Governance Framework: Part Two- Information Management
Automated readability scoring can assist content creators to keep their text simple. These scores generally count syllables per word, characters per word, words per sentence, etc. to come up with a “grade level” roughly equivalent to a U.S. education level required to read the text. While the scores are far from perfect, the general readability will remind authors that the majority of their readership will not read English as a native language. These scores will also help keep automated translation services more accurate. This is best practice for globally consumed content published centrally or divisionally. Teams and functional areas would not necessarily need to address machine translation issues unless they found a particular need.
Companies should seek legal counsel as to whether these or any other regulations apply to their intranet.
There are laws and regulations regarding the accessibility of computer systems. Any company may or not be obliged to meet these criteria. These scans and techniques should be applied when economically feasible. Further information can be found about federal law, Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 at www.section508.gov.
These issues are raised as there are often configuration settings with content and collaborative management systems that enable accessibility compliance. More and more, these are on by default, but in some cases, vendors may reduce functionality (i.e., flashier features) to ensure a passing score on evaluations.
Companies publishing a great volume of internal news, using designated editors and authors should adopt a style guide just like any other journalist. We recommend evaluating any of the following:
- Yahoo Style Guide, which is now ironically available in print & kindle
- Associated Press Stylebook, or derivatives thereof.
- Wikipedia: Manual of Style http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style
The matter of importance here is that a high bar be set for singularity of voice and grammatical correctness. Where many bloggers may fail at this, the general expectation for internal communications and the authority they carry is high. Simple mistakes can make an otherwise important post a running joke.
Parallel approval for speed
With broadened authorship across the company, content managers’ new role as approvers to content may become overwhelmed. Expectations for more content delivered more quickly may produce strain on those resources when fulfilling other duties. For these reasons, name at least two approvers for every content repository that requires approval workflow. In instances when multiple approvals are necessary, streamline the processes so that they may approve in parallel rather than in a serial workflow.
To avoid dead-ends, give each approval process a fixed time window for action. Depending on the critical nature of the repository, content either should be rejected (low priority) or escalated to the next level of management (high priority). The number of escalations per repository must be monitored to measure the effectiveness of the approval workflow. Delinquent repositories need either new approvers or more of them.
Brand ownership within most global companies is tightly controlled. Violations normally occur when contributors are not typically involved in graphic design and struggle to invent – borrowing from advertisements or other sources incorrectly. For this reason, templates and media libraries with pre-approved graphics will be made available for the decoration of the intranet. The use of templates and galleries will drastically limit the number of violations. While it is not possible to automatically monitor brand violation, training must include its importance.