Strategy and research for BC Hydro’s next generation collaborative intranet
OpenRoad was engaged by BC Hydro to provide a strategic review and envisioning project for the evolution of their corporate intranet, HydroWeb. OpenRoad was tasked with understanding BC Hydro’s communication and collaboration needs and how they relate to HydroWeb as seen through the eyes of the major transformational and capital projects currently underway at BC Hydro. BC Hydro faces numerous logistical and organizational challenges with the next generation of its intranet including:
- tens of thousands of pages of content, and hundreds of applications
- an increasing threat of knowledge loss (56% of employees are eligible for retirement within the next eight years)
- complex context of use for its intranet with many of its employees out in the field
Our research included intranet-related professional and academic literature, as well as in-depth one-on-one interviews and group interviews with BC Hydro staff involved in major projects. OpenRoad assessed the state of HydroWeb in four areas of concern:
- Technical (issues of performance, content management technology, search engine technology);
- Information Design (content structure, navigation, IA, usability);
- Productivity (measurement of gains made through self-service applications and access to information, ROI, enhanced efficiencies); and
- Social Capital (employee engagement, culture, job satisfaction).
OpenRoad also explored the various models that BC Hydro could use to measure Return on Investment (ROI) and performance for Hydro Web, and identified the key success factors for intranet governance within a complex environment like BC Hydro.
The result was a strategy that was based on both theoretical and practical foundations. Three possible futures were described, with the request to fund investigation into transitioning HydroWeb into a more dynamic, transactional, and collaborative platform. OpenRoad’s presentation of its work became the flashpoint for a transformational project that is finalizing the roadmap and project plan for HydroWeb 2.0.