The Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC) is a free web based survey that allows organisations to obtain feedback about their intranets from the people that matter the most - their intranet end users. The WIC team then benchmarks the feedback from all participating organisations, enabling a comparative score and rank for each survey question to be given.
In 2013, 61 organisations from 9 different countries participated in the WIC, bringing the total number of organisations who have participated to 179.
Note: Total surveys completed = 193. Some organisations have completed the WIC twice.
This article lists those organisations from 2013 who received the highest rankings in a range of categories, based on feedback from their own staff (you may also wish to view 2012's top ranked intranets).
2013 top ranked intranet - Milan Chamber of Commerce (Italy)
For 2013, the overall top ranked intranet was from the Milan Chamber of Commerce (Italy). The Chamber of Commerce supports and promotes the general interests of local businesses and markets through in-house functions or others delegated to it by the national or regional governments or deriving from international conventions.
The Milan Chamber of Commerce also ranked #1 in many of the survey questions including: Value, Look and feel, Home Page, Understanding culture and values, Finding information, Search, Managing documents, Re-usable documents, Policies and procedures, and Reports and/or dashboards.
See the case study - Leading intranets - Milan Chamber of Commerce.
Milan Chamber of Commerce Home page
2nd ranked intranet - QIC (Australia)
The second ranked intranet was from QIC. Established in 1991 by the Queensland Government to manage its long-term investments, QIC has grown to be one of the largest institutional investment managers in Australia, with more than 90 local and international clients and $70.1 billion in funds under management as at 30 June 2013.
QIC rated well in the following questions: #1 in Australia, #2 home page, information easy to read, publishing content, managing documents, policies and procedures, content, reports and/or dashboards, and #3 value of the intranet, look and feel. access to business applications,
Sample comments from staff about the intranet:
We have seen dramatic improvements in the intranet over the last year - the intranet is much more user friendly. I see benefit in the continued development of this channel as a place for employee interaction, toolkit for resources, information and how to guidance and to promote 'connective' stories that promote QIC values and culture.
Being a new starter to the business, I have found the intranet to be great in helping me with every-day tasks. It is very easy to find your way around and provides me with the information required.
Keep up the good work. A huge improvement. Everything should always be a work in progress, most things can always be improved upon.
QIC Intranet Home Page
3rd ranked intranet - Prophet (USA)
Prophet is the third ranked intranet for 2013. Prophet is a strategic brand and marketing consultancy with offices around the globe. Clients include BMW, Cisco, GE, Johnson and Johnson, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, The Cosmopolitan, Visa, and Zurich Financial.
Prophet rated well in the following questions: #1 online discussions, staff details, access to business applications, #1 in the United States, #2 value of the intranet, look and feel, re-usable documents, providing feedback, notification of changes to intranet content, #3 finding information, publishing content, provision of intranet training.
Prophet home page
Sample comments from staff:
I think the team has done an awesome job with the redesign -- the broader thing to tackle is our culture of sharing knowledge - really getting people to dig in with this -- we are all responsible for this -- but in the end the team has done an outstanding job of giving us an environment to do this well
The recent changes to our intranet, especially the elements of gamification, make engagement with the company, content and culture almost second-nature. The photos and personal profiles add an excellent element of social media.
I LOVE THE INTRANET. It's super collaborative, and I really like the ability to talk to colleagues across different offices. The visibility on the pipeline is brilliant, as are the staff profiles.
Prophet was also a gold winner in the 2009 intranet innovation awards.
