NNG released their annual top 10 intranet awards earlier this year. One of the main findings about the 10 winning entries is that 'although organization size has been decreasing, the average intranet team size is increasing—this year to an impressive all-time Design Annual high of 27 people working on the intranet".
The report goes on to say that "Intranet teams equal 0.14% of the organizations’ entire employee pool (i,.e., 1.4 intranet staff members per thousand employees). This is double the previous high of 0.07% last year."
According to the WIC, the size of intranet teams is stable
To provide some comparative data, I compiled the following information about intranet team size based on the 454 organisations who have registered for the free online web based intranet benchmarking service, the Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC).
The data from these registrations shows that intranet team size has remained steady over the last 4 years and that the ratio of intranet team members per 1000 staff is most likely around 0.2 to 0.3 (1 staff member per 4,000 - 5,000 employees).
As can be seen from the following chart that shows the average number of intranet team members per 1000 employees over the last four years, there has been little change in this percentage.
The above data is based on the following number of organisations who have registered for the Worldwide Intranet Challenge (WIC) since 2009:
- 2009 - 106
- 2010 - 73
- 2011 - 127
- 2012 - 148
- Total = 454
Notes on how data was compiled
The initial data is obtained when potential WIC participants answer the following two questions as part of the WIC registration process:
- Size of organisation (nbr of staff) - where the options are:
- Over 50,000
- Size of intranet team
- Over 10
Because the questions require respondents to choose a selection from a range (rather than providing a specific number), it is necessary to make an assumption to calculate the number of intranet resources per 1000 staff. For example, if 0-3 is selected as the size of the intranet team, this could mean that there are 0 or 3 intranet team members OR somewhere in between. To determine the ratio of intranet team members to staff, an actual number needs to be chosen.
To compensate for this wide range of possibilities, I used the following table to calculate the most likely scenario, as well as the best and worst case scenarios. From this we can say that the real ratio lies somwhere in between.
|Best Case||Most likely||Worst case|
|Number of employees|
|Number of intranet team members|
Best case scenario for intranet team size
The following chart assumes that intranet teams are at the maximum value (eg. for a team size selection of 4-10, assumes 10 intranet team members) and that organisation size is at the minimum value (eg. for an organisation size of between 1001-10,000, assumes 1000 people in the organisation).
Worst case scenario for intranet team size
The following chart assumes that intranet teams are at the minimum value (eg. for a team size selection of 0-3, assumes 0 intranet team members) and that organisation size is at the maximum value (eg. for an organisation size of between 10,001-50,000, assumes 50,000 people in the organisation)
As can be seen from the above two charts, there is a wide range of possibile ratios! This is not surprising given that respondents choose from a range of options. However, what is not affected by the different assumptions, is the degree of change in the size of the intranet team for each year. This will remain consistent, regardless of the numbers used to calculate the ratio.
As can be seen, the change in the ratio for each year for the best, worst and most likely scenarios, is of the same proportion.
This ratio indicates that size of your average intranet team is not increasing.
Assumptions and comments about data accuracy
The above data may be influenced by how people interpret the definition of 'Intranet Team'.
For example, some people might include contractors and part timers as part of the intranet team, while other people may consider the intranet team to be just full time staff.
It is up to the person who registers as to how they define the term 'Intranet Team' so there is the possibility of a variation in responses to this question.
Also it is interesting to note that from the 454 registrations, only 33 have more than 10 people as part of the intranet team - approximately 7%. This is in sharp contrast to the findings of the NNG report where the average intranet team size of the 10 award winning intranets is 27.
A possible reason for this difference may be the definition of 'Intranet Team' used by NNG. The NNG summary doesn't go into detail about what 'working in the intranet' means exactly - but it could include part time content contributers, IT staff and internal communication staff as well as dedicated intranet resources.
Another consideration is that the intranets listed in the NNG report are all award winning intranets - so they are not your average intranet. Perhaps this is an indication that there is a relationship between the number of intranet resources and quality of the intranet.
To view the source data used for the above calculations, view the WIC Registrations Source Data Google spreadsheet.