16 Mar Creating an Intranet Governance Plan that Works.
Governance is a framework; a set of rules and policies that outlines the ownership and correct management of your company intranet. Setting up or modifying a governance structure for your intranet can sound challenging at first but it’s really just making sure the rails are greased and the train stays on track. Below I will discuss a few steps your company can follow in order to create an effective intranet governance plan.
1) Establish who’s managing and taking responsibility for the intranet
Consider putting in place a governance committee of key management personnel. Having a committed group responsible for the company intranet will mean that it is more likely to be looked after properly, and maintained and updated adequately. This ensures that the governance framework is not in favour of, or detriment to any one particular department, and gives all areas within the business equal ownership over this shared resource.
Identify the roles and responsibilities of the committee in rolling out change, and make sure the team meets regularly. Small businesses can also consider putting a person in charge to ensure proper governance of the intranet. A successful intranet is one that grows and matures with the organization.
2) Decide what the rules are
The bulk of creating a governance framework is based on the protocols. These protocols need to outline exactly what the purpose of your intranet is, and how it should be used. The framework will need to take into account the people who use it, and the company structure in which it is being used. This can be a fairly complicated task, but it is important to consider all possible aspects of the intranet use when building the governance framework. The more comprehensive the foundation of the structure is, the easier it will be to manage your intranet in the future. This step will be a work in progress; however do take out time to analyze and foresee the various methods the intranet can be utilized.
Since intranet is a hub in the digital workplace that stores most of your information, be sure to focus on the process of information governance as well. Create a manual to describing how users should create, store, and use information on the intranet. This usually includes the processes, roles, permissions, standards and measurements needed for the implementation in order to meet its goals.
Strong governance of information on the intranet allows users a standard way to deal and manage information necessary to do their projects while eliminating information overload.
3) Figure out how to implement and police the rules
Rules for intranet governance essentially outline things such as creating consistent naming tabs for shared documents, or specifying which social channels need to be used for different kinds of communications. Although the detailing of the rules is simple, the challenge lies in implementing and policing them when employees are not aware of their responsibilities. In order to tackle this challenge, the governance framework should be straightforward, logically constructed, and easily available to anyone who needs to review or utilize it. However in most cases, your employees will police the rules themselves when it comes to their attention. If a rule is generally overlooked, it could either mean that the rule is not effective or efficient for the day to day practices, or is simply not clear in the initial document. Therefore encourage open lines of communication between the governance committee and staff in order to collaborate and make any necessary amendments to the rules. Implementing these rules will guarantee an effective governance framework.
To keep the staff well informed about the rules and policies of the intranet, developing a clearly defined roadmap and training plan is key. All governance activities must follow a manual, therefore put in the time and effort to make sure it is clearly defined early in the project. Once the manual is designed and implemented, verify that all content, site, and IT administrators have access to appropriate training materials and methods of developing the skills they need. Develop the training plan in a manner which easily allows users to obtain any skills they do not have.
Armed with a clear manual, a strong governance plan and a capable intranet committee, your intranet will have the stability and the structure to grow, adapt, and evolve with your business. Whether you’re creating an intranet for a small business or one at an enterprise level, these three steps will always hold true. Be sure that the company intranet is centered on the needs of the people that will use it, and for shared resources, collaboration, and intra-company interactions.