Yesterday at work, we hosted the first meeting of intranet club, bringing together intranet managers from 12 central government departments for a show and tell about design decisions, technologies, user involvement and project management. It was a fascinating couple of hours, with a group of people who rarely get together in that way, aside from via costly benchmarking forums.

It was Chatham House rules, so I won’t share the discussion here, but I will share the format, nay the Rules of Intranet Club:

1. You do talk about Intranet Club. Intranet managers are to be found in different departments in different organisations. Get the word out through various networks to track them down.

2. Only 8 intranets to a Club. OK, we broke that one, but it was our first time. 8 intranets x 15 minutes each would work really well, I think.

3. One intranet at a time. Presenters take turns to show and talk about 3 screenshots each (sent in advance) of their intranet:

  • The homepage
  • A page or feature that they’re proud of, or which works well
  • A page or feature which is causing them trouble

4. Shirts and shoes mandatory. Trousers/skirts too, please.

5. Intranet Club goes on as long as needs to (or 2 hours, whichever is the shorter). There’s only so much we can all take.

6. If this is your first time at Intranet Club, you have to present. It’s not a keynote presentation, it’s a seminar all the participants take part in.

7. When someone goes limp, it’s over. Frankly, that’s just good practice in corporate meetings.

Thanks to all the Departments who came and shared – I hope you all found it as insightful as we did.

Get notified of new blog posts by email


I learned a lot from attending this session. And I was impressed by the other delegates and the quality of insights they were able to share.

As I watched each presentation I looked for common challenges. I noted 16 areas (in no particular order):

1. CMS and hosting
2. Design
3. Branding
4. Content refresh and migration
5. Administration
6. Devolved publishing
7. Monitoring and evaluation
8. Suppliers (finding and managing)
9. Accessibility
10. Personalisation
11. Functionality range
12. IA
13. Content filters and recommendations
14. Social media and staff engagement
15. Search
16. Community vs profession
Some of these are start up issues, but some seem perennial.

I look forward to the Intranet Club working through these.

Thanks for organising.