Stockholms Sjukhem streamlines its intranet for better communication and care
Stockholms Sjukhem has replaced its previously customized intranet with a new standardized and SharePoint Online-based solution. The new platform leads to easier and more cost-effective use, development, governance and administration. It also enables better internal communication and increased engagement.
“Our previous intranet contained many self-developed functions that made both administration and management costly and time-consuming. In addition to the platform becoming too expensive to maintain, it also limited our ability to communicate effectively and to further develop the intranet according to the needs of the organization. We therefore decided to implement SharePoint Online Standard with the aim of creating a more cost-effective, easy-to-handle and ‘maintenance-free’ solution. So far, our hopes have been fully met”, says Cathrine Broman, Communicator at Stockholms Sjukhem.
Surprisingly powerful standard solution
The Stockholms Sjukhem Foundation is, with its 1,400 employees, one of Sweden's largest innovative care providers. The organization has provided non-profit care for more than 150 years and offers advanced home care, geriatric care, rehabilitation, palliative care and residential care for people in need of care due to old age or neurological or dementia illnesses. Its care units are located on Kungsholmen and in Bromma, Upplands Väsby and Södermalm in Stockholm.
Stockholms Sjukhem has for a long time wanted to change its previous SharePoint-based intranet platform as it was perceived as difficult to use, manage and to keep updated. This was largely due to the fact that it contained many custom-made solutions that required a lot of external consulting help.
“Having a platform with many specially adapted solutions means that external consultants must be called in every time, for example, Microsoft's integrated products are updated or when a configuration needs to be adjusted. Even very simple changes on our old platform required external help”, Cathrine explains.
In the spring of 2022, the management decided to change the platform. Once the decision was made, they wanted to get it done as quickly as possible. With a limited budget and the fact that Microsoft 365 had already been introduced in the organization, the choice of platform was quite simple.
“With SharePoint Online already included in our Microsoft 365 licenses, we make a big saving on annual platform costs. By avoiding self-developed functions as much as possible, we also expect significantly lower consulting costs in the future. In addition, Precio Fishbone's SharePoint consultants promised us that the implementation process would be fast, says Cathrine and continues:
“Personally, however, I was quite skeptical about SharePoint Online Standard. I didn't think the standard solution would cover all our needs and was afraid it would require a lot of training and time internally. None of my fears came true. Instead, the platform has proven to be enormously functional, flexible and easy to work with!”
Fast and smooth implementation without any surprises
Stockholms Sjukhem began implementing the new platform in August 2022 and it was rolled out across the entire organization three months later, at the end of November. Then the basic structure and most of the content was in place. The creation of content and subpages for the various units has continued since then.
“Getting a new intranet up and running on a new platform in just three months is truly amazing! In addition, we and PrecioFishbone kept the budget to the penny. The smoothness of the project exceeded our expectations. We didn't really encounter any major challenges, except that the migration of content from the old intranet took longer than planned. We had hoped to auto-migrate the content via a script, which did not work, and therefore had to do it manually. However, this enabled us to simultaneously review, evaluate, delete old and create new content during the process”, Cathrine points out.
One of the reasons for the smooth implementation was that Stockholms Sjukhem were well prepared. Although the time from decision to project start was short, they had done much of the preparation long before.
“In order to have a hassle-free and efficient project, you need to find out what the users really need before you start building and, based on that knowledge, create a clear requirement specification. And if it’s possible to pull statistics from the old intranet about the users' behavior and preferences, it also provides good guidance. The internal team should also allocate more time to the project than it initially appears to require. It always takes more time than you think”, Cathrine emphasizes.
Streamlined easy-to-use intranet allows more time for care
Precio Fishbone has helped Stockholms Sjukhem to set up and configure SharePoint in the cloud and is responsible for its support and continuous maintenance. The implementation team consisted of SharePoint expert and implementation consultant Jenny Oredsson Lind and project manager Karin Lundberg. Jenny and Karin have also led a number of workshops and training courses to provide Stockholms Sjukhem with the necessary knowledge and tools that the organization needs to manage, administer, structure, populate and design the intranet. Cathrine and her colleagues also did the migration and content production themselves.
The project team’s ambition in re-creating content and structuring the new intranet was to make the information clearer and easier to find. To achieve this, they have, among other things, scaled down the scope of the intranet and eliminated redundant information. During the relatively short time that the new intranet has been live, many users confirm that its findability has been radically improved.
“We have not yet conducted a user survey, but many think that finding information takes less time today and that the intranet has become easier to use and navigate. It has also become easier for us communicators and editors to work with the platform and to publish content. Furthermore, managing images has been simplified with the help of SharePoint's built-in functions. Consequently, the content is now more reliable, up-to-date and relevant, which contributes to the intranet being perceived as more attractive”, notes Cathrine and adds:
“Our co-workers do not have the time to wrestle a complicated intranet. They need to focus on what is most important – our patients and residents. And as a communicator, I now have more time for what is most important in my work role, namely working with change communication and supporting our management team. The intranet’s technical platform just has to work!”