Fifteen essential elements that should be on your intranet governance checklist

One of our most popular posts has been our intranet governance checklist, a list of some of the essential ingredients that intranet teams need to have in place to establish robust governance to make an intranet successful and sustainable. Given the evolution of intranets over the last three years, the growth of the digital workplace and other practices such as agile methodologies, we thought the time was right to revisit the checklist. You can check out our original list and then compare it to our new, more detailed list below.

Intranet governance are the elements that stop intranets failing

Governance sounds quite a dry topic and even more so if we define it as the collection of policies, processes, roles, standards, rules and guidance that makes your intranet run every day. However, it is essential, so perhaps another way to think about it is as those elements which stop your intranet failing.

Over the years weve seen many intranets that need rescuing. Adoption might be very low, content might be inaccurate, items may be very hard to find and trust from users and stakeholders has been eroded.  The reasons for failure are numerous, but along the way there is almost always a lack of intranet governance or governance that has been poorly executed or has simply evaporated over time. Interestingly the reasons we listed in our original post, are all still true today. To recap:

Lack of input from the business at design and after launch

When an intranet doesnt involve the business, it can end up lacking support and buy-in from stakeholders, and in turn credibility from users. It can also end up as a technology rather than business initiative. The lack of support means it is very hard to drive improvement, get good adoption, or achieve strategic relevance.

Lack of content strategy

Intranets rely on good content. Without a strategy around the content lifecycle and without a taxonomy or effective use of metadata, intranets end up a sprawling mess with out of date content and poor findabilty.

Lack of stewardship and support

Without guidance and training for business stakeholders, the intranet and its constituent sites lack quality and consistency. The intranet is confusing and effectively becomes a digital Wild West.

Lack of funding and resources

Intranets need people to run them and budget to drive capabilities and upgrades. Most intranets are already under-resourced. If they are not properly funded, they fail.

Poor technical infrastructure

A lack of technical governance leads to slow and buggy platforms, as well as barriers such as a lack of Single Sign-On. This leads to frustration and dwindling adoption.

Poor user experience

Weve been battling against badly designed and poorly structured intranets from day one. Users, content owners and stakeholders give up on an intranet with poor UX.

Lack of senior level support

If you dont have the support of senior stakeholders or different groups such as IT your intranet can not only lack resources, but also lack direction.

Lack of alignment to the digital workplace and related roadmap

Heres one we didnt mention last time around!  The line between intranet and digital workplace is increasingly blurred. If your intranet doesnt align to your Office 365 roadmap or other digital workplace plans and platforms, your intranet really is missing a trick and will be less relevant in the medium to long term.

An intranet governance checklist for 2020

Heres our view of 15 key elements you need to establish for robust intranet governance.

1.Intranet strategy and roadmap

A documented strategy and roadmap covering the fundamental purpose of the intranet, its current direction, how it aligns to your organisational strategy, and its key objectives and aims. Ideally this should also include criteria for success.

2.Steering committee

Most intranets for larger organisations have some kind of steering committee which represents different functions (IT, Comms, HR etc.) and may include the heads of these functions. A steering committee will sign-off strategy, make or ratify major decisions and generally make sure the intranet is going in the right direction. Some larger organisations have a more senior steering committee and more of a working group.  Groups have a purpose and meet regularly.

3.Roles and responsibilities and related ownership

It takes many different roles to run an intranet. These should be defined and can include individuals and groups. It can cover the central intranet team, your steering committee, as well as site managers, owners, and associated content roles. There will also be specialist and technical roles, for example in IT or covering search. As well as defining roles, associated ownership should be defined. The ideal way to do this is through a RACI matrix

4.Content strategy

A content strategy should define all your content governance measures and should understand the purpose of content, the types of content and how they are being delivered. A document content strategy should be based on user research and also align to your wider intranet strategy and roadmap.

5.Design and brand standards

Design and brand standards help to define the look and feel of your intranet reflected in site and page templates, but also how content should be laid out and some use of imagery, for example brand standards can also define element such as tone of voice. Generally, design and brand standards are usually already defined for external digital channels and may need to be adapted for internal-facing channels.

6.Publishing standards and related guidelines

Publishing standards should follow design and brand standards but are usually more specific, covering different types of intranet content, and could include elements such as guidelines for structure, tone of voice, formatting and spelling policies.

