How to build an Igloo when no one told you how to build an Igloo
This is based on a real support call I received this week. The caller was assigned to implement their digital workplace, without being a stakeholder. They weren't made a part of the decision-making or planning process, their organization didn't opt for any of Igloo's professional services, and they had been handed the site with no training or information, along with a list of tasks from someone who also had no training. In exploring Customer Care, they found our support number, and made a call that was essentially "Help!"
With self-serve implementations like that, especially when the people who make the decisions are different from the people who do the work, the platform can be incredibly daunting. It's full of capitalized nouns like Pages, Spaces, Channels, and Widgets, and it can lead to a paralysis of choice, where both everything and nothing seem possible. But when you don't know where or how to start, we're here to help.
Start with who. Who is supposed to use your digital workplace? Co-workers looking to collaborate? Contractors looking for policies? Customers looking for product information? All of the above? Once you have a clear idea of who it's for, focus on how they'll access the digital workplace and what they'll look to find there. Add key members of your team, and think about how you want to add the rest of your users. For smaller, more manual sites, we recommend the Bulk Member Upload function, but if you have a centralized directory, you can leverage our LDAP sync tool to automate membership.
Now move to what. What are they trying to find? What will your digital workplace do to make their workday better? The first thing they'll be coming for is content, so build Channels to contain that content. Wiki Channels for policies, Folder Channels to hold company files, and Blog Channels for announcements. Our templates come with several Channels built in, and you can use these as is or repurpose them as needed. Your site is designed to be changed to fit your organization, so you won't have to change your organization to fit your site.
There's space here to start creating content as well, to clarify your intentions. Add placeholder articles, create folders, and upload test files. It's okay to start small, and add new Channels and areas as you see the need for them. Even article stubs will make it clear what the intention is for various Channels, and help your members find ways to contribute as your site takes shape.
Now it's time for how. How will your members access all that content? This is the moment to start nesting similar Channels under Pages and finding ways to display your content in widgets. Do you have three people all supposed to manage their tasks in Igloo? Add a Tasks widget to a page and set it to Assigned Tasks, so anyone who goes there will see the tasks assigned to them only. Add a second Task widget to show tasks you've created, letting you easily check on the tasks you've created for others.
Trying to decide when to use Pages, Spaces, and Dashboards?
- If you'd assign a separate group to manage the area, like a project team or department, use a Space.
- If you want it at members' fingertips in their Userbar, use a Dashboard.
- Otherwise, use a Page.
We have a lot of resources available in Customer Care to help out Igloo builders, including:
- Training videos in Igloo University (you'll need to log in to watch the videos)
- Best practices for every stage of your digital transformation
- Tips and tricks in the Product News blog
- All the documentation you could want in our Knowledge Base
- A community of people to help discuss possibilities and direction
And that's without engaging our support, professional services, or customer success teams directly.
The steps here won't build you a fully-fledged digital workplace, that doesn't fit in an article. But they'll get you started, and help build a foundation that you can expand on as needed, and that can be functional in a few hours, rather than a few months. And if my call last night is any evidence, the more you build, the more you'll want to.
If you have any other questions about the Igloo platform, workflows, or best practices, you can leave a comment here, ask a question in the Community area.