Solution Consulting

Determining which business challenge to solve first

Now that you have your approval strategy and key stakeholders identified, you need to prioritize your key business challenges and identify the solutions you will implement first to address them. A clear definition of your business challenges, current technology pain point(s), intended use cases, and the value of solving them will help your project keep the momentum it needs.

Business challenges can be grouped into 4 main workloads:


Corporate communications

This is about aligning people to your organization’s goals and objectives


Culture and engagement

This is about creating a dialogue between your people and fostering an environment of transparency


Knowledge sharing

This is about harnessing your organization’s collective wisdom or intelligence. The stuff you can’t afford to lose.


Team collaboration

This is about connecting teams and groups across silos

Every organization is struggling with challenges related to these four areas, and when it comes to digital workplace planning and solution implementation, in order to ensure time to value and shorten the time to launch, it is recommended that an organization tackle 2-3 digital workplace solutions at a time.  The objective of this section of the Digital Workplace Playbook is to provide a framework to help determine your most pressing business challenge, and the associated digital workplace solutions you will deploy to solve them. 

What category does our core problem fall under?

Like a doctor diagnosing an illness, you need to become adept at looking at the symptoms or pain points within your organization in order to classify your business challenge. To help illustrate the point, here’s some common scenarios:

“Our CEO needs to communicate strategic objectives and updates to the entire organization – and wants an easy way for employees to share feedback and start a dialog" 
This is a Communication challenge

“The growing number of millennials on staff often have different work styles than the baby boomers, which can make it tough for them to work together on teams. We need a way to centralize projects and simplify how teams work together”
This is a Collaboration challenge

“We’ve got assets, documents, and brand guidelines stored all over the place. We need a central location that everyone can access.”
 This is a Knowledge Management challenge

“People are often on different schedules, working from different places, so it’s hard for anyone to get to know each other or feel connected to the organization.”
This is a Culture and Engagement challenge

Determining the Right Solution Based on your Business Challenge

The table below outlines specific digital workplace solutions, categorized by the main business challenge they solve.

Note: a single solution often helps address multiple business challenges.


Communication solutions create information channels that engage employees about what's happening within your organization.

Knowledge sharing solutions help employees to access untapped knowledge locked in drawers, hard drives, and your employees’ heads.


Collaboration solutions make it easier for teams to work together regardless of geography, time zones or tools they use.

Culture solutions help organizations build employee loyalty by promoting a culture, engagement & interaction.

Company Directory
Recognition Center
Social Zone

Will your new digital workplace solutions enhance or hinder current productivity, workflows or your corporate culture?

To ensure this is an actual extension of the way your people currently work, you’ll want to understand the apps they’re currently using. Are there certain apps and tools that are widely adopted and critical to maintaining productivity and efficiency?  If yes, you’ll need to ensure your digital workplace solutions can integrate with those apps and tools, or effectively replace that functionality in a more efficient way. 

 Every organizations’ culture is different and as you review your digital workplace solutions you need to consider if there are certain aspects of your culture that need to be reflected in your digital workplace solutions or that could potentially prevent your solutions from being widely adopted.  You can learn more on role of culture in the digital workplace here

Will our solutions impact how our people work?

The next step in selecting your digital workplace solutions is to understand the needs of your end users. In other words, you need to look at how your people work. Because the solution you choose should be an extension of how your business works.

You want to make sure you’re complementing existing technology and reducing the reliance on unsanctioned apps and processes.

What core apps do employees use for personal productivity and enterprises?
  • Employees want to use apps and systems that are intuitive and efficient.
  • Are employees already using certain applications for document creation, file sharing, instant messaging, CRM, IT ticketing, HRIS, etc?

Are there key workflows we need to maintain or create?
  • Are there critical inter-departmental workflows and processes?
  • Are there tasks and steps that need to be followed?
  • Do the workflows require integrations with specific systems and apps?

What’s our culture?
  • Culture is the heart of your workplace
  • Are there any aspects of your culture that will prevent your solution from being successful?

Rinse and Repeat

Once you have successfully implemented the first set of digital workplace solutions, you can focus on what’s next. 

The key to a successful digital transformation is having a roadmap – setting goals and objectives – and starting small. In fact, the bigger you try to make the change at the beginning, the longer it will take you to realize the value and the easier it will be to get off track. So, have a plan, test a few solutions, and prove the value. Then continue iterating as you progress along your roadmap.

Employee feedback is extremely important. Your vision of how people should interact with the solutions may end up being very different from the reality. Hence, you need to gather feedback as you go; it is likely that will modify your plans based on the people’s reactions.

Prioritize your business challenges by focusing on the most important problems that need addressing. Make sure to define and measure the outcomes that you are looking for – whether it is around productivity, innovation, competitive advantage, or engagement, use metrics and benchmark as you go.

Align your digital footprint – look at the platforms and productivity tools that you have in place and the ones that you want to acquire. How will they work together to create a cohesive digital destination? How are you going to encourage adoption, and discourage employees from reverting to legacy systems and old ways of working?

Finally, governance – you’ll want people to be mindful of conventions and your information management policies. It’s a mindset – everyone has a responsibility to comply with the best practices for using the digital workplace.

ICE '17 Session - Deploy with Purpose

One size does not fit all when it comes to building your digital workplace. Your strategy needs to consider the digital fluency of your users, how, where and when they will access your digital workplace and the specific business challenges they confront every day. This session will look at the 5 key questions you need to answer to prioritize your efforts, secure organizational alignment, and tips for successful solutions deployment.


Playbook Tip

  • Focus on solving the business challenges that will have the biggest impact first
  • Ensure you have alignment from key stakeholders and an executive sponsor
  • Know how you will measure success and report back to the business at key increments
  • Don't forget the importance of a planned launch
  • Rinse and repeat the process as you tackle your next business challenge

Key Resources


User experience best practices

UX best practices to consider when designing and building your digital workplace. Adapted from the workings of Steven Krug, Jakob Nielson, Don Norman, and Kara Pernice.

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Calling all champions, a guide to employee engagement

Managing an intranet is way more fun with friends. They’re there to lift you up, help you out, and simply appreciate everything you do. Do you know who yours are? This 32-page guide will help you find (and celebrate) your champions.

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A modern communicator's guide to knowledge management

Effective knowledge management is all about who you know, what you know, and how you use it. This guide looks at the role a modern intranet plays in circulating knowledge, and provides helpful tips and expert advice for introducing knowledge-sharing practices in your organization.

Read the Guide

A modern communicator's guide to corporate communications

Companies like yours are starting to realize that communication is more than just a monthly newsletter. To break through the noise, information must be presented in a way that matters to people. This is 6-page guide is full of tips and tricks to help you create compelling stories and enable meaningful conversations inside your organization using a modern intranet solution.

Read the guide

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