What every intranet team should know


Provides a succinct overview of managing and growing intranets, providing the definitive ‘quick start’ guide for intranet and project teams.

An ideal book to provide to managers and stakeholders, that can be quickly digested and acted on.

This book sits alongside James’ two other books, Essential intranets and Designing intranets, which together create an invaluable library for successful teams.

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Product Description

This is the definitive ‘quick start’ guide to intranets, providing intranet teams with a to-the-point overview of how to plan, design, manage and grow intranets. A beautifully printed A5-sized 110-page book, this volume covers key topics for every intranet team:

  • Six phases of intranet evolution
  • Four purposes of the intranet
  • How to find out what staff need
  • How to design the intranet
  • How to deliver great content
  • The role of the intranet team
  • How to plan intranet improvements

Few teams have time to read a weighty tome on intranets, and what is needed is a clear ‘map’ for delivering a successful intranet. Drawing on experience from intranet teams across the globe, every page of this book provides key insights, ideas, models and methodologies. Use this book to kick-start your intranet to the next level, and provide your team with a foundation for daily work.

Build your intranet library

This book combines with our two other books,  Essential intranets and Designing intranets. Together, they provide an invaluable intranet library for all teams.

Additional Information

Weight 0.28 kg
Dimensions 21 x 15 x 1 cm



  1. There cannot be many intranet managers who have not benefited from the wealth of insight and encouragement that James Robertson offers through the reports and papers published by his company, and through his Column Two blog. The volume of content that he and his colleagues have created is vast (over two hundred articles on the web site alone) to the extent that intranet teams almost need a Step Two Librarian to manage it. Now James, together with his colleagues, has written What Every Intranet Team Should Know. It will, I am sure, become a benchmark book on intranet management.The book has seven chapters, which cover the six phases of intranet evolution, the four roles for an intranet, how to find out what staff need, how to design the intranet, how to deliver great content, the role of the intranet team and how to plan intranet improvements. James has capitalised on previously published content but in doing so has condensed the material into 100 pages of a small-format (A5 size) book without sacrificing anything in the way of clarity of writing style and a strong sense of his own personality. Don’t be put off by the fact that the book is only 100 pages in length. Although the title assumes there is an intranet team don’t be put off by this if you are working on your own, perhaps in a part time role. You will benefit from this book as much as an established team will.James writes in the introduction: “As we have learned about intranets, we have seen a number of fundamental concepts and approaches emerge that can guide intranet teams to greater success. We have captured the most important of these ideas in this book, to act as a guide for intranet teams and the organisations they serve.” It is this distillation of the good practice that makes this book so valuable.Every intranet manager (and quite a few consultants!) will benefit from this book. It is an exceptional contribution to the development of excellent intranets, and also an invaluable book to give to those senior managers who still (amazingly) do not understand the benefits of investing in an intranet team.

  2. James Robertson, founder of Step Two Designs, has written the missing intranet book. What every intranet team should know is a practical, reassuring handbook that will make every new intranet manager feel they now know what they have to do. At last, it’s all in one place!Experienced intranet managers will find it to be a fast, efficient review of everything they know they should know but sometimes neglect. A “checklist” book that is clearly worth it’s price!

  3. Regardless of whether you are a seasoned Intranet Professional or just getting started with your first Intranet design, I highly recommend adding What Every Intranet Team Should Know by James Robertson of Step Two Designs to your library. At 110 pages, this handbook packs a wealth of valuable information into a quick-read offering a background understanding of the evolution of Intranets, guidance on identifying the needs of your organization, and useful tips on designing a solution that meets those needs.Rather than trying to educate the reader on every possible situation that could be encountered in an Intranet build or redesign, Robertson focuses on sharing industry best practices and real-world experiences that the reader can easily adopt. Robertson’s straight-forward writing style, coupled with sample images and supporting graphics makes the content easy to understand and apply.Although the book might appear small at first glance, Robertson proves that good things come in small packages by tackling complex issues such as requirements gathering, usability design, and governance. Each chapter provides clear, actionable steps while surfacing potential pitfalls and providing guidance on how to avoid them. Throughout the text, Robertson progressively lays out the fundamental concepts necessary to understand not only how to design an Intranet, but how to design one that your employees will actually use.What Every Intranet Team Should Know has found a permanent place in my library and will become a must-read for those involved in current and future Intranet projects.

