Intranet from Good to Great

On the Intranetblog I recently bumped into "The Good to Great Matrix. Key Factors for Intranet Success". Being a big 'Good to Great' fan (book by Jim Collins) and because I like to read up on Intranet, I was curious what this matrix would bring us. Well, it's definitely worth your time if you like to think about Intranet improvement! The matrix was developed by Toby Ward, "based on real experience with intranets or organizations with an average of 5000 employees".
Well, what do you get? It gives you a list of "success factors", such as "design", "layout", "governance" and tells you what a good and great intranet will show in these areas.
I'll give you a few examples from the matrix, focusing only on great intranets, of course...:
  • with respect to "content", great intranets have "web-trained writers". Although I agree with most cells in the matrix, I was surprised by this one. If, as another characteristic of great intranet says, "authorship" is "distributed", do we really need "web-trained writers"? Don't we need broad participation in writership, so employees feel committed to the intranet and its content. Anyway, it is nice to have intranet pages that are well written.
  • with respect to "information architecture", great intranets have "many redundant links that cross-promote content". This relates well to James Robertson's posts on cross-linked people directories, which I also wrote about here.
  • with respect to "tools", great intranets have "next generation searhc that is also supported by 'hard-coded' results to popular searches". Wow, this is a good idea. Internal search is not that good, why not hard-code some search queries?! This relates well to Vivek Deshmukh's article on improving peoplefinders. I also wrote about this here.
  • with respect to "employee engagement", great intranets have "regular employee surveys" and "active use of feedback". Very true, you can survey your users, but they will want to see change quickly too.
  • and finally, with respect to "staffing", great intranets have "two to three full-time employees with an informal or formal committee of up to a couple of dozen stakeholders". I assume this is for an intranet for a company of 5000 employees.
So, lots of good stuff and food for thought in this matrix! And there's more in the matrix itself. You can easily use this yearly to check your intranet. You can also use it to support your intranet improvement plan. I also like the way it is written. The language in the matrix can be understood by IT, employees and general management.
Thanks Toby for sharing this with us!


  1. Hello Samuel, today I read a post about you on the Océ intranet. I was really intrigued by the subjects you are working on. And you are right: sharing knowledge is an important part of one's job! If you are interested to read more about organizational intelligence and for example tacit knowledge, please visit a blog from me and two co-workers:

  2. Hello Mariska, Thanks for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the interview. I'll definitely take a look at the website you pointed to. Is there also an English version?

  3. Ah, the link should have been!


Post a Comment

Please leave a comment! Just log in using one of the formats and if you want me to get back to you. Otherwise comment anonymously.

Popular posts

Keep the Intranet Small

Enterprise 2.0 Research

Innovation in Turbulent Times