Using WordPress to Create Intranet Sites

Managing Communications and Workload Expectations

Effective communication is an essential component of all successful workflows. Improvements in the capacity to generate, store and share information have increased the workloads for staff members and managers across all types of organizations. Managers find themselves tasked with meeting ever increasing expectations and the only way for them to succeed is through a combination of delegating tasks effectively, keeping close tabs on key steps and deliverables, and producing and receiving timely updates.

Furthermore, managers are now expected to handle large volumes of information across different teams while meeting different timelines.They are also expected to be able to shift priorities and accommodate changes as dictated by the demands of the project at hand. In an ideal world, every organization would have team members that would serve as dedicated project managers, and they in turn would be assisted by project management software such as Basecamp or Sharepoint.

The reality of business is usually quite different. Dedicated project managers may seem redundant or unnecessary within many organizations, and their salaries don’t come cheap. The same goes for project management software – the battle to convince supervisors and directors of approving a new expense may be lost just because of its very nature.

P2Theme2

The p2 theme from Automattic is designed to enhance collaboration and eliminate the need for e-mail.

WordPress Can Help

Even if a team cannot count on dedicated project managers or project management software, it still needs a system that will help with communication and task management among team members. Being able to communicate effectively on the evolution and details of a project is essential to delivering a quality product in time. While WordPress is better known as a CMS and a blogging tool, it can also serve as a combination of intranet site and project management tool.

If an organization has a website and a server, it can also have an intranet site. All that is needed is a bit of server programming and WordPress.

Project Centered Customization

Project communication requires a breakdown of steps according to a timeframe, along with assignments of tasks to specific team members. Custom posts and fields can be assigned to these specific components, so that pages, links, or posts reflect the progress of tasks and team members within the project. The assignment of a specific task, its completion or any novelties in its development can be communicated via intranet posts in a seamless way. The results in increased productivity and efficiency can be a welcome surprise.

WordPress Wants to Help

One of the most important WordPress features is its multisite installation. It allows site managers to use the same WordPress installation and theme to create as many different sites as they need. For a company needing to manage different teams along different product lines, areas of practice or regions, dedicated intranet sites may well be worth the effort. And with WordPress the effort is minimal. Properly coded and with a bit of customization and design, an intranet site run on WordPress can help teams organize their workflow and communications on the cheap.

The BuddyPress suite of plugins provides a wide variety of customization options. Many of them can help you set up an efficient intranet site for your organization.

The BuddyPress suite of plugins provides a wide variety of customization options. Many of them can help you set up an efficient intranet site for your organization.

As usual, the WordPress community has developed a series of plugins and themes that can assist in this process, including the P2 theme and the BuddyPress plugin, both from Automattic, the company behind WordPress. They are explicitly recommended for use in intranet sites, and can help streamline communications among teams.

At Materiell we are passionate about WordPress and we are always excited by the many ways in which we can help our clients meet their needs and exceed their expectations. We’d love to guide your organization in the development of intranet sites or project management themes. Our team of seasoned, knowledgeable, and creative developers and designers are always open to new challenges and look forward to working on your project needs