  4. Successful intranets don’t happen by accident. James Robertson, Intranet Guru and founder of Step Two Designs has combined 10 years of experience into 110 pages covering topics every intranet teams should know about. Definitely well spent dollars to beat the odds and lead your intranet to great success.

  5. What every intranet team should know is the Tao Te Ching of intranet development material and I will always keep a copy of this book on my desk within immediate reach.In this book, James Robertson captures virtually every intranet development best practice in a clear and useful manner. I have spent hundreds of hours reading intranet blogs for good ideas and best practices, but this book captures all of it in one compact framework. Written in a highly usable and easily reference-able format, What every intranet team should know avoids technical and industry jargon, instead presenting good ideas in straight-forward language.The book conveys practical and pragmatic wisdom and provides a complete road map for effective intranet building. Use the clearly targeted chapters to assess your current intranet, discover user and business needs, plan intranet improvements, build a highly useful site structure, provide useful content, streamline specific business processes and avoid the common pitfalls of weak intranet development approaches.I recommend this book to intranet professionals who are really serious about providing real value to their businesses and helping staff do their jobs better. Keep a copy on your desk and return to its pages regularly.

  6. With such an ambitious title, the question automatically arises – what can a little book with 100 pages actually cover? Will this book be able to answer all the questions regarding the intranet? Will consultants become redundant in Intranet projects because of this book? Will the book help to develop an intranet strategically and to optimize it?After reading the book we can answer the first two questions with “yes and no.” Especially the answer to question 3 is a clear and convinced “Yes!”James Robertson discusses all the issues that challenge intranet managers across continents and industries. Any organization discusses content, organization, design and the development of the intranet.. The author provides guidelines and remarkably short and stunning statements on each of these topics, e.g.: About the purpose of an intranet: Intranets have a clear goal: help staff do their jobs. About staff as sources for intranet optimization: Staff know an awful lot about the work they do, but they do not know a lot about intranet (nor do they need to!) About Intranet content: Not all content needs to be of equal quality.Does this sound obvious? The popular usability book by Steve Krug is titled “Do not Make Me Think”. The intention of James Robertson is the exact opposite: he wants his readers to reflect on the intranet and its design.This book will help intranet managers to concentrate on the most important intranet issues. Take advantage of the ideas from this book and you will get along your next intranet project with fewer days of external consultants. The advantage for consultants is that they can conduct meetings and projects with a clearer purpose and greater focus on really implementing measures – even if they can bill fewer hours. You no longer have to first clarify the conceptual understanding. Projects run smoother and are more fun.Overall, the book provides a lot of media competence on the Intranet and embodies media competence in itself: it is clearly structured, it points to Internet content, it provides summaries for fast readers and important points are illustrated by graphics.A “must read” for all intranet managers.

  7. Excellent book to introduce intranet teams to the world of intranets. James Robertson has collected all his words of wisdom from his articles in a clear and easy book, that will help intranet teams avoid the worst mistakes and get a good start when redesigning their intranet.

  8. I am increasingly of the opinion that no knowledge management effort can avoid the intranet. It is a vital and central instrument of any large scale knowledge management effort, and the ability to work with and through the corporate intranet is also a test of whether knowledge management can really integrate with the work of an organization, rather than being seen as an ancillary – sometimes distracting – exercise. (This means, by the way, that if KM is just a section of your intranet, you have a long way to go). The intranet is not the only instrument of KM, but it is a critical one. And so when I saw the announcement of James Robertson’s book, What Every Intranet Team Should Know, my attention lit up.This is a long overdue book from James Robertson. For several years, he has been publishing in the form of short articles his luminously clear (and, one suspects, hard won) insights into the complex work behind making intranets functional and useful. He has also been publishing commercially longer reports and developing a range of methodologies, which lie behind the success of his company’s consulting services.What’s been missing is the big picture, the integrated view, a simple approach to a complex job, presented in one easily comprehended sweep. This book, in just over a hundred beautifully clear pages, provides just that. James Robertson writes like the intranets he advocates: the book is direct, clean, attractive, simple – and above all, useful.I will be recommending this book as standard issue to my clients, and will keep it close to hand. I can think of no better endorsement to give.

  9. James has put a lot of intranet challenges in perspective and written a good and easily read book. We will use his book as we use his knowledge about intranet for all our members in our communities of practices in Denmark and Sweden.

