Intranet and digital workplace governance might be a dry topic, but it is an essential ingredient for a successful intranet or digital workplace. Governance can loosely be defined as the collection of structures, roles, processes, policies, rules, standards and other elements which make your intranet and digital workplace run successfully every day. It also gives your platform strategic direction. Without some form of governance framework in place, an intranet or digital workplace will become chaotic, messy, unadopted and untrusted by employees.
At Wizdom we know how important governance is for true intranet success. Because we’ve consistently worked in partnership with our clients and evolved our platform based on real client feedback, governance is very much part of our product’s DNA. In fact, we’ve “hard-baked” several governance features into the platform, many of which add an essential governance layer to SharePoint or to Office 365.
In short: A good strategy and successful implementation ensures business value from the first day. A successful governance approach ensures that business value persists over time.
Different shades of governance
There are usually different “flavours” of governance which support any one intranet or digital workplace:
- Technical: supporting excellent performance, security, compatibility etc.
- Content: ensuring your content meets standards, is up-to-date and is findable
- Collaboration: ensuring collaboration runs smoothly and optimally following organizational recommended practices and rules
- Strategic: supporting the strategic direction and decision-making on your intranet
Let’s look at how each of these governance areas is supported by Wizdom.
While how Wizdom supports technical governance is not the focus of this article, it is an incredibly important consideration in how we code the product. When you invest in Wizdom you know it will be performing optimally, is as secure as possible and fits seamlessly into your digital workplace. We want your IT department to be happy!
We also work in parallel to align our product roadmap with the SharePoint and Office 365 roadmap; for example, we can integrate SharePoint modern sites into Wizdom. Our extensibility framework also means it is possible for you to perform some customisations on your intranet without impacting your ability to upgrade in the future. SharePoint content also remains in SharePoint and so it utilizes SharePoint security mechanisms should you wish to choose a different product to Wizdom in the future.
We ensure technical governance is a core part of the product, to help your IT department sleep more soundly at night.
A classic problem with intranets is that content does not meet editorial standards or is not kept up-to-date, despite the best intentions of intranet teams and content owners. An intranet without good content is not a good intranet.
Multiple features within Wizdom help to establish content governance for your intranet pages. For example, when a piece of content is created there is always a set owner and a revision date for when it must be reviewed, supporting accuracy and relevancy. A dashboard helps individual content owners view which pieces of content are due for revision, and workflow allows review to be carried out with less effort. Meanwhile, the central intranet team has a dashboard of who owns which piece of content and what is due for revision, again allowing for central oversight and stewardship. Different page templates also help your publishers to create pages based on formats which align with your editorial standards.
Certain types of content will also need to be more tightly controlled and Wizdom adds extra content governance for these; there are approval workflows for central news and there is also a library for policies and procedures where you can also establish and follow up on mandatory reading for targeted audiences. We help to establish governance across the lifecycle for all your different content types.
Just like your content, collaboration sites need some governance too. A common scenario is for collaboration platforms and tools like Teams to grow out of control, creating poor findability and confusion, resulting in a poor user experience and low adoption. Collaboration governance helps to avoid this scenario, while also giving you some control over which tools employees use.
Office 365 and SharePoint Online comes packed with a stack of different options for collaboration including team sites, Yammer, Teams or Office 365 groups, and Wizdom adds further options! Within any organisation there are going to be different types of collaboration use case – for example project teams, department sites or Communities of Practice. How can you help your users know which is the best tool to use for which use case, and how it should be configured?
Wizdom delivers robust collaboration governance by adding some control to the site provisioning process. You can create a portal which allows you to define which type of tool should be used for what use and defines a specific template for each type of site. Users select their preferred type of collaboration space (e.g. project site) and Wizdom then creates a site (Teams, team sites etc.) with all the right features. It also establishes the roles such as a site owner which are needed to make sure a collaboration space is sustainable. This means that a user needs to select to create the relevant type of business workspace – and then the solution will create the organizationally defined type of collaboration workspace (i. e. a Microsoft Teams or a SharePoint Project site etc.).
You can also add approval workflows to stop the duplication and proliferation of unwanted sites, keeping some control and order over your collaboration platform. To help central teams keep on top of governance, there are also views which show all the collaboration sites created and the associated site owners.
At the heart of strategic governance is clear ownership and sponsorship of your platform, and associated processes to ensure that strategic decisions can be made. While most of the strategic governance you have in place may centre around a cross-functional steering committee and its activities, Wizdom can support decision-makers through:
- robust reporting built into the platform
- a transparent roadmap for what’s coming up
- close alignment to the Microsoft and Office 365 roadmap
- and a clear value proposition for the platform which focuses on both an intranet and the wider digital workplace.
You need a platform which supports governance
You really do need governance for your intranet and digital workplace to be sustainable and successful. Having a product which supports your efforts to establish governance rather than making it more difficult is important.
Whether ensuring the concerns of your IT department are met, allowing users to pick the right collaboration site, helping content owners to review their pages or producing reports for your senior leaders, Wizdom’s governance features are there to help central teams manage their platform in the best way possible.
If you would like to know more, feel free to request a product demo.
The original article was published here