By Doug Allen, C5 Insight.
One of the things that I think most companies struggle with is governance, specifically in context of an intranet. If you read my blog you know I talk about mostly SharePoint, but good governance can and should apply to really to any platform.
We previously talked about how to tell if your governance has too far where he talked about good intentions with governance but really focused on the impacts of bad governance. I strongly encourage you to give that a read if you haven’t.
We actually devote a whole section of our Building a Better Intranet workshop to governance because it’s that important, and yet so many companies don’t even think about it. In today’s post I wanted to pull out 3 tips that are important aspects of balanced governance.
Define Your Vision
The vision and business strategy provide a critical foundation to your governance strategy. This is one of the first things that you define with governance, as it drives and affects the rest of the implementation of your governance overall plan.
This is where you ultimately answer the WHY question – Why do we have an intranet, and what is it used for? As your intranet goes from planning to implementation to ongoing maintenance, every decision, enhancement or change should align to the vision of the intranet. Should it be the one-stop shop for centralizing all the applications, or devoted as a Content Management platform? When someone wants to implement a social platform in the intranet, does this follow the vision?
This keeps keeps our wheels on the road and driving in the correct lane as we need to weigh these options for changes that will always come up.
Adapt Don’t Adopt
I’ve had people reach out to me and ask, “Where can I download a governance template”? Yes, Google will provide you with a some sample Word templates, and for the SharePoint folks Microsoft TechNet provides some posters and other resources relating to governance.
When we say Adapt Don’t Adopt, I mean there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. What’s important to one business may not make sense for your business. This is a framework; use it as guidelines for planning your intended use of your intranet platform of choice. A template can be a good starting point, but be sure to remove what you don’t need, but add what you do need.
Deal With That ROT!
At the core of any intranet could arguably always be the content. This could be file-based content like in a CMS style of intranet, or you may be using your intranet for more portal/publishing style of intranet with page and list-based content.
However you store content (and actually file shares the worst offenders of this by far), there needs to be guidelines of how your active content is kept up-to-date and fresh (hence increasing user adoption). So what is ROT?
Your governance plan should include polices and guidelines for how content should be kept, for how long, when is it approved, when it is archived or deleted. It’s critical to consider this whenever you are doing an upgrade, or if you are about to migrate some file shares to the intranet. The content needs to be analyzed every so often, and archived or deleted when it is no longer useful.