  10. The idea of having a team to manage and sustain the intranet still raises eyebrows. It was not that long ago that the intranet had the same position in the organisation as the e-mail exchange server

  11. If you need inspiration on structured ways of collecting data, I can strongly recommend Australian intranet guru James Robertson’s new book “What every intranet team should know” which is full of helpful methods for intranet and web teams alike.

  12. As any Intranet Manager knows only too well there are few silver bullets to achieving effectiveness. That said, however, after some twenty years of praxis in the field of Intranet design there are emergent guidelines – some might say “best practices” – for achieving success in what is a graveyard slot in web solution design.Quite simply, Robertson’s (and his colleagues) book is excellent, and quite unique in the field. Without going into detail, the material is based on a summation of his company’s ongoing work in providing practical consulting advice on Intranets to a wide range of companies. What’s gratifying about the book is that within this slim volume there is gold which can only be found by working on the front line.

  13. The book is beautiful … it’s beautifully printed (now that I know about such things!), it’s easy to read (lots of white space), it’s got easy-to-engage-with pictures and diagrams throughout, and the content itself is good. It’s the sort of book that you buy and give to others who don’t know what you do … whether they are your manager or spouse (hat tip, Dorje for that piece of intelligence). It provides a concise overview of the role of the intranet, the intranet team, and the various activities that go into making the intranet valuable. For all of these reasons, the book is a great and highly recommended addition to your intranet bookshelf, or to the justification within your firm about what you do.

  14. James Robertson has written a straightforward and useful guide to intranet teams. Follow his clear recommendations and you are well on your way to unleashing any untapped intranet potential.Don’t let intranets be governed by chance and fickle management. Adapt the James Robertson methodologies and gain from his advice for a structured and sensible approach to successful intranet development

  15. James Robertson is acknowledged as one the world’s leading intranet experts so I would highly recommend that you spend some time trawling through James’s blog which is a treasure trove of all thing intranet. I would also recommend his book, What every team should know, as being the best overview of intranets that has been written.

  16. Intranet is bij menig organisatie nog een ondergeschoven kindje. Of het kindje van de IT-afdeling. Of het kindje van de communicatie-afdeling. Een ondergeschoven kindje is te herkennen aan de oude – vaak hǸǸl erg oude – content die lang geleden is geplaatst en nooit meer is ververst. Niemand komt daar nog.Het IT-kindje is te herkennen aan alles dat knippert en beweegt en de verborgen zoekknop die toch niks zal gaan vinden. Het communicatiekindje is een vlot online krantje met nieuwsberichten die alleen de afdeling communicatie boeien.Hoe het dan wǸl moet? James Robertson heeft dat beschreven in ‘What every intranet team should know’. Prettig leesbaar, maar 110 pagina’s dik en boordevol praktische tips van iemand die het kan weten. Een aanrader om mee te nemen op vakantie!

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Our best-selling books Essential intranetsDesigning intranets and What every intranet team should know have been read by teams around the globe. They give invaluable guidance for intranet projects, whether planning a brand-new intranet, or revamping an existing site.

Like all Step Two publications, they are:

  • targeted to the real-world needs of teams
  • clear, concise and well-structured
  • product and vendor agnostic
  • up to date, with full-colour screenshots throughout

Buy in bulk and save

Purchase bulk orders, and make these savings:

  • 5+ copies, save 10%
  • 10+ copies, save 15%
  • 25+ copies, save 20%
  • 50+ copies, save 30%

These discounts apply to your total order, so you can mix-and-match as you want. For example, purchase 5 copies of “Essential intranets” and 5 copies of “Designing intranets”, and get the 10+ copy discount.

Simply add the books to your shopping cart, and the discounted price will be applied automatically. We’ve also set up shipping costs for bulk orders, making it all a one-step process. Easy!

Why make a bulk purchase?

For intranet teams:

  • stock up the intranet team’s “lending library”
  • provide copies of the books to decentralised content owners and authors
  • provide copies of the books as intranet anniversary or Christmas “presents”

For educational institutions:

  • provide the books as a standard texts for KM, information management or UX courses

For product vendors and implementers:

  • giving the books as promotional gifts to prospective or current customers
  • using the books to help customers deliver a great intranet
  • giving copies to the sales team, to get them up to speed quickly
  • using the books as inspiration for product upgrades

For consulting firms:

  • build in-house skills amongst the consulting team
  • provide a foundation for intranet design methodologies
  • educate customers on the importance of intranet design
  • offer them as “thank you” gifts to customers