A New Intranet Structure for Preem

Although the employees of Preem were happy with how their previous intranet supported their daily work, a survey within the company showed several flaws concerning menus and navigation. So when Kirsi Välimaa and her colleagues decided to build a new intranet structure for the company’s intranet, the prime target was to make it easier for everyone to find what they were looking for. At Intranätverk 2014 we got to hear about the exciting journey.

Preem is Sweden’s largest supplier of fuel, as well as the largest refiner in the Nordic Region. Almost half of all refined products that are sold in Sweden have been refined or produced by Preem. The company owns two refineries, which are located in Gothenburg and Lysekil, while the head office is based in Stockholm. This means that the approximately 1 200 employees of Preem currently work at three different locations. In addition to that, Preem also has more than 600 filling stations in Sweden. So when the company decided to bring some changes to the intranet, the big challenge for Kirsi Välimaa and her colleagues was: How to make an intranet that’s useful to everybody?

Kirsi Välimaa presenting at Intranätverk 2014
Kirsi Välimaa presenting at Intranätverk 2014

The home page

To the right we have the common news for everybody within the company. We also have news from the oil industry worldwide as well as information from the top management. In the next section we have information targeted to different employees based on where they work. On the left side of the page you can find “My Favorites”, which is used quite a lot on our intranet, as well as “My Tools” where you can personalize and add things to the main tools that you use. At the bottom we have quick links to the most used pages in each category.

Survey to detect problem areas

In 2013, Preem conducted a survey to get to know how the users perceived the intranet and get a better understanding of the current problem areas. The survey consisted of three different parts, one of which was an online survey sent to all employees. Kirsi explains that they received a lot of comments on the online survey, and therefore got a good grip on what the problems were on the current intranet. One of the questions on the survey was: Is the intranet an important tool for you? 87 percent of the employees answered either “very important” or “quite important”. Another question was: Does the intranet support your daily work? Here 85 percent answered “yes to a large extent” or “yes to a certain extent”. And as for the question: Do you find what you are looking for when searching? – 86 percent said “yes, often” or “yes, sometimes”. These results were quite satisfying for Kirsi and her colleagues, but when they saw the figures on “How do you perceive the menus and navigation?” they were not that happy. Only 41 percent of the employees were pleased with this, which meant that something had to be done.

Guidelines for editors

The first step was to revise the navigation and the menus – a pretty big task since the intranet consisted of many pages. Kirsi and her colleagues set out some guidelines to the editors on how to construct the new form of the page, as well as simple rules for them regarding where to put the links, what to put at the top of the page and so on. Since most of the editors also have other tasks during their working days, Kirsi explains that it was important to make editing easy for them. If you’re interested in finding out more about these guidelines, please have a look at Kirsi’s presentation at Intranätverk 2014 on the following video.

Test once and then again

To revise the intranet structure, Kirsi and her colleagues were asked to create a first draft for the new structure. The draft was then tested with eight employees in different areas. They were all asked a couple of questions while looking at the draft for a new structure (on a piece of paper), and Kirsi wanted them to think out loud to really understand their thought patterns. After the results from the first test were in, Kirsi and her colleagues revised the structure according to them, and then made a second test. This test was basically conducted in the same manner as the first, and since the results were positive they decided to implement the new structure with just a few small changes.

“About Preem” – new intranet structure

A couple of days later, the new intranet structure, now called “About Preem”, was launched. When the employees visited the first page, they were met with a question: We have launched a new structure for “About Preem”. Do you think it’s easier to find what you are looking for now? 60 percent found the new intranet structure better – a good start according to Kirsi, but the work will continue until they reach a perfect 100 percent. To be able to improve the intranet, Kirsi explains that the most important thing for her is to understand what the employees are looking for. This is the base for making an intranet that’s useful to everyone. Although Kirsi and her colleagues have come a long way regarding the new structure, they have quite a lot of challenges ahead of them. The next in line is the re-launch of “My Employment” and, further on, they are looking to upgrade to SharePoint 2013.

Bio Kirsi Välimaa

Kirsi Välimaa is currently in charge of the intranet at the Swedish fuel company Preem. She’s been working with digital channels since the middle of the ‘90s and has, during her career, lead several projects regarding intranets and web solutions. In 2011, Kirsi together with the construction company NCC, won the prize for Sweden’s best intranet.