These days intranet managers are swamped with ideas and suggestions for improving their intranet. These ideas can come from many sources - executives, senior managers, colleagues, intranet consultants, site visits to other intranet sites and a multitude of other research sources. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information and it can be difficult to know where to start... How do you prioritize and schedule intranet improvement activities with limited resources?
I have just read a great case study about this topic - Save yourself £8m/$13m and 73 years- intranet case study. In the study, an intranet improved it's benchmark ranking from 36 out of 36 to 8 of 36 by implementing the following activities:
- Re-design of intranet publisher training,
- Creation of a community of practice for these publishers,
- Two conferences conducted for the publisher,
- Development of a governance structure, and
- Clean up of content, removal of content that was out of date, duplicated or substandard.
This case study highlights the need to decide how you are going measure the success (or otherwise) of any intranet improvement initiatives. I think it was Vince Lombardi who said you can't improve what you don't measure.
Allen Huish in his article, How to prioritize intranet developments, also talks about the importance of measuring the value of intranet initiatives. He lists 3 dimensions he uses to prioritize intranet developments:
- Benefits - is there a measurable benefit?
- Reach - how many people will benefit?
- Influence - is it going to increase your influence within the organisation?
Another article - Managing SharePoint Feature Requests - asks 4 basic questions before approving a request:
- How will this feature help the business?
- How does this feature contribute to strategic goals?
- How complex is the feature to implement?
- How does the feature align with your overall portal strategy?
Relationship between intranet qualities and intranet value
The Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC) provides you with a way of measuring the effectiveness of your intranet and then prioritizing intranet improvement initiatives. When participating in the WIC, end users indicate the value they believe a specific quality adds to the intranet and then also indicate an overall value of the intranet. With this information, it is possible to determine which qualities end users consider most closely correlate with intranet value.
The following diagrams show the relationship between various factors and intranet value (calculated from nearly 7000 end user responses from 23 organisations).
The Correlation Value figure is calculated using the Excel Correl function. This function assigns a value that shows the relationship between two numerical lists. For example if the first list is 1,2,3 and second list is 3, 6, 9 - the correlation value will be 1.0. In other words there is a perfect positive relationship between the two lists.
The lists in the tables below are taken from the Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC). The first numerical list contains the intranet factor (eg. Policies and Procedures) and second numerical list is the overall value end users give the intranet. The correlation value reflects the strength of the relationship between these lists.
You can use these table as a guide to identifying activities which have the most impact on improving end user value. Note that these tables are a summary of WIC responses to date and each organisation will have different correlation values.
Content V Intranet Value
Intranet Maintenance and Change V Intranet Value
The following table shows the relationship between the value of the intranet and how the intranet is maintained.
Intranet Performance V Intranet Value
Participate in the Worldwide Intranet Challenge
If you would like to determine the specific correlation values for your intranet, then consider registering for the Worldwide Intranet Challenge.
In addition to English, the WIC is also available in: