Governance Framework: Part One- Strategy

Katie Kurz
April 28, 2015

Frameworks for the Future

The components of governance are typically broken down into areas of functional interest, assigning roles to enforce the policies.  The most obvious, and normally first to be addressed by an organization, are the technical constraints so the system can perform adequately and cost effectively with the IT resources applied to it.  Next is application management, which is normally a cross-functional area of IT and management.  This defines who owns systems and how new systems are deployed.  The last function is the area in most need: informational governance, what content is placed on the intranet, when it is done and by whom.

Centralized and Local Governance

As an intranet will increase in content, it must be explicitly declared what will be controlled by centralized governance, as opposed to delegated control to divisions and other suborganizations.  Any interpretation or restatement of human resources policies apply globally and are centrally enforced.  The design and branding of an intranet must remain consistent throughout the system.  This is passively enforceable through templating the pages within the system.  The highest levels of information architecture are also controlled centrally, though secondary information architectures are encouraged.  These three points establish universal codes of conduct, identity and navigation to an intranet.

Much of the content on a traditional intranet is deserving of central control.  A high degree of governance and message-control is needed for the homepage and centralized resources, such as human resources’ communications. 

Ascendum blog

Companies may want to consider random surveillance for content that is not centrally governed.  These periodic and random samples of sites can occasionally uncover policy infractions.  The scope and frequency of these scans should be planned with the personnels’ capacity to review the scans and follow-through with enforcement.  Even if small and annual, the threat of being picked up on a random scan is an effective deterrent for misbehavior. Divisional information, which is distributed to a global audience, should be controlled at that level.  It is not proper to expect that a central administrator can oversee the content details and needs of each division, let alone every team and department across the company.  Similarly, each division will want to tightly control its homepage, but the content of individual projects will largely go unsupervised by parties outside the project team itself.  Instead, in the team and project work space levels, and certainly at the personal website level, templates and general guidelines will be all there is to execute control. Thus, the next segment will discuss Information Management in relation to governance framework in SharePoint. 

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