CIO Insight has a brief interview with Jakob Nielsen called Time for a Redesign.

“an average mid-size company can expect a return on investment of 1,000 percent, and a gain of $5 million a year in employee productivity, simply by improving the usability of its intranet.”

I’m just about to start on an intranet redesign project so this article was timely. In fact it probably would have made the case for me. Fortunately the company and their web agency were open minded enough to get me on board early on without needing a detailed cost-benefit analysis.

While I didn’t have Nielsen’s numbers at hand during the initial meeting, I did say something to the effect of “okay, you have over 10,000 employees, 70% of them access your intranet on a regular basis. That means at least 35,000 visits to the site we are redesigning each week, or 1.75 million visits a year. Let’s say that my work shaves only 3 minutes off each visit by reducing confusion and the time it takes to get to key tasks. That works out to over 10,000 staff days in savings. That’s the equivalent of 32 full time staff a year.”

I can’t imagine a more compelling argument for getting expert help in redesigning internal sites as well as customer facing ones.