National Partnership for Reinventing Government
(formerly National Performance Review)
July 12, 1996 Vol. 2, No. 18
An Information Sheet for Federal Communicators, Managers, Workers, and Their Partners--Pass It On
Read Carefully: We're Talking InTRAnet
Already, corporations are reaping huge benefits from using "intranets" in their organizations. Government agencies can, too.
What's an intranet? It's Internet technology used within an organization to connect employees. Employees use Internet software applications to get information and to do whatever the organization wants done internally. These online, often interactive, applications include business information to employees, employee suggestion programs, employee surveys, vacancy announcements, company policies, rules and operating procedures, internal forms, administrative processes (like submitting and processing travel vouchers online), collaborative research and development workspace, and forums. The possibilities are endless. Because these software applications are intended for internal use, the company can make its intranet inaccessible to the outside.
If a company policy changes, every employee connected to the Internet can know as soon as the policy goes online, whether company employees are in one building, one state, one country, or anywhere on the planet. With an intranet application, nobody has to wait around for a memo, manual, or CD-ROM to be mass produced and distributed. (Just think, 10, 000 employees in 100 locations would have the policy change at the same time.) And, if the organization wants to let the whole wide world know the new policy or procedure, it can do so cheaply and easily. That's what FedEx did when it moved its online intranet package tracking system to its World Wide Web address on the Internet. Now its customers use it, too.
Organizations are finding that intranets can reduce operational and production costs, cut paperwork, speed up processing time for administrative services, and improve internal communications. Intranets are so hot that some experts say there will soon be five times as many intranet sites as Internet sites.
GSA Is an Intranet Pioneer in Government
In late March, the General Services Administration's new Business Technology Council decided to give all employees access to the Internet by June--and they did. That opened the door for the InSite Project--GSA's version of intranet--and the applications are growing rapidly, according to Project Director Don Heffernan.
GSA had the enthusiastic endorsement of its Administrator, David Barram, so it could move out in a big way. GSA also had a substantial nationwide communications system in place, but your agency could rely on the already existing Internet. In fact, a more typical starting approach may be an intranet serving a local or regional office, Don said. Contact Don Heffernan at (202) 208-1534 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NPR and GITS Will Sponsor Intranet Workshops
The National Performance Review and Government Information Technology Services invite you to a series of free workshops on intranet technology. It's not just for technical people, although they are invited, too. If you are an agency executive, a program manager, or an end user, this workhop is for you because we know you'll want to use the Internet internally when you see what it can do for your organization.
The first intranet workshop--an overview by a private sector technology strategist--will be in the main auditorium of the Department of Labor in Washington, DC, from 1:30 - 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 25. This session is limited to the first 250 registrants.
Subsequent workshop topics in August include "Reducing Paperwork," "Empowering Employees with Better Information," "Mission-critical Business Applications," and a general wrap-up. You'll learn intranet basics from representatives of VISA International, Home Box Office, FedEx, Eli Lilly, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and others.
How to Register for the First Intranet Workshop
To register for the first workshop on July 25, send your name, organization, phone, and fax number to Nathaniel McNamara at e-mail: email@example.com or FAX (202) 632-0390. For more information, call Nathaniel at (202) 632-0408.
You'll get registration information for the August workshops when you attend the July 25th workshop. The later workshops will be held from 1:30 - 3:45 p.m. on the first four Thursdays in August, but will be in different locations. You don't have to attend every workshop to benefit from the information. The last workshop will provide information on applying for seed money in September from the Information Technology Innovations Fund. Fund managers will give special consideration to proposals for intranet applications.
The Office of Personnel Management is sponsoring the second annual Performance Management Conference Sept. 4-5, in McLean, VA. Changes in performance management regulations have presented federal agencies with the opportunity to reinvent appraisal and awards programs suited to their organizational needs. New flexibilities mean more choices. Topics include Performance-Based Organizations, Measuring Performance, and Results-Based Performance Management. Conference cost is $450. For more information, call (202) 606-2720.
National Performance Review, 750-17th St., NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006
To subscribe to Reinvention Express by email, send an email message to:Listproc@etc.fed.gov with this message: SUBSCRIBE EXPRESS-L FIRSTNAME LASTNAME. (Put three spaces: after the word "SUBSCRIBE," after "EXPRESS-L," and after your FIRSTNAME.) For fax distribution, send your name, organization, fax and phone number to Pat Wood, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; FAX (202) 632-0390 or phone (202) 632-0223.