Other highly ranked organisations
The following organisations also ranked in the top 3 (top 5%) in one or more of the survey questions or categories:
AmBank Group (M) Bhd (Malaysia), #2 for completing work tasks
Beaver Street Fisheries (United States), #2 for online forms
British Gas, (UK) #1 UK intranet, #1 10,000+ employees, #3 online discussions
Socialministeriet (Denmark), #1 for completing work tasks
Department of Transport (Australia), #3 information for new starters
Endress+Hauser (Switzerland), #2 information about products/services, #2 search
ERM (UK), #1 off-site access, #3 personalisation
Home Assistance UK Ltd (UK), #3 intranet availability
JT International (Switzerland), #3 understanding values & culture
Køge Kommune (Denmark), #3 ease of reading information
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (Australia), #2 new starter information, #2 content accuracy, #2 understand culture and values, #2 finding information, #3 home page, #3 news, #3 policies and procedures, #3 product/service information, #3 feedback about intranet, #3 mobile access
Nestlé (Switzerland), #2 collaboration
NNE Pharmaplan (Denmark), #2 personalisation, #1 1000 - 10,000 employees
PinnacleHealth System (USA), #2 complete work tasks
Queensland Country Credit Union (Australia), #1 online forms, #3 managing documents, #2 intranet training
State of Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (USA), #2 work instructions
Simpson Grierson (New Zealand), #3 content, #3 change notification, #2 intranet availability, #3 staff details, #2 news
SNL Financial (USA), #3 collaboration, #3 reports & dashboards
St Barbara (Australia), #3 search, #3 re-usable documents
Swisscom AG (Switzerland), #1 collaboration, #1 mobile access, #1 content easy to read, #3 content accuracy, #3 off-site access
Tiscali Spa (Italy), #3 work instructions
Characteristics of highly ranked intranets
The following characteristics were common among the leading WIC intranets.
Staff spend more time using them
Staff from the top 6 most valuable intranets (ie. the top 10%) spent an average of 43.1 minutes each day on the intranet. While staff from the bottom 6 organisations spent on average just 18.1 minutes - less than half.
This is consistent with WIC research from last year which shows that the more time staff spend using the intranet, the more valuable they perceive it to be.
The challenge for intranet professionals then is to deliver content and services that will keep staff coming back.
They are more interactive
While intranets in the top 10% out-scored those in the bottom 10% in all survey questions, for some questions there was a larger discrepancy than others. This would suggest that, as the highest priority, the biggest opportunity for improving intranets lies in these areas.
The biggest discrepancies were in the four questions (from a total of 50) shown in the chart below.
These questions all relate to making the intranet more interactive and convincing staff to contribute content. For more information about this, see 10 lessons intranets can learn from Wikipedia.
They support clear business objectives
There are many articles about intranet strategy that discuss the importance of aligning the intranet with business objectives. After speaking with many of the managers of the leading WIC intranets listed in this article, it appears that most of the business objectives supported by their intranets can generally be placed into three broad categories:
Innovation and continuous improvement: This includes the ability of intranets to identify and support new ideas, forums for discussing new ideas and for looking at ways to improve things, project & team sites for implementing these ideas, serendipitous connections for fostering innovative & collaborative work environments, and communications to inform people about process changes resulting from the implementation of new ideas
Operations: This includes the ability of intranets to support call centres and front line staff, to improve customer satisfaction by delivering products and services more quickly, effectively and efficiently, to ensure processes and tasks are completed consistently throughout the organisation and to automate manual processes where possible.
Employee engagement: This includes the ability of the intranet to provide staff with access to the information and tools they need to their jobs from anywhere at anytime on any device, allowing them greater freedom and flexibility to control their own work more effectively.
For more information about these objectives, including additional examples of how intranets can help, see 3 compelling business reasons for having an intranet.
They ‘mine’ their social content
While enterprise social networks (or social intranets, social software, enterprise 2.0) have been getting a lot of attention lately (partly because of the difficulty in gaining traction), research from Deloitte and McKinsey suggests that this attention is warranted and that those organisations that ‘get it right’ will gain a significant advantage over the competition.
Leading WIC intranets have recognised that greater staff participation and interactivity with the intranet is not only inevitable but is critical to raising the value of the intranet. However with this greater level of input from staff comes a greater need to recognise the ‘signal’ from the ‘noise’. So just as big data has created the need for a data miner, increased online social interactions has created the need for a ‘content miner’ - someone to analyse and identify key nuggets of information and include them in a formal organisational wide information repository.
For more about this topic, see Intranets: the signal and the noise and the need for a 'content miner'
Participate in the WIC in 2014
If you would like to participate in the Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC) this year you just need to complete the WIC registration page (or if you are from Denmark, view the Danish WIC site). It takes just a couple of minutes and you could have the benchmark results on your desk within two weeks, for free.
While it can be a little daunting and takes a lot of courage to ask for feedback from your end users, deep down you probably know that it's the first step you need to take to provide a better intranet experience. Without this concrete feedback, you are relying largely on intuition and guesswork to identify improvement activities. In addition to this, past experience has shown that benchmarking your intranet will help improve it.
The survey is currently available in 13 languages with others being added as requested. The WIC is also supported by a network of partners from around the world.