In discussions with customers, it often comes to light that the task of centrally filing information that’s retrievable by all employees represents a value in itself that doesn’t really need to be explained or justified. Yet numerous applications and effects result from this type of platform that many people are not directly aware of. 

It definitely helps when you have a dedicated section where you can search for and look up information and access the latest knowledge. The ability to access a central point of reference gives you and your employees security that goes far beyond just the actual information. For example, you can now be sure whether or not certain information actually exists yet. Which means you don’t have to live with the possibility of performing a redundant task that another team has already thought through in detail. 

Let’s take a closer look at this. The larger your organization is, the more valuable are the things that improve its core infrastructure. Communication channels, for example, are used by a lot more people in a large company than in a small company. But in a large organization, it’s much more difficult to find out whether another team has already completed the infrastructure project you’re just now planning to start. 

Most companies try to solve this problem with what are called “clear responsibilities.” For example, as the department head, May is responsible for marketing, and Miller is responsible for sales, and Smith does complaint management. If you now plan a core customer communication process ranging from the initial contact to after-sales, following the initial order and implementation, you have to win over Miller, May, and Smith for your project and probably even the people from production. 

This is particularly difficult in a large corporation because departmental heads are very busy people and rarely are they all free at the same time. An intranet project is characterized by a similar level of complexity. You can’t just do it in passing, because if you introduce it properly, it impacts everyone in the company.

If, on the other hand, you had a modern intranet to design and drive forward your customer process, you’d reap a variety of advantages. Within the scope of referencing, you could first find out which accompanying, related, or very similar projects have been completed in the past and who worked on them. You can then talk to these people and ask them about their experiences and the current status of their projects. These people can usually provide you with valuable insights into political blockades, existing and perhaps established competitive systems, claims and interests, and many other factors that people would rarely offer you on a silver platter in large companies. 

Preparing and Sharing Organizational Charts and Diagrams 

A picture says a thousand words. This statement may be trite, but it’s still true nevertheless. And what you often find in the world of business is that things that are written are usually really boring to read.

A given concept may be extremely important for you personally, as well as for your project and organization. This fact makes it all the more frustrating when your managing director can’t be bothered to look at your idea. In fact, they don’t even appear to be interested in hearing what you have to say! You simply get overlooked – and perhaps not just by the management, but by many other departments in the company as well. 

This situation is as frustrating as it is an everyday occurrence. It doesn’t matter whether it concerns legally compulsory compliance with security measures or a scientifically valid improvement that promises to increase profitability: as soon as things get complicated, it’s difficult for us to make others understand our ideas.

And this is where visualizations come into the picture. Visual communication makes learning and understanding easier. A flowchart allows you to clearly present complex issues. Sure, creating a good chart or infographic can be tedious and time-consuming. And if your idea is easy to understand and a sure-fire success, then you won’t need a diagram. Unfortunately, that’s seldom the case. 

It lies in the nature of modern well-paid jobs that complexities and contradictions will be encountered on the path to success. Other people, groups, departments, and even entire societies exist that don’t want what you want or value what you want to achieve. A proposal and an idea alone are simply not good enough. Even if the idea is easy to understand, motivated, and committed, antagonists are often ready to reject it offhand. 

Of course, I’m not saying that you won’t have any success without charts. But, when you think about your sales process, for example, you may find that you don’t actually have a diagram that everyone can stick to. Would you consider that an advantage? Probably not. 

Codified processes facilitate harmonization and standardization. They facilitate discussions about waste and savings potential. The visualization of a process creates a common understanding and – sometimes for the first time – a constructive opportunity to exchange ideas. 

As an entrepreneur, it’s not in your interest when consultants and salespeople make a secret out of their activities. You want people to share information about what works and what doesn’t. 

The more documentation and information exchange you have, the better your work processes can scale and serve your business. Process visualizations help you to do this. 

We could probably fill an entire evening discussing the wide range of options available to you for visualizations, both in the technical area and in all-round business terms. Here are several different types of diagrams and charts that, one of our products for Atlassian tools, supports: 

  • Business process modeling based on BPMN 
  • UML diagrams for software concepts
  • Flowcharts
  • Structure diagrams (for example, for organizational charts) 
  • Mind maps
  • Network topographies
  • Wireframes and mockups for software interfaces and concepts in the web environment 
  • Smartphone shapes for planning mobile apps 
  • Set diagrams 
  • Gantt charts 
  • Rack diagrams for server cabinet usage planning 
  • Sequence diagrams 

I’ll show you a few examples of these options below:

Example: Business process modelling.

UML diagram from the area of software development.

A flow chart in a company.

A flow chart in a company.

A mind map for a business topic.

The topography of a network.

A wireframe model for a website.

A mock-up for a smartphone display.

A set diagram that visualizes intersections.

A Gantt chart showing processes on a timeline.

A visualization of server cabinets and the layout of the hardware in them.

A sequence diagram for software planning.

Link to this page:

The Social Intranet

Foster collaboration and strengthen communication. Be effective with enterprise intranets mobile and in the cloud.

Virtual Collaboration in Companies: Social Intranets as a Digital Home 

Never before has the business world been so overrun by cloud software and specialized vendors as it is now. There is so much software out there that it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of things. It is all the more important for the future of work to have a place for digital meeting - a reliable home port meaningfully networked with numerous other systems that makes it quick and easy to navigate. This will increase transparency in the company and make collaboration more effective. Based on many years of experience, this book tells you how it already works in today's digitalized world and which trends you probably should rather than shouldn't follow.

About the author

Martin Seibert was 17 when he founded the software company Seibert Media. Twenty-four years later, it has nearly 200 employees and generates 35 million euros in annual sales. He has been sharing his enthusiasm for technology in YouTube videos for many years - and now also in his new book about social intranets.

Free for interested parties

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This content was last updated on 03/31/2021.

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