Intranet redevelopment projects - lessons learned for content and platform

Hello fellow Community people,

We have done our external website consolidation. Now, we are embarking on our Departmental intranet redevelopment due to end of life platform being decommissioned and was wondering if any other Government agencies/departments have done an intranet redevelopment recently?
In particular we are interested at your lessons learned from the content redesign process and the choosing a new platform process.
Any help and ideas and mostly lessons learned would be greatly appreciated!
Department of Industry Innovation and Science


Hi Belinda.

I was involved in an intranet rebuild at CASA a couple of years ago. PM me for details.

Meryl McCay

HI Belinda,

You could consider doing a discovery exercise with a number of other departments and agencies to review the information architecture, taxonomies and classification systems in use. All government departments and agencies should have an intranet that is 80% the same. The 20% that is different will likely be due to agency outcomes.

It would be a useful product to produce and publish in the community. Have a reference architecture for an intranet would improve productivity across the public service when people move between departments. They would have a familiar set of information concepts to rely upon.

As for choosing the platform. This should be an Architecture decision based on the departments ICT strategy and future plans for infrastructure. If it is Microsoft based it will be difficult to argue something other than SharePoint, if you are considering adding MS Teams over the top of that then some serious thinking needs to go into the relationship between teams and SharePoint site collections. If the Department is not a Microsoft shop, then the world is probably your oyster. I like Confluence from Atlassian for intranets (it is a wiki) but to be successful you need the right organizational culture. If the intranet is going to be relatively static, you could pick any web content management system you like…Gov.cms / drupal would be the logical choice here.

Happy to help if you want to discuss more.


Hi Belinda
I’d be happy to share lessons learned from our intranet redevelopment project. Call Department of the Environment and Energy switch and ask for me if you’d like to chat or email me directly.
Jenny Bruce

Hi Belinda

This is part of my scope for the last 12 months. I started with contacting agencies similar in size to ours and who used platforms that we were looking into (based on IT feedback).

We looked at Drupal but Finance haven’t stood up an intranet and with Drupal 9 coming there would have been no point in trying to get the platform up and running in the interim.

We’ve settled on Sharepoint online because of the Microsoft integration and will be moving platforms next year once the other on-prem sites have been moved.

Happy to chat more and put you in contact with the agencies I spoke to.

Kind regards

Beth Bodiroza
Internal and Change Communication Manager
Australian Fisheries Management Authority
P: 02 6225 5325 M:0438 073 804

Hi Belinda,
We have a few experience in the Department.
I will recommend to incorporate HCD/agile practices. We did first evaluated what previous research were done and see if they were useful. Look our analytics to understand user trends. We conducted Expert review to evaluate what were the current issues, contextual enquiry, usability testing and specially the evaluation of the content. We design user profiles. We had card sorting workshops and use online tools as well using treejack We map the current state and the future state. Prototype and test with users until get a MVP.
In parallel we work together with developer as SharePoint has limitation.
We had to do some Customisation in the layout and visual aspects, modifying the CSS. Which is not ideal when doing upgrades but we had not option.
Now from SharePoint 2013 the department is looking to move to SharePoint online. It has some powerful features but I have been told is mostly out of the box and it may be very difficult to implement customisation is needed to accommodate to business and user goals.
Happy to share my previous experience is needed
I could talk to the people that are currently involve n the SharePoint online project and see they can share their insights