performing intranet (Case Study with Iron Mountain).

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