My latest book, What every intranet team should know, has generated a great buzz, perhaps due to the stripy cover! It seems that the contents are also proving valuable, and we’ve had a few new reviews in the last week or two:
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 new 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.
Ephraim Julius Freed, Intranet Manager, Oxfam America (USA)
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 at US$ 89!
Jane McConnell, NetStrategy/JMC (France)
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 — a tool from the IT department that needs little intervention. Hopefully all this is changing. But this change also means that the organisation has to deal with skills gaps. They either have to groom internal talent or source talent from the industry. Both are frustrating affairs when you don’t know what you’re dealing with. This is where James Robertson’s book, What every intranet team should know, shines.
I was consulting for an intranet redesign when James announced his book. I ordered multiple copies immediately. I gave one copy to the client’s project team and I’m happy to say that the conversations are at a higher level these days — more focused on action rather than on conceptual understanding.
Many of the ideas that James presents in his book are ideas that he’s already touched upon in his resourceful blog, Column Two. However, having all these ideas arranged for a quick read, and in fine print I must add, is quite priceless. It just works better.
So if you want to have more focused conversations with your clients or stakeholders around intranet management, just grab a copy of this book and give it to them.
Maish Nichani, Pebble Road (Singapore)
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.
Michael Sampson (New Zealand)
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”
Anette Wittenberg, IntraTeam A/S (Denmark)
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.
Rob Tarling (UK)