5 simple ways to benchmark your intranet

In my last post ‘Measuring the value SharePoint 2010 can bring to your organisation’ I covered how you justify the benefits SP2010 may bring to your organisation.

Now I want to widen this on to show you five examples how you can benchmark and assess the value your intranet adds to your organisation.  They meet all your budget needs (some are free!).

1. Benchmarking the whole or part of your intranet

This is the gold standard for intranet benchmarking.  The Intranet Benchmarking Forum can benchmark all your intranet, the financial value it brings or just some areas e.g. governance and strategy, communications and culture, performance and metrics or usability.  They will soon benchmark using their digital workplace maturity model (a phrase getting a growing acceptance).  You also can share your benchmarking results with other members and learn more on best practice, etc.

The benchmarking does cost depending on what you want.

2. Benchmark with people who use your intranet

The Worldwide Intranet Challenge gives you a free opportunity to ask people using your intranet to complete a set of questions modelled on previous experience to find what most intranet people need to know about their intranet.  You can benchmark your findings with other intranets.

If you want to use it again there is a cost but you will have the first set of results to compare your progress with and measure the improvements.

3. Share best practice with intranet communities

Meeting other intranet professionals and sharing similar/same experiences is very difficult to put a value on.  It is very high in my opinion!  Meeting people at conferences (and some of the speakers too) is great value but you don’t go to many and can’t choose who will attend.

Maybe joining a group of intranet professionals regularly to discuss common issues of interest gives more value? You choose!

IBF, IntraTeam and J Boye are three communities that immediately come to mind.  Some offer introductory free attendance but if you are serious you need to subscribe and stay for at least one year.  I find the more you put in to these groups, the more value you gain from them.

4. Share best practice online

You can join many online communities for free that can help you to benchmark (more informally) your intranet with others.  You may need to spend more time and effort rather than money building up relationships to the level of trust you need to share the, shall we say, not so good parts of your intranet with others.  You need to find out what role people have first too (consultant, intranet professional, thought leader).

LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Yammer are the obvious places to start but there are other good places to join online communities I may not be aware of.

5. Benchmark with an intranet ‘expert’

Finding out what is best practice and how your intranet measures up to this standard needs a lot of care and attention.  You can misunderstand raw data on intranets and not place it in the right context.  Paying an intranet ‘expert’ who has years of experience, able to share knowledge easily and give you what you need can be money well spent for the benefit it can gain.

There are far too many intranet experts for me to mention them all and their fields of work vary. The people who immediately come to mind that I would recommend are Jane McConnell, Martin White, Janus Boye, Michael Sampson, Kurt Sorenson and James Robertson but there are other great intranet leaders who can help you.

So, you have 5 examples to benchmark your intranet.  Before you act, think about:

  • what you need to do
  • how much funding you have
  • what are your timescales.

I’m sure there are other examples that people reading this may want to share that have helped them.  Please post a comment!

3 responses to “5 simple ways to benchmark your intranet

  1. Hi Mark,

    I use the Worldwide Intranet Challenge Linkedin group to read about whats happening in the intranet community. The discussions are very informative and I enjoy the variety of topics shared between users.


  2. Pingback: Friday Roundup « The Law Firm Intranet

  3. Ellen van Aken

    Hi Mark,
    One way to benchmark that we used effectively at Sara Lee, was: meeting up with various Intranet managers of similar, but not competitive companies in the region. We used our own networks (in one case my neighbor, but most often ex-colleagues) to learn the names of the relevant people, and just asked them if they were interested to meet. To our big surprise, they were all very happy to talk! (Shows what a sharing bunch we are ;-))
    We had a list of questions to “benchmark” so after all the meetings we could make a good comparison. (We thought we did pretty well, but not best).
    In fact, membership of IBF came up at one of these talks, so that is when we joined IBF and got benchmarked objectively. (And we scored pretty good, but not on all dimensions).
    As for your point 5, you have forgotten one expert: Mark Morrell 🙂 All the best for your new career!

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