7.Technical and compliance standards and related processes

Like any other application, intranets will need to meet a number of different standards and criteria,  to ensure that they are compliant with legal and regulatory commitments, as well as being fully secure and being compatible with your wider IT infrastructure. Usually IT and risk due diligence processes will cover these elements, but when there are upgrades, changes or new circumstances (such as updated GDPR guidance or a security issue, for example) then your governance framework should have appropriate processes in place.  These standards will also cover elements such as authentications standards, password formats etc.

8.Usage policies

Its always sensible to have a usage policy on what can and cannot be posted on the intranet, for example. You may hardly ever have to refer to it and it may be largely common sense, but if someone does report inappropriate content it can be important to have something in writing to then guide any subsequent actions.

9.Content lifecycle management processes

Your content strategy will also help to define the processes around content lifecycle management. Managing your content through the lifecycle is absolutely essential to ensure it is accurate, up to date and findable. Lifecycle management includes approval processes, regular reviews (automated if possible) and archiving, as well as establishing clear ownership of content right down to the page level.

10.Approved tools

Digital workplaces are complex and involve multiple tools. Although not necessarily intranet governance, a digital workplace governance framework usually defines which tools are approved for use, something that can include publishing, communication and collaboration tools, all of which may involve the intranet. A related matrix of the best tools to use for what purpose can also be very helpful. A list of approved tools may also dictate the contents of a service or apps catalogue, usually available on the intranet.

11.Site provisioning and decommissioning

A really important part of any governance framework is to have a process around site commissioning and decommissioning This can mean sites need to go through an approval process before being created. Sites can mean content, team, community or collaboration sites. Having a process in place helps you to ensure that your environment remains tidy, minimises risk, avoids irrelevant or duplicate sites, helps you to gather important role and metadata information and more.

12.Feedback mechanisms

Your governance should include mechanisms to gather feedback and then processes to act on it. User feedback is very important for helping improve your intranet but also reporting where there are any issues. An intranet should have a system for users to submit feedback, give ideas and report offensive content. Additionally, you could set up formal groups of users, content owners and super users who can give more structured controlled feedback on a regular basis.

13.Support structures

A governance framework should include support structures to answer questions and resolve issues for users, content owners and super-users. The support structure may include the IT helpdesk but also communities of experts and even champions.


Your governance should include the process for any training needed for content owners and editors, super users, authors, site or community managers or even users on the intranet. This may dovetail with training approaches for other elements of the digital workplace, for Office 365 and should include a process to introduce training for new joiners and those taking up intranet or collaboration-related roles. Sometimes the granting of permissions is subject to training being carried out.

15.Measurement plan

A measurement plan that is aligned to the criteria for success defined in the intranet strategy. This should define the metrics and analytics used to track success, any associated KPIs, and processes for evaluating metrics and then taking appropriate action to make intranet improvements.

Creating your own intranet governance framework

No intranet governance framework is the same, so youll need to create your own to suit the needs of your organization, stakeholders and intranets. Creating the framework also usually benefits from input from those who will be involved, as this can help to drive acceptance and adherence to the different parts of the framework.  Realistically it can also take some work to be able to implement all the elements, and it can also evolve over time. If youd like to discuss creating your own intranet governance framework or to let us know any elements that weve left out, when why not get in touch?

Microsoft Teams intranet by Wizdom

Help users work efficiently in Office 365 groups and teams. Wizdom prevents Office 365 sprawl, keeps your self-service environment tidy, and offers users a one-stop digital workplace in Microsoft Teams.

Contain and create MS Teams your way

Catch sprawl in its making. Wizdom allows you to control the Microsoft Teams creation process through approval flows and templates with fixed standards for privacy level, roles, theme and logo.

A built-in governance flow will clear away inactive MS Teams and create a clutter free environment for your business to collaborate in.

All the time you will stay in control of flows. Restore archived MS Teams and change processes if you like, but feel free to let go of tiresome manual tasks like creating a new Team every time its requested by a user.

A one-stop digital workplace in MS Teams

By bringing in a personalized and intelligent overview of content and tools across all systems, Wizdom breaks the silos between applications and delivers the ONE corporate dashboard in MS Teams you need to visit to keep up and get work done.

No more searching in silos and relying on memory to find the presentation you are looking for. No more checking and registering data in a multitude of applications to be on top of things.

When youve logged on to MS Teams, you have access to everything. Simply, everything you need to get work done.

