How To Measure Success In An Intranet Project

How do we measure success? We've all heard this all-important question before. Some things are fairly easy to measure while others can prove to be more difficult. How successful an intranet adoption has perhaps been -social-intranet-project/.

An intranet is a digital platform that allows employees to create and host content and communicate with each other. An Intranet should host company content, reach all employees and make communication easier. Let's explore each in more detail and see how we can determine how well the intranet is meeting these goals post-adoption.

Host Company Content

An intranet provides a platform for company material to be hosted as digital content. A workspace is provided where employees can create new content together. If the intranet is performing this function well, we should expect more digital content to begin appearing. 

Taking measure of how many new documents are being created shows quite well how often the intranet is being used in the content creation sphere. If the amount of content is increasing, it can be deduced that the intranet is performing the role of content-houser well. The number of times that documents or knowledge base articles are accessed can also be used as a success metric. 

It's a good sign when more and more users are interacting with content in the intranet as opposed to whichever former methods existed (filing cabinets, storage shelves, document binders, etc.). In the physical world, spending less on printer ink and paper can also be a sign of increased intranet use where content is concerned. You can compare access metrics between the newly adopted intranet and older digital productivity system if one was used.

Truth Source and Accessibility

The intranet should host the most current version of any document or other material. This includes company policy documentation and other types of official content. If a reduction of confusion is sensed around employees knowing the status of a given issue, this could be a sign that the intranet is fulfilling its purpose as the keeper of the truth source. 

Are employees finding what they need? An intranet should provide universal access to company content. If employees seem to be getting what they are looking for, the intranet is doing well in this regard.

The above methods are by no means exhaustive. Creative thinking can yield a multitude of metrics to take into account. The end goal is to see if users are actually creating and using the intranet-housed content. A simple survey could provide a good enough answer. Or just ask around the office. Regardless of whether the intranet is useful or annoying, the user base will let you know.

Reach More Employees

Some employees rarely or ever make use of computer workstations. Their role may not require it. A successful intranet makes it easy for these unplugged employees to login and enjoy its advantages, namely in the realm of communication and news. Even if some employees weren't issued a workstation by the company, the intranet can be downloaded to their personal mobile device as an app. 

measure success social intranet - mobile

The reach of the intranet can be determined by the total number of active users as a percentage of the entire workforce. Other indicators such as the number of completed user profiles and mobile logins can also prove insightful. It is useful to look into the degree that intranet communication is replacing other channels for employees who don't often use computers at work. Are they not using warehouse landlines as often? Has driving between worksites been reduced?

If you see an increase in the number of employees actively using the intranet, you can surmise that it is useful to them. Digging further to see exactly how different users across departments interact with the intranet is useful in determining how certain roles are impacted by the adoption. The closer the number of active users is to the total number of employees, the better.

Make Communication Easier

Obstacles that hinder effective communication cause collective efforts to suffer. What exactly constitutes efficient communication depends on the situation but email is widely considered to be at the bottom of the hierarchy of preferred mediums. Social intranets have tools such as news feeds and social timelines which allow users to engage in discussion threads that are attached directly to the subject article or post. The conversation takes place closer to the source, which is more organized and easier to follow than having everything disjointedly piled into an email inbox. By gauging the time spent in email after adoption, the extent to which users are engaging with the intranet's communication features can be gleaned.

Taking a glance at the amount and type of chatter in news and social timeline threads will give you an idea of how much communication is being taken away from older mediums and occurring closer to the topic source. It's a good sign when social timeline and news chatter are lively and active.

Linchpin social intranet timeline

Don’t let mere statistics bring you down

Gathering data on the number of completed user profiles, the number of users are logging on and percent reduction in email correspondence can all be very helpful in determining how successful the intranet adoption has been. It is said that numbers don't lie, but they also don't tell the whole story. Sometimes, metrics such as these can create false confidence regarding the issue under consideration. Numbers certainly help, but the focus should be on how users feel about using the intranet.

At the End of the Day

Are people actually using it? That's the ultimate question. If users are logging in and spending time with the intranet, it's a pretty good sign that they're getting value out of it (assuming they're not being forced to do so). An open and loosely structured survey is useful for getting feedback on how the intranet is impacting employees. If they like it, they'll figure out a way to express their sentiments. Employees are happier when they have fewer obstacles in their way. This in turn leads to a more productive workforce. If an intranet is effective in making a user's daily workflow easier, the advantages will be obvious to them. 


Some creativity will be required when determining how to gauge the effectiveness of your company intranet. Some hard metrics are available while other qualitative data will need to be acquired via the use of surveys or interviews. Linchpin, an intranet-based on Atlassian Confluence, has training to ensure that your intranet launch runs smoothly. You can also test-drive Linchpin anytime you like for free.

Further Reading

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