I subscribe to the updates provided by Jakob Nielsen and this latest is about what he calls the Best Intranets of 2013. Of particular note to us at Team Powered Success is the role of teams in developing and managing such platforms. Here is an excerpt.
* * *
Team Sizes Are Still Growing
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. AT&T had the most team members we’ve seen—a notable 107—which brought this year’s average up. But, even if we exclude AT&T, this year’s average is still the highest at 18 team members.
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.
Growth in intranet team size as percentage of the company’s total number of employees, 2001-2013.
(Excluding 2004’s government-only intranet awards.)
As the chart shows, intranet team sizes were stable (and small) from 2001 through 2007 and then grew a bit between 2007 and 2011. And the last two years have seen drastically bigger intranet teams—at least compared with past years’ tepid growth.
More resources are being allocated to the intranet design and it shows. To make a great intranet, you need adequate people resources. It’s not possible to piece together a first-rate intranet that informs and motivates employees and increases productivity and sharing unless you have the staff to design, develop, deploy, write, manage, and govern. It’s not fair to ask a tiny team to take on an endeavor as great as designing and managing an intranet, even if you are “simply deploying” an out-of box solution.
* * *
And if you are a blogger or part of a blogging team, later in the piece, the article talks about the value of including content writers on projects from the out set. Such admonitions are music to our ears.
Involving Content Authors Early In the Design Process
The best intranet teams involve people from around the organization at the new intranet’s very inception, ensuring that employees from varied teams, offices, and cities describe their needs and way of working. One group that used to fall through the cracks was content writers, who were often brought in later in the design process. Winning teams this year met with content owners and writers very early on, so they could relentlessly cut unused content, edit older content, give feedback, and have adequate time to migrate, test, and optimize.
We know from our research on both writing for the web and intranet content that words are often the most impactful part of the total user experience, because users go to both websites and intranets to get information.
From Team Powered Success, a happy and prosperous 2013.