As a Wizdom customer you will automatically receive Wizdom for MS Teams. If you are a new customer, you have the opportunity to upgrade to the full Wizdom intranet solution, after purchasing Wizdom for MS teams. Please reach out if you have any questions.


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Digital transformation through governance and simplicity

#1All Office 365 groups and teams automatically live up to company defined standards

By creating new teams based on fixed templates, users intuitively establish groups and teams with a suitable level of security and governance for the business purpose.

Data is systematically collected for each team created, ensuring all teams are optimized for findability and governance.

#2Approval flow controls teams creation

By adding a layer of either manual or automatic approval, Wizdom ensures there is a legitimate reason behind the creation of every new team.

#3Lifecycle management of all teams

A built-in governance flow requires team owners to regularly confirm relevancy of their teams in MS Teams. Ultimately, auto archiving will clear away inactive teams. No sweat though, a team can always be recovered if it becomes missed.

#4Your entire digital workplace delivered in MS Teams

Through system integrations and flows, Wizdom collects information and tools from all applications and services used by the business, and delivers these in MS Teams.

Each user gets a personalized and organized dashboard with all the tools, and information needed to get work done.

Eliminating frustration wasted on application silos and a complex landscape of collaboration tools, this makes MS Teams the perfect environment for employees to simply go and get work done.


Download the ‘Alleviate application chaos with Wizdom for MS Teams‘ brochure in PDF


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The original article was published here

MS Teams and the digital workplace infographic

What can you do with MS teams in the context of the digital workplace and to help with increasing employee engagement?

At Wizdom, we want you to get the best out of the latest Microsoft technology. But first, it’s important to know a bit about what that technology does.

We created this infographic to bring awareness about MS teams in the context of the digital workplace. Employee engagement and solving business needs with technology, figuring out the why what and how of MS teams in relation to your business, is on the top of our minds.

MS Teams infographic

We have included a text version of the infographic below

Microsoft Teams

What can you do with MS teams in the context of the digital workplace and to help with increasing employee engagement?

MS Teams governance

What to think about when working with MS Teams

When you have a house, you make sure all the foundations are stable and the materials are high quality. With a digital workplace, the same, valuable infrastructure needs to be thought about, along with the possibilities of extensions.

MS Teams affords you the strong infrastructure needed with a range of options to extend and build on top of a sound structure.

MS Teams & communication

Meetings, project management, file management, notifications

  • Integrate Planner software to manage timelines
  • Keep track of internal communications
  • Get a hold of rogue data within MS Teams
  • Be social with your distributed workforce

Personalize your dashboard with the tools you need

MS Teams and data

Analyze what is working within MS teams and keep track of MS Team creation

Employee usage of MS Teams

By tracking the usage of MS teams, you can make sure it is used in the right way and cut down on governance sprawl.

MS Teams and security

Data loss prevention, security compliance, and policies & procedures.

By including a powerful provisioning engine, MS Teams has become more readily available for projects requiring organizational collaboration, external project management where sensitive information needs to be secured, and on a community level, where sharing information quickly and in a well governed way is of the utmost importance.

Have questions about MS Teams? Get in touch with us.


The original article was published here

Microsoft Teams Governance

Dont let Microsoft Teams run out of control

It feels like nothing can stop the march of Microsoft Teams. Microsoft has declared it their fastest growing enterprise application with around half a million organisations using it. A figure that is set to rise. Microsoft also continue to invest in Teams, adding new features, folding in other capabilities like Skype for Business, and evolving ways to integrate with the rest of Office 365 and even third-party applications.

Individually within separate organisations, Teams adoption is also going well, helping to drive communication, collaboration and workflow. In some organisations Teams usage is positively exploding with people keen to try out the tool; many are finding it fills an essential gap for team communication and coordination, an area where other online tools have been less successful in the past.

Can Teams really run out of control?

This is great news for digital workplace teams and IT functions that have been tasked with promoting Teams. But Teams can also prove to be too successful. When Teams does go truly viral and where use is not being co-ordinated or managed in any way, it can lead to issues that ultimately may damage the overall success of the platform and the business value it delivers. These issues include:

  • Teams being used for purposes that its not best suited for, when a Yammer community or other collaboration tool would be better suited for a particular use case
  • Spaces that get set up initially, often to see what the fuss is all about, but then never end up getting used
  • A duplication of Teams spaces that are used for the same purpose, causing confusion for users and limiting collaboration
  • A proliferation of so many sites that individual users find it very difficult to keep on top of all their site updates and increasingly difficult to find what they need
  • A lack of clarity and confusion at the individual site level about what a Teams space has been set up for
  • Problems with who should be responsible for managing an individual Teams space if somebody leaves the organisation
  • People getting invited to Teams spaces that shouldnt be, resulting in individuals seeing sensitive content or being onboarded early onto Teams while it is still being rolled out

Does this really matter?

