K.Hovnanian® Homes

K.Hovnanian® Homes

Streamlining communication and knowledge-sharing by extending the power of SharePoint with additional Lightspeed365 web parts

K. Hovnanian Homes is a US-based construction company that builds high quality, beautiful new homes. It employs 2,500 employees across the US, spread across a number of different locations.

The company was seeking to streamline and standardise its communication and design approach in order to improve operations and ensure it continues to provide the very highest standards to new home owners right across the US.

Building a new intranet

An intranet was considered an important way to share knowledge and communications, but the current SharePoint intranet was no longer fit for purpose. It also had an outdated look and feel and was out of step with the company’s branding.

K. Hovnanian Homes contacted Content Formula and the Lightspeed team with a view to creating a brand-new iteration of HovShare, their SharePoint intranet.

Using Lightspeed365 features to extend the power of SharePoint

To get a thorough understanding of user needs to define the intranet requirements, we conducted a series of remote employee and business stakeholder interviews, as well as a number of user workshops. We even interviewed the company CEO!

Following this through discovery phase, we recommended building an intranet that leveraged LightSpeed365 Features to extend the power of SharePoint Online though a range of additional web parts.

Working in close partnership with the team, we proceeded to implement a new Lightspeed365 intranet.

Improving communications across the whole company

Today the new HovShare intranet is helping to streamline communications and break down siloes across the company, from the East coast to the West Coast.

A mixture of companywide and regional news items targeted for relevancy are displayed on the intranet homepage using the Lightspeed365 News feed module, providing a more attractive interface than out-of-the-box SharePoint.

Different business teams also have their own local sites with news, useful documents and more, to help facilitate an improved flow of communication.

One source of truth for organisational knowledge

A key objective for the intranet was to be the “one source of truth” for key organisational knowledge, including providing access to a new set of standardised home designs and floor plans that improve on K. Hovanian’s already high-quality designs.

We deployed a combination of the Lightspeed365 Handbook web part and Card link web part to provide a focused hub for employees to link to key resources as well as a scoped search across these knowledge assets. Now employees can easily everything they need regarding the design collection and related floor plans.

Additionally, the Lightspeed365 Handbook web part has also been applied so employees have one source of truth for corporate policies and “How do I” procedural information.

Supporting collaboration and ideation

The company was also eager to encourage bottom-up feedback and knowledge-sharing between employees, not only to nurture a sense of community and connection, but also a place to ask questions, swap tips and share learnings.

We recommended using Viva Engage communities. These are integrated with HovShare and employees can browse to find both regional and national communities to join for a range of useful forums and discussions.

A front door to the wider digital workplace with Lightspeed365’s app launcher

There was also a strong desire to use the new intranet homepage as a wider window to the digital workplace. Following specific requirements from the client, we extended the power of our Lightspeed365 app launcher web part, so links to key apps can be displayed as attractive, large tiles.

We also added a search facility so employees can find the tool they need more quickly, adding to existing capabilities such as the ability for employees to add their own individual links to the app launcher. The client valued this opportunity to influence the Lightspeed365 roadmap to enhance and improve their intranet.

A successful launch

A successful launch of the new intranet was important to spread the world and support strong adoption from the get-go.

To help guide employees through the extensive new features compared to the previous iteration, we deployed the Lightspeed365 Page tour web part that provides a custom walk-through of the main new features.

We also worked with the client to design an eye-catching three-part email teaser campaign based on a “building a new house” concept.

Supporting adoption and change management

To support ongoing adoption, we also created an intranet resource hub using the Lightspeed365 Cards links web part. This provides a user-friendly and appealing interface to self-serve resources that guide employees and content owners on how to use the new intranet and contribute content.

With an emphasis on supporting content owners across the US, we also created an additional “Look Book” that details a series of suggested page layouts and constituent web parts, helping provide both inspiration and best practice guidance for local site owners.

Building productivity and engagement while knocking down siloes

Although it’s still early days for the new HovShare it’s already supporting productivity and efficiency, providing one source of truth for employees to find corporate knowledge and quickly reach the apps and tools they use every day.

It’s also streamlined communication with employees from across the US, helping them to stay informed, while also providing the ability to share insights with colleagues via communities. Ultimately the new intranet is helping to knock down siloes, while helping K. Hovnanian Homes to continue to build beautiful homes.



Transforming employee experience with a global intranet solution

We are proud to detail our work with Baringa, a global consulting firm, to develop their new global intranet, Light House. Recognising our expertise in SharePoint and intranets, Baringa’s IT team tasked us with creating an intranet to enhance employee engagement and support client project delivery across Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. Our initial step involved an extensive discovery exercise, including user and stakeholder interviews and workshops across all regions. Based on this, we recommended a SharePoint-based global intranet, integrating Lightspeed365 Features for added functionality and custom work to meet Baringa’s specific search needs.

