posted 7 Feb 2002 in Volume 5 Issue 5
The 60-second interview
Royal Bank of Canada
Louise Irwin, from the Knowledge Management events team, talks to Marsha Tanti, intranet content manager at the Royal Bank of Canada, about the company’s experience implementing a content management system.
What prompted you to consider the need for a content management system?
We were in desperate need of a content management system because of the continually growing demand to publish all types of content to our main means of communication in the organisation: our intranet. Since most of the coding for our department is performed in-house, we lack the resources of a design firm. We therefore really needed to get our priorities in place to allow content to be posted in a timely, yet functional, manner. We also had to figure out a way to tie the number of different intranets through an enterprise employee portal so that information is easily accessible and easy to navigate for our colleagues across the globe.
What sort of benefits are you seeing?
For one thing, the enterprise employee portal is set as the default homepage when any computer is turned on. This makes it the standard whether you are working in Europe, North America or Asia. The enterprise employee portal allows access to all the various intranets in the RBC. Information is therefore easy to navigate and duplication of materials is avoided.
What steps have you taken to maximise knowledge sharing through the intranet?
Our most popular way of knowledge sharing through the intranet is a type of push and pull strategy. We would e-mail (or push) a bulletin to a global address list for RBC, in which we would communicate an important issue but not outline all the details. In this e-mail, the employees are asked to visit the intranet on a noted URL where they are able to read (or pull) the more in-depth information from the intranet. This helps all employees (whether net savvy or not) become familiar with how to find information on the intranet for past, present and future reference.
What constitutes effective content in your opinion?
Well for one thing, writing for the web is completely different from writing for print. This seems to be the number one mistake most organisations make. In writing for the web, your content should be short, sweet and straight to the point. Any kind of listing should be done with bullets or numbering and the use of images or graphics should be kept to a bare minimum.
Getting employees to use the intranet is obviously a huge obstacle. What sort of incentives, if any, do you offer?
We have an advertising space on the default home page and I’ve noticed that some departments will advertise monthly contests where users are asked, for example, ten questions. In order to answer these correctly, users have to navigate through the department’s site. At the end of each month, five people out of all those who have submitted correctly answered forms win a prize.
Royal Bank of Canada is one of a group of companies that will be presenting at ‘Intranet Content Management’, the forthcoming conference from Ark Group. The event takes place in San Francisco, from 9-11 April 2002. For more information, please visit www.cmfocus.com or call Henry Anson on +44 (0)20 8785 2700.