As any advanced enterprise technology gets rolled out there are inevitably going to be a few issues encountered, and a few bumps in the road can be expected. At first, as digital workplace professionals focus on adoption, they may care less about issues such as site proliferation; these issues are not necessarily serious. However, in the medium to long term, all the above issues highlighted can become real problems.

Individual users will find it hard to find individual Teams sites, but also the discussion threads and files within them. They will also find the overall ease of use of Teams starts to depreciate, with extra time and effort spent keeping up with too many sites.  The overall management of the platform will also become much harder. For example running any compliance processes across so many sites. Adoption of other collaboration and digital workplace tools may also suffer as Teams is perceived as the only tool in town.

Introducing appropriate governance

In the same way that email inboxes have become unwieldy, network file shares have become dumping grounds and SharePoint sites feel like a digital wild west, its all too easy to let Teams run out of control. The answer is to introduce some light governance that can help to prevent Teams running out of control, but without the governance becoming a barrier to usage or painful to manage.

By governance we mean some of the polices, processes and rules that need to be put in place to make Teams work in the best way for users, team and the whole organisation.

Some digital workplace and collaboration professional feel uneasy about putting governance in place because they worry it will stifle innovation and collaboration. It may also create an administrative overhead that they simply cannot manage.

It is true that too much governance can lead to issues. For example, if you are over-prescriptive about the use of Teams (and actively police it to check people are using it properly), need three levels of approval to actually create a Teams space and then have a policy to delete any Teams space that hasnt had anything added for two months, you will very quickly run into problems. Teams will become unusable and people will inevitably turn to other solutions.

But putting in an appropriate level of governance will lead to a better-managed platform and a better user experience of Teams.

What sort of governance does Teams need?

What governance measures are needed for each organisation varies, but we have observed the following as what works well:

  • On an organizational level, every Teams space has an owner who understands what their responsibilities are, with clarity over who is responsible for inviting individuals to a Teams space
  • A clear handover process is in place whenever a Teams owner leaves your organisation.
  • A search facility or process so individuals can search for other Teams before they create a new space, ensuring there is no duplication of sites
  • The ability to drive a consistent naming convention for Teams, supported on an organizational level.
  • Standard templates with meta data, with an overview of all existing Teams and Workspaces
  • A site provisioning process that may also take in other examples of collaboration sites (e.g. a community site) depending on the use case, so that the best type of space is created for different needs
  • A clear policy and process to make sure that Teams get decommissioned at the right time.

The net impact of all these governance measures will be:

  • A reduction in the creation of duplicate and unnecessary sites
  • The use of better tools for different use cases e.g. Yammer for wider community sites
  • Better findability and easier overall management of Teams.

How we baked governance into Wizdom

Knowing the importance of governance of Microsoft Teams and governance in general weve sought to hard bake governance features into the Wizdom product. Several of these are perfect for controlling Teams, including:

  • A provisioning machine that enables users to easily create teams that live up to standards for roles/permissions and metadata.
  • The ability to create a template for Teams that includes the right default features based on use case, in a custom-made solution e.g. including Planner if Teams is being used for a project.
  • A form that ensures the right information including site purpose and nominated owners and roles are captured and are also available centrally to review by the digital workplace team
  • A central register of sites for digital workplace teams, making it easier to enable processes relating to the archiving of sites or handing a site over to a new owner
  • The ability for viewers to link to the Teams spaces they are members of within the Wizdom intranet (there are different ways to achieve this)
  • And, of course, a Wizdom intranet can be used to distribute resources on the best way to use Teams or as a channel to ask questions to experts.

Dont ignore Teams governance

If Teams feels like its starting to get out of control, then do something about it. Its never too late to introduce some governance, perform a clean-up operation and make life easier for everybody and avoid bigger problems further down the line. You can use many of the features of Wizdom to help you, particularly with our powerful provisioning engine. If youd like to discuss Teams governance and how Wizdom can help, then get in touch!


The original article was published here

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