The Light House intranet includes several Lightspeed365 features, such as a welcoming homepage with personalised greetings and local weather updates, and a news feed mixing global and regional updates. Key functionalities like the app launcher, people search, and “How Do I” pages drive efficiency and task completion. We integrated Condeco for desk booking directly from the homepage, using the Lightspeed Viva Connections connector. A customised search experience with persistent filters unique to Baringa enhances findability of resources and experts. Additionally, we modified the Lightspeed365 People directory to access consultant CVs through the employee directory and embedded search box. To help employees adapt to the new intranet, we used the Lightspeed365 Page tour feature for walkthroughs and created a comprehensive help centre. For content owners across Baringa, we provided resources and guides to create engaging content. The launch of Light House marks a significant step in bringing Baringa’s regions together and supporting employees in their daily tasks.

L.E.K. Consulting

Global consulting company

Keeping employees informed and engaged across all three regions with a world-class personalised user experience

Our client is a leading global strategy consulting firm that provides a range of expert advice to organisations and institutions around the world. It employs around 2,500 staff across three global regions – Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Previously this company had three different intranets – one for each region – each on-premises and based on older versions of SharePoint.

Our client wanted to create one new global intranet that improved communication across the regions, supported busy consultants in delivering the very best advice to clients, and leveraged all the advanced features of SharePoint Online.

An extensive discovery exercise involving all regions

The consulting company's team engaged Content Formula and the Lightspeed team with a brief to design and develop a brand new, single cloud-based intranet that covered all of regions.

We undertook an extensive discovery exercise, interviewing users and carrying out workshops across each of the regions. We also spoke to key business stakeholders, including CEO and the leader of each region.

Leveraging Lightspeed365 features to meet requirements

Our research discovery revealed the different information and communication across the whole organisation, including the specific needs of each region, showing that a “one size fits all” approach would not work on the new intranet.

Armed with this information and following discussion with the project team, we proceeded to design and build and a new intranet based on SharePoint Online that also incorporates Lightspeed365 features, significantly extending the capabilities and flexibility of SharePoint in order to meet all of client's requirements.

A personalised intranet with a consistent user experience

The new intranet creates an attractive, professional and consistent global experience for the whole company that also meets cleint’s brand requirements.

Personalisation and content targeting is used so that employees see a blend of global and regional content that is relevant to each individual. The navigation is also audience-targeted to support strong findability.

An attractive, engaging and useful homepage with several Lightspeed365 features

The new homepage is a critical entry point into the intranet. Lightspeed365’s News feed feature provides more options than SharePoint alone, presenting news in a more attractive and engaging way. Employees view global news items in an eye-catching hero area with an extensive use of images, with a feed of targeted news below it.

Lightspeed365’s App launcher feature presents a list of targeted links to everyday enterprise apps and tools right on the homepage, ensuring the intranet is a convenient entry point into the wider digital workplace.

The Lightspeed365 External social feeds web part is also used to embed client’s external Instagram feed on the homepage, providing useful information to consultants how the company is going to market.

A new, custom platform for sharing knowledge

The new intranet is also the place to access a new customised “Solution Center” that houses all of internal knowledge, research and case files, supporting the delivery of world-class advice to clients across multiple projects.

Content Formula was engaged to create the Solution Center from the ground up, providing an effective knowledge-sharing platform with greatly improved findability.

A powerful people search to find colleagues and locate experts

A key requirement for the consulting compnay was an advanced and highly flexible people search that allowed employees to locate experts and also support team selection, for example for new client tenders.

We took client’s requirements as an opportunity to extend the flexibility and power of Lightspeed365’s People directory module, reflecting our commitment to continually invest and improve Lightspeed365 modules based on client input and feedback.

As a result, all employees can search across all people directory attributes via an intelligent search box that also incorporates type-ahead to suggest tags based on the profile attribute that employees want to filter on, such as location, job title and area of expertise.

One source of truth to access global and regional policies

We used Lightspeed365’s Handbook feature to deliver a convenient policy and procedure library providing one source of truth for global and regional-level policies.

Personalisation and targeting means that employees see only the policies that are relevant to them; these can be accessed either through an intuitive central policy library with browse and search options, or through the relevant regional and service-level page.

Policy owners are also provided with links to the policies they own, to encourage these to be kept up to date.

Accessing information from support functions to get things done

The Lightspeed365 Handbook web part is also used to deliver a similar approach to a wide range of global and regional “How Do I” pages which provide an essential reference guide to completing everyday tasks and getting things done. These can be accessed via a central library.

Each business function also has its own landing page which houses critical support information, where relevant policy and How Do I pages and documents can be found.

Supporting users across the digital workplace

The client also wanted the intranet to be a place that can support users in improving communication and collaboration throughout the company and increase adoption of Microsoft 365 tools.

We used Lightspeed365’s highly flexible Card links web part to build the Hub Resource Center, an easy-to-use and welcoming collection of self-serve resources that guide users on key topics such publishing news and sharing documents. Each topic is presented as a card with links to the relevant resources.

The new intranet is already having a positive impact

So far the intranet is proving popular with the Consulting company’s busy global workforce who are now able to access both global and regional communications and resources, supporting them in their daily work, while also keeping them informed and engaged.

Improvements are on the roadmap and we look forward to working with the Consulting company team to making the intranet even better.

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