8 ways an intranet project is just like a trip to the International Space Station

The chances of intranets coming from Mars are a million to one. But they do develop from great brains, great planning, great teams and great collaboration; similar to all the preparation involved in blasting a rusty 1970s rocket into the stratosphere.

Before setting off on their intranet journey, most people can find it quite daunting. They are sat bolt upright and uncomfortable in a plastic seat preparing to take off into the unknown, with little control over their own destiny and entirely dependent on a full bank of rocket blasters underneath them. They don’t know whether the mission will take off on time, be a complete success or falter at the last minute due to a technical hitch.

Communicate the intranet project mission

An intranet project is just like a trip to the International Space Station_Tim Peake & David Cameron; Downing Street

You need the support of stakeholders in order to communicate vital decisions at the right time; in the same way that mission control are the true engine room behind the headline-making astronauts. The key questions you need to ask yourself from the beginning are;

  • Who are the power users going to be?
  • When do we hit the ignition button?
  • Have we agreed a top-level navigational structure?
  • And just who will open the vacuum-packed baked beans first?

Timing is key for a great intranet and if communications go down, it’s not just Houston who’ll have a problem.


Make sure everyone is fully trained

Undertrained staff and poorly prepared or governed intranets will result in a similar effect of being ill-prepared for a zero-gravity flight staff; your intranet will become a lonely and unpopular place.

Only take priority luggage

There’s little space and you’ll be fighting for room onboard with fellow ‘nauts. You need to make sure you’ve prepared your content and only put on what you need.

…but take the right tools with you

There’s no point in making the effort to get your jet-pack ready and stepping out of the space ship to fix that broken wing panel only to find you haven’t got the right screwdriver to fix it with. Similarly, you shoudn’t dive headfirst into your intranet if you haven’t got the right team around you, or the right skills and tools to complete your tasks and objectives.

Set clear objectives

There’s no point spending time, money and commitment to weight loss to prepare for space if you don’t know what you’re going to do when you get there. That’d be a waste of NASA money and body mass – objectives should be clearly defined at the beginning of the trip in order to fulfil the mission.

Prepare to meet unknown species

You could meet all sorts of unfamiliar species on your way to launching a spectacular intranet. Some of whom may set out to destroy your hard work with negativity, so to tackle this we advise a laser gun (set to stun), a well-tested site map and positivity at all times.

Fortunately, these alien life forms are few and far between, but it’s good to prepare for such encounters alongside any potential minor bumps from asteroids; enabling you to sail peacefully to where you need to go.

Don’t come crashing back down to earth

There may be setbacks along the way so you need a back-up plan. Make sure you have a well parachuted craft that can rest easily back on the Earth’s crust, rather than an insecurely structured craft that is likely to be destroyed on its return to the stratosphere.

Share your success story

The euphoria of reaching space, or skydiving from orbit and taking a leap into the unknown like Felix Baumgartner, is shared by the intranet managers we’ve helped launch this year. Just like astronauts, if they’ve had a successful trip they want to share their experiences as soon as they get there. Astronauts are only able to share their story over a dodgy webcam connection with their loved ones. We have much better tools to enable them to share their experiences with colleagues – watch this space for some great space age intranet launch stories in 2016.