x-Early Perspectives

Size of intranet teams- under resourced?

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in December 2007 ……

Intranet teams always feel under-resourced. Are they?

First, let’s take a look at some numbers. I am aware of 3 relatively recent sources which are in fact quite similar.

1. James Robertson’s intranet resource survey conducted by StepTwo in 2005, where he and Iain Barker published their findings:

  • Organisation with over 10,000 employees – from 10 to 13 intranet headcounts
  • From 1,000 to 10,000 – around 7

2. A second source is the survey conducted at the Intrateam Event in 2007, organised by IntraTeam A/S.

  • The 103 respondents were from organisations averaging 7,000 employees, had 5.4 intranet headcounts, which makes an average of 0.8 per 1,000 employees.

3. The third source is my own Global Intranet Survey of 2007  where I reached the average of 1 headcount for 2,300 employees. This is based on data per size category going up to very large organisations of over 100,000 people.  When I look at the smaller sizes within the survey population, the figures are similar to StepTwo and IntraTeam.

  • Less than 1,000 employees – 3 intranet headcount
  • 1 to 5,000 employees – 8 intranet headcount
  • 5 to 15,000 employees – 12 intranet headcount
  • 15 to 30,000 employees – 19 intranet headcount

When the intranet becomes the “way of working” do resources go down?

If we consider content providers part of the intranet team, the number of resources will vary according to how decentralised the publishing model is. Logically, the more the intranet is integrated into the way of working, the lower the official “intranet headcount” will be. Why? Because people who provide content will consider it part of their “normal” job. It will be considered the natural way of working, and, hopefully the CMS and/or content publishing systems (including 2.0 tools) will enable highly decentralised publishing. If they don’t, then the intranet as the “way of working” will be crippled.

Low resources for what should be a strategic asset for an organisation

As we go higher up in size of organisations (the Global Intranet survey offers categories up to over 200,000 employees) the ratio of intranet headcount to employee base drops, but not always consistently. There are different explanations for this:

  • In large decentralised organisations, intranet managers and major content providers do not always know each other, nor are they aware of each other’s existence.
  • Another factor to consider is that organisations with a significant percentage of people who are not pc-connected may have an intranet headcount that is not proportional to the total employee base.


In the NN report Intranet design Annual 2009 – The Year’s 10 best intranets, the authors state that the average team size this year is 14 people for organisations averaging 37,500 employees. This makes 1 resource for roughly 2700 employees.

In the NetStrategy/JMC Global Intranet Trends report for 2007, we came to the conclusion that the ratio of intranet resource to number of employees was 1 for 2,300.

Let’s negotiate it to 1 intranet resource for 2,500 employees.

How does this compare to your own situation?