One intranet for all Max Planck institutes worldwide 

Campana & Schott strengthens networking within the Max Planck Society through the systematic rollout of its social intranet “MAX”.

Campana & Schott is supporting the Max Planck Society with full rollout management for a social intranet and, in just under two years, has already seen to the migration of over 30 institutes to the new platform as of the end of 2021. This constitutes a major step towards bringing together as many of the Max Planck Society’s highly autonomous research institutes as possible on the shared MAX platform.  

Optimal information and networking are considered to be decisive drivers for the long-term success of the organization. In view of this, the Max Planck Society developed “MAX” in order to optimize collaboration between science, administration, and external scientific and non-scientific partners. 

One social intranet for all

The Max Planck Society developed its new intranet MAX as a means to significantly improve internal communication, to create a single point of truth in the face of increasing external regulations, and to promote the digitization of small administrative processes at the Max Planck institutes. The MAX intranet was developed by the Administrative Headquarters in Munich and by several pilot institutes on the basis of Microsoft SharePoint and covers a wide range of applications among the three pillars of publishing, collaboration, and digital processes.  

The central goal of MAX is to provide efficient administrative support for research and to facilitate Max Planck-wide collaboration across institute boundaries. The motto of the MAX intranet platform is therefore “One for all,” reflecting its aim to generate manifold added value and synergies for the entire society by implementing a contemporary digital infrastructure. 

To ensure a high rate of utilization of the platform, the intranet will be rolled out among as many of the more than 80 independent institutes as possible. Furthermore, it must be possible to cover the individual requirements and needs of the institutes and allow for customizations without losing sight of the overarching vision. For this purpose, the Max Planck Society is relying on Campana & Schott’s rollout expertise and experience in the sustainable anchoring of intranet solutions within complex organizations. 

Support from a central location

Campana & Schott supports the Max Planck Society with a central rollout team, which implements entire process, from getting the individual institutes on board to working together to customize the solution all the way to the final handover to those responsible. The focus here is on full support for the individual rollouts in the project management organization and technical support within the migration process.  

Following a decision to migrate, the starting point is a series of dedicated workshops with the aim of onboarding all those involved, taking stock of specific requirements, and developing an individual information architecture for the future institute intranet. In addition, options for implementing small, digitized processes and workflows within MAX are evaluated together with the responsible parties and designed as deemed necessary.  

In the course of the migration, the responsible parties are empowered within their dedicated role profiles to optimally design their own digital workplace. For this purpose, a wide range of webinars and face-to-face trainings have been developed, which rollout team uses to qualify the institutes. 

A suitable communication and go-live plan are developed in parallel. Various concepts, measures, and events are planned and implemented according to the needs of the individual institutes in order to optimize the use of MAX and to integrate all institute employees into the MAX platform from the start. The completion of an individual migration project is marked by its organized handover to those responsible within the regular organization and its delegation to a user group responsible for its continuous supervision. 

Over 30 new intranets developed – and more to follow

Thanks to the Society-wide MAX rollout team, 30 institutes were able to migrate their intranets to MAX within two years of the project, with 20 of them celebrating their go-live within 2021 alone. Currently, another 20 institutes on the verge of going live or are waiting in the wings. Thus nearly 50 institutes can be expected to be on board by the end of 2022, which corresponds to two-thirds of the entire Max Planck Society with its 24,000 employees. This high rate was achieved by standardizing the most important content and methods in the individual task areas of onboarding, migration planning, rollout management, training, communication, and anchoring. 

These experiences and assets form the basis for ensuring the continued support for digitization in the Max Planck Society in the future. 

About the Max Planck Society

The Max Planck Society is Germany’s most successful research organization – since its foundation in 1948, no less than 29 Nobel Prize winners have been in its ranks. It currently maintains 86 Max Planck institutes and research facilities, of which 5 institutes and one research facility are located abroad, with a total of nearly 24,000 employees (as of January 1, 2021). The Max Planck institutes basic research in the service of the general public in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.