Digital success or digital disaster?

The good governance guide; a toolkit for your site, intranet, and digital workplace

Book cover - Digital success or digital disasters

Mark Morrell’s first book is a practical, experience-based approach to growing and managing a successful intranet. It now includes a new chapter ‘SharePoint – the best sweet shop in town.’

Anyone can have all these sweets on all the shelves to try. The problem is that you are outside the door to the shop saying “Be careful what you try. Too many sweets can be bad for you.”  That analogy has proven to be oh so true, time and time again.

Intranet managers still have a feeling of trepidation when confronted with SharePoint, especially for the first time. So how do you educate and communicate with people who use SharePoint? How do they use the right features in the right manner? How do you adopt the right approach so everyone benefits?

Based on Mark’s many years of experience as the manager of an award winning intranet and his recent work with dozens of organisations, ‘Digital success or digital disaster?’ will help you:

  • learn the secrets to manage SharePoint successfully
  • develop and get buy-in for your intranet strategy
  • choose a governance model suited to your goals and culture
  • support publishers to create the right user experience
  • establish clear roles and responsibilities
  • initiate publishing standards for all contributors.

This book will help you show that good governance has measurable benefits, justifying future investment in your intranet.

Buy ‘Digital success or digital disaster?’ directly from the publisher as an ebook for immediate reading.

What success looks like

Success is having a clear strategy for the intranet aligned with the organisation’s strategy, supported by a strong governance framework, with measured outcomes.

“Online governance broadly refers to the mechanisms, processes, roles and responsibilities by which intranets are managed and directed.”
~ Mark Morrell

Every theory is based on experience, and Mark provides a great number of practical examples, strategic guidance, and quick tips to help you plan a new intranet or turnaround an unloved one. You can have an intranet to be proud of and you can streamline your organisations’ ways of working in-line with your leaders’ goals and your colleagues’ needs.

This book lays out how you can create or revamp your intranet strategy and governance to better meet the needs of your organisation. Keep it close, and you will never feel alone while managing your intranet or making decisions that matter.

A handbook for intranet leaders

How do you include ‘everyone’ in your plans without derailing your progress? How do you make decisions that respect different needs and ways of working? How do you lead the intranet as well as manage it?

Download / read a chapter now:

Chapter 1

Introduction to good governance [PDF; 60KB]
or read chapter 1 online now.


1 — Introduction to good governance …and other cures for digital disasters

2 — Developing your strategy – Schmooze it or lose it: Getting buy-in to build the right strategy

3 — Governance principles – Standoffs, lawsuits, and sinister underwebs: Seven steps to effectively mining your resources

4 — Governance framework – Types, Models, Apps, and Hybrids. Making the right moves in this brave new world

5 — Governance hierarchy – Steering groups or grouping steers? Navigating the hierarchy maze

6 — Publishing standards – The joy of specs. Legal, regulatory, and practical roads to publishing standards

7 — Building on the benefits of good governance

Buy ‘Digital success or digital disaster?’ directly from the publisher. Available worldwide; instant delivery.

“a substantial contribution to the intranet literature.”
~ Martin White, of Intranet Focus

“A practical, systematic approach to intranet governance.
Every intranet manager would find value in going through this with their team.”
~ Sam Marshall, ClearBox Consulting

“Mark speaks from years of experience, and I recommend scanning his book on a first run, then diving into the specific parts that are relevant for your case.
“Two chapters that are especially relevant are subtitled: ‘getting buy-in to build the right strategy’ and ‘navigating the hierarchy maze’. Easy to say, hard to do. Reading Mark’s book will help you in your never-ending journey!”
~ Jane McConnell, NetStrategy / JMC

About the author

Mark Morrell

Mark Morrell has many years of first-hand experience as the manager of an award-winning intranet, and Mark has helped dozens of organisations develop their intranet governance in recent years.

To request further details about the ‘Digital success’ book please email

“I have found the best intranets help people to be more productive and effective. A consistently good overall experience, supported by great governance, helps achieve these benefits.” ~ Mark Morrell

5 responses to “Digital success or digital disaster?

  1. In the recently released book Digital Success or Digital Disaster, Mark Morrell describes, in a very pragmatic manner, Governance. Why it matters, and to what extent all these simple sense making guardrails sometimes get lost – leading to a disaster, which with some common sense could have become a success.

    The book is really a good read, regardless if you have ambitions to become an Intranet Manager or you have other means or things to govern in the business. You can read my full review.

  2. Martin White has reviewed my book. He says:

    “There are very few books on intranet management so this book from Mark Morrell, courtesy of the Intranatverk organisation, is very welcome. However the scope is broader than just intranets. The title indicates that it will also be useful for web sites and digital workplaces. Mark has a great deal of experience as an intranet manager, both at British Telecom and then as a consultant, and his practical experience at ensuring intranets have high quality content and a focus on business requirements comes across strongly in this e-book. The six chapters cover strategy development, governance principles, governance frameworks, governance hierarchy, publishing standards and finally the benefits of adopting a strong intranet governance approach. The book runs to almost 200 pages and so is a substantial contribution to the intranet literature.”

    Read more of Martin’s review at

  3. A practical, systematic approach to intranet governance

    Digital Success or digital disaster? is a very welcome addition to the relatively small set of current books on intranets. The style is informal, as the title may suggest. The use of first person keeps it down to earth, and this works well when Morrell is covering otherwise esoteric topics such as principles of governance.

    The scene is set with some good examples of what happens without intranet governance, showing a particular sympathy for poor user experience.

    Despite the informal style, Morrell’s approach is systematic, carefully laying out a framework and then going into the detail of each one. There are numerous examples from (anonymised) companies to illustrate key points.

    Every intranet manager would find value in going through this with their team.

    Full review at

  4. Oscar Berg has reviewed my book. Oscar says:

    “If you want to succeed with your intranet, or any digital solution, you will need to put an effective governance in place. An effective governance does essentially one thing: it helps people who develop or use the intranet make the right decisions, aligning with the strategy behind the intranet. As intranet pioneer Mark Morrell expresses it:

    One vital factor applies to all great intranets. It is having a strong governance framework that supports an intranet strategy, aligned with the organisation’s strategy.

    In his book “Digital Success or Digital Disaster”, Mark Morrell shares a lot of insights and practical tips on intranet governance derived from his long experience from managing a large intranet at BT, and from advising other organizations on intranet governance. As the title suggests, he shares lessons learned which can help you avoid digital disaster and take the road to digital success instead.”

    Read the full review at

  5. Jane McConnell has also reviewed my book. Jane says:

    “Intranet governance is a tough topic. Many people shudder at the thought of it. However, without it, intranets cannot thrive, let along survive. I’ve always considered governance to be a ‘living framework’ rather than a series or rules. Mark speaks from years of experience, and I recommend scanning his book on a first run, then diving into the specific parts that are relevant for your case. Parts of this book lend themselves to discussion with your team, as Sam Marshall points out. Governance is not something that is defined in a room closed off from reality. Two chapters that are especially relevant are subtitled: ‘getting buy-in to build the right strategy’ and ‘navigating the hierarchy maze’. Easy to say, hard to do. Reading Mark’s book will help you in your never-ending journey!”

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