3 steps to intranet governance that actually works
In our last post on how organisations can ensure intranet success, we met sales executive Glenn. Glenn and his colleagues avoided using the intranet because they couldn’t find the information they needed – even if this meant working overtime to write proposals from scratch.
The IT director at Glenn’s work, Steve, has been listening to their complaints. He knows the organisation’s intranet needs more than just improved information architecture – the information governance structure needs some attention too.
Setting up or modifying information governance for your intranet can be tricky, but there are a few things that both you and Steve can do to stay on track.
In part two of our four-part intranet success series, we’ll show how to create an intranet governance structure that works for you.
What is information governance?
There’s no one right way to define information governance, but in simple terms it’s a framework for using information effectively.
Information governance describes how users create, store and use information on the intranet, and usually includes the processes, roles, permissions, standards and measurements needed for the implementation to meet its goals.
Why every intranet needs good governance
Good information governance gives users a standard way to deal with and manage information. It provides easy access to information that users need to do their jobs, while preventing information overload.
Other benefits of a sound intranet governance document include:
- users know their roles and responsibilities when using the system
- new content is controlled effectively
- continuous improvement strategies are clear
- content review processes are well described and managed
- identifying opportunities for value adding through collaboration and co-creation.
How to build your information governance structure
Your governance structure should make sure that users have ownership of the intranet and know:
- what they can and can’t do
- how to keep content up to date, timely and relevant
- exactly what their responsibilities are.
Steps to creating effective intranet governance plan should include:
- Create a governance team
A governance team, drawn from several business areas can provide a broad business focus to the implementation and assist in delivering a successful intranet that grows and matures with the organisation. Identify the roles and responsibilities of the committee in rolling out change and make sure the team meets regularly.
- Develop a clearly defined roadmap
All governance activities will evolve around this roadmap, so put in the time and effort to make sure it is well defined early in the project.
- Include a training plan
All content, site and IT administrators should have access to appropriate training materials and ways of developing the skills they need. Develop a training plan which shows how users will obtain any skills they don’t have.
- Define processes carefully
It is important to define the processes users will use for things like content or feature change requests. If you build in effective workflow structures early, it will be easy for new content to be added, reviewed and published.
The governance plan should define how to handle the need for major change. This may include the development of a wish list form for ad hoc ideas or a more structured intranet project request form for more major solutions.
So here are our tips for information governance success
As with any project, good planning can minimise the risk of things going wrong when implementing a new information governance structure. Because there is no simple answer to the extent of governance that you need, research and planning about your organisation’s needs are important.
Lack of governance can lead to content being ineffective, outdated, irrelevant or lacking quality, but over-governance can lead to users feeling restricted and stifle innovation.
7 ways to overcome roadblocks
- The intranet governance should be simple enough to allow users to apply minor changes easily without getting frustrated.
- The governance should address ways for users to take ownership of their intranet space.
- Create simple and decentralised permission management processes.
- Make plans for how to communicate quickly with different work environments so that all users receive the same message.
- Explore ways to avoid your intranet governance becoming too rigid so that it can adapt quickly as required.
- Remember that the intranet project does not finish with the rollout to users.
- Your intranet governance should include plans for growing and evolving the project throughout its lifecycle.
Armed with a clear roadmap, a sound governance plan and a capable intranet committee, your intranet will have the stability, structure and processes to grow, adapt and evolve with your business.
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