Ways you can use the Standard Architecture
A quick run-down of all the ways you can use our standard Intranet architecture template to add value to your project.
- Validate your planned architecture
- Quickly fix a mess
- Kick-Start discussions
- Content Checklist
- Improve decision quality
- Reduce Conflict
- Content audit checklist
- Improve stakeholder and decision-maker comprehension and engagement
- Speed-up decisions and reduce second-guesses
- Keep the team out of the weeds
- Kick-off your project quickly
- Share a complete 360° view of your architecture
- Unify all 5 levels of navigation
- Turn your Intranet project manager into a super hero
- Team and Intranet supporting architecture
- Consider common technical gaps
- Consider supporting Office 365 ecosystem elements
VALIDATE YOUR PLANNED ARCHITECTURE
Ease concerns that you’ve overlooked something, or that your plans aren’t quite right.
QUICKLY FIX A MESS
Quickly clean-up a messy Intranet. Take action right away.
Use our standard architecture as a map for interim reorganization with little-to-no input. Get your mess in order and give yourself the time to tackle it for the long-term.
Turn down the heat on your overall project by having a quick-fix in place.
Lead higher-value discussions right from the start.
Don’t start discussions at zero, give stakeholders something to start with.
Start them with a best-in-class architecture based on over 100 award winning intranets.
Use early-on in the project as a check-list of content your new intranet should include. Ensure common topics aren’t overlooked.
IMPROVE DECISION QUALITY
Make more informed decisions.
Make better decisions by first understanding how other businesses organize and name things.
Require less preparation from stakeholders and decision-makers.
- Don’t rely on what decision-makers and contributors bring into the room.
- Make sure topics aren’t overlooked.
- Don’t make them reinvent the wheel.
- Don’t have the completeness of your intranet rely on whether busy decision-makers are distracted at the moment.
Leverage the experience and research that over 100 businesses have put into their award-winning intranet architecture.
Start-out naming and architecture discussions by first sharing what other organizations have done.
- Let the standard architecture break the tie when strong opposing views are presented.
- Stop making bad decisions based on the loudest or most senior voice in the room.
Learn more about why Intranets are Wicked Problems.
CONTENT AUDIT CHECKLIST
Use early in your project to audit your content.
- Review your existing intranet content
- Use search to identify the topic in our standard map
- Tag the topic as existing content
View a quick, clear and concise outline of content gaps.
Export to a spreadsheet for easy tracking.
IMPROVE STAKEHOLDER AND DECISION-MAKER COMPREHENSION
A picture is worth 1,000 words.
Start stakeholder education and engagement off on the right foot by walking them through a best-in-class architecture that uses the technology the way it is intended to be used.
Improve engagement in discussions of critical decision points using our hierarchical map of content and services. Focus more on the important things, and less on the minutiae.
Focus blue-sky discussions to the practical decisions needed for your CORE Intranet.
SPEED-UP DECISIONS AND REDUCE SECOND-GUESSES
Use as a foundation for leading discussions. This is especially useful for very detailed or difficult topics.
Demonstrate changes on-the-fly in a visual way that builds consensus.
Understand all the impact points right from the start.
Document all decisions as they’re being made.
Don’t waste valuable team time trying to find things. Use our well-organized visuals to quickly move to a new topic.
KEEP THE TEAM OUT OF THE WEEDS
Focus team-member time on the areas their insight has the most value.
Let the standard architecture be your guide and deviate when it make sense for your business.
Don’t re-create the wheel, modify a spoke when you need to, and leave the wheel intact and rolling.
KICK-OFF YOUR PROJECT QUICKLY
Reduce time to project kick-off.
Take less time to prepare and gather before project kick-off meetings.
Improve documentation during and after project.
SHARE A COMPLETE 360° VIEW OF YOUR ARCHITECTURE
Architecture is clarified through 4 perspectives.
The Navigation Model explains how people will move around the full ecosystem.
The User Experience Model is based on how people view the Intranet, and how they perceive things are organized.
The Knowledgebase is the “book on the shelf” of how your business operates. The Topic Organization Model addresses the Knowledgebase and how topics are presented.
The Technical Model connects all the perspectives together by explaining how SharePoint is set-up to make it all work.
UNIFY ALL 5 LEVELS OF NAVIGATION
Our architecture frames navigation into 5 levels to make it easier to discuss.
- The first is navigation at the Tenant-level. This provides a consistent way to move to the Intranet from anywhere in your Office 365 ecosystem.
- The second level takes advantage of features found on the SharePoint Home.
- The highest-level of nav through our actual Intranet is delivered by the Hub-Site, which is our third-level of navigation.
- The fourth-level is our approach for navigation within a Site.
- The final level is how we’ll move people to the information they’re seeking by using very targeted Page-level links. We’ll use many of the available web parts, metadata, lists and libraries to accomplish this.
All 5 levels are included in detail.
TURN YOUR INTRANET PROJECT MANAGER INTO A SUPER HERO
Pre-created project documentation
Our files and report will be the foundation for your detailed project documentation and status reports.
One information source, multiple views:
- Hierarchical map
- Export to spreadsheet
- Export to Word and many other formats
Easily filter and sort on the fly.
Leverage tagging within the architecture maps
Guide a team review of our standard architecture and tag each topic:
- Yes = Include
- No = Don’t Include
- Maybe = More discussion or background required
Easily filter on-the-fly, to create a quick, clear, and concise outline of decisions and the reflected site structure.
Our standard intranet architecture template map includes infinite tagging opportunities.
Maximize value of meetings
Visually display in meetings to quickly gain consensus.
Demonstrate changes as they are discussed.
Reduce the risk of overlooking important details.
Detailed tracking tools
Add notes to document decisions and changes as they are made. Include date/time stamp.
Track assignments and next steps.
- link them to relevant content area so you’re always in control of the details.
- View assignments as a calendar including assigned individuals.
Track items requiring special security considerations with the provided security map.
Track items for future phases with the provided parking lot. Include notes and discussion details.
TEAM SUPPORT ARCHITECTURE
Your intranet isn’t only about the elements Users see, it also needs a foundation for your Contributor Team and Technical Teams to track all the details.
Our architecture includes those details (and more). This behind-the-scenes structure is easy to overlook, and often teams have to back-track and struggle to create it.
Start everyone out on the right foot.
CONSIDER COMMON TECHNICAL GAPS
Start-out with a key understanding of technical gaps Modern SharePoint Online has today. Learn how they may impact your core intranet, and ways that others have overcome the tech issues.
CONSIDER SUPPORTING OFFICE 365 ECOSYSTEM ELEMENTS
Leverage all the elements in Office 365, such as Forms, Stream, Flow, Power Apps, Power BI, and more.
Visually demonstrate the links between your content and the other Office 365 services.
Our standard intranet architecture template includes these elements and the tools to help you organize and track how all the pieces come together to deliver a unified experience.
Straighten the Maze is working to simplify intranets by building standards for the CORE things we all do. We’re focused on the common foundational items that are complicated, easy to get wrong, and that every business creates from scratch.
By delivering prescriptive standards to modernize and simplify this process, we’re helping get the basics out of your hair so you can move on the truly unique things your business needs.
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