Digital Success or Digital Disaster? – Mark Morrell offers guidance

There are very few books on intranet management so this book from Mark Morrell, courtesy of the Intranatverk organisation, is very welcome. However the scope is broader than just intranets. The title indicates that it will also be useful for web sites and digital workplaces. Mark has a great deal of experience as an intranet manager, both at British Telecom and then as a consultant, and his practical experience at ensuring intranets have high quality content and a focus on business requirements comes across strongly in this e-book. In many instances he quotes (anonymously!) from some of the projects he has worked on. The six chapters cover strategy development, governance principles, governance frameworks, governance hierarchy, publishing standards and finally the benefits of adopting a strong intranet governance approach. The book runs to almost 200 pages and so is a substantial contribution to the intranet literature.

The book is very much a personal statement by Mark on the importance of governance frameworks and content quality standards in intranet management. I would have appreciated references to other books or web resources on the subject, especially with regard to SharePoint intranet implementations where attention to governance detail is absolutely critical.  I would also have liked to have seen more checklists as a way of making sure I had fully understood the guidance. They would also provide a framework for prioritization and action with the intranet team.

There is much of value in this book but you have to work a little too hard to find it. This is because although each chapter runs to between 20 and 30 pages but there is no detailed list of chapter contents and no index. As a result you have to scan through each chapter, a process not helped by sub-heading typography that does not give a strong sense of structure. The page layout is fine for a printed version but in pdf format the change in margin width from even to odd page numbers is also distracting, especially when scanning through at speed.

Don’t let this discourage you from buying a copy at just £10.99. There is no other book (even mine!) covering governance issues in such detail and even experienced intranet and web managers will benefit from working through the book screen by screen.

Martin White