When I came to the Southern Center for human Rights, they expressed a need to work differently with one another. Staff (predominantly lawyers and investigators) were feeling like they were so busy doing their work, that they would loose track of other projects either in their units, or across the organization.
One strategy to connect a diverse and busy office is to develop a tool that is easily accessible, and where stakeholders can work together to develop ideas and projects.
An Intranet (not IntERnet) is basically a website that is easily modified by inexperienced users, and that is secure and for members only.
It is a virtual space (much like Facebook or other social networking sites) in which members can discuss and present ideas, post events or schedules, exchange files, share agendas and meeting minutes, and collaborate on wiki-style project documents.
Because of the underlying content management framework, an Intranet can be customized to fit the exact needs of the organization, and have tools and functions that can easily be plugged in to suit any variety of needs in the future.
But the key is knowing those needs.
This is where technological systems meet human systems. Organizational Mapping creates a tangible representation of the organization that uncovers known and unknown needs in order to create the communications infrastructure that will meet those needs.