Implementing SharePoint Intranet Governance

Implementing SharePoint Intranet Governance

Summary: While intranet governance may appear hard, it can help you drive interesting content while reducing the maintenance strain on your IT and communications staff. What is included in the initial governance list will vary depending on the features of your intranet. Plan on having a continuous governance review to update the list in addition to having an initial set of rules.

Internet governance is a list of processes and the parties accountable for them. 

Assume that someone in HR wishes to change an expense form template on the intranet. 

  • Who should take on the task? Whoever is less busy, or a specific individual? 
  • Should we keep the previous version? 
  • Should we notify everyone about the update? If this is the case, how will we communicate the change? 
  • Is everyone on the HR staff familiar with using this new template? 
  • Should someone approve the template before it is published? 
  • What should employees do if they have questions regarding the new template, and who should they contact?

As you can see, there are numerous possible paths if these questions are not addressed. In this scenario, having governance around templates would help everyone on the intranet team understand their roles, who is accountable for what, and the procedure to follow. 

The alternative is to handle each request ad hoc, which puts the strain on your resources; in businesses with more than 200 users, this is not even feasible.

What information should the intranet governance paper include?

Avoid using generic SharePoint governance templates that are 100 pages long. These are far too broad to be helpful. They provide much information on out-of-the-box features but nothing about your company. 

It doesn’t take much to build an effective governance document of a few pages that address important aspects of your intranet. 

On every intranet project, we observe the following critical SharePoint intranet governance considerations:

PAGES

Creating a Wiki 

  • Page vs. a Site Page 
  • URL and Naming Conventions 
  • Determine the apps required for this section’s page. 
  • Add dependencies as needed if your apps require them. 

Layout 

  • Which page layout should be used for which type of page
  • [One column with sidebar] 
  • [One column] and so on. 

Styles and content 

  • Headings Formats 
  • Standard text styles Font sizes 
  • Embedding guidelines 

The Home Page (this being the most prominent page, it needs strict editing rules) 

  • Rules for altering the page’s content 
  • Page Layout Modification Guidelines 
  • Rules for upgrading major home page apps such as new carousels, links, shout-outs, polls, etc.

Landing Pages (these are the second most prominent types of the page; they also need editing rules)

    • Rules about editing the content on the page
    • Rules about changing the layout of the page

APPS

  • Apps and regulations connected to the front page: ‘ do not put more than ten quick links on the page’ or ‘follow the naming standards of the links on the page.’ 
  • App-specific dependencies, For example, whether programs require lists and libraries to function, what those are, and what information is necessary. 
  • App image resolutions for better page rendering

PROCESSES 

  • Site and page renaming to avoid broken links 
  • List alerts that capture user input 
  • Versioning guidelines 
  • The procedure for reviewing content 
  • Archiving guidelines 
  • removing out-of-date content

Responsibilities and Roles 

An intranet contains content from various sources, and it is not always straightforward to determine who is responsible for specific content. 

Every governance document must include roles and duties for the following essential areas of intranet administration: 

  • Owners of Intranets (individuals who own the home page, landing pages, and the critical regions of the site, they also assign area owners but are not technical users) 
  • Property Owners (individuals who control specific areas of the site, such as HR; they also trust Area Authors) 
  • Authors in the Field (individuals who create content for the size of the site) 
  • Owners of Platforms (technical users who monitor and control the platform: Office 365, SharePoint, etc.)

You must decide who will play which role in each section of your intranet information architecture, including: 

  • Who are the prominent people to contact? 
  • What is the procedure for approval? 
  • What exactly is the support procedure?

Committee on Governance 

The governance committee is critical to ensuring that your governance evolves in response to lessons learned and that decisions are taken rapidly to accommodate changes. 

Follow these crucial considerations to get the most out of your governance committee: 

  • Create a system for capturing concerns and feedback. 
  • Issues rarely occur randomly; instead, they result from a pattern or a gap that can lead to more of the same. 
  • Give your users the chance to submit feedback. 
  • SLA expectations should be communicated. 
  • Capture issues in the issue log and look for patterns. 
  • Prioritize concerns and their consequences (diagram below illustrates how updates can be prioritized) 
  • Make changes to your governance. 
  • Inform affected parties about governance changes: Area Owners, Authors, etc.

 Governance is valuable because it is realistic and transparent. The easier it is for everyone to understand the procedure, the easier it will be to manage the site. 

Do you stick to your governance plan? What are the difficulties you’re having with it?

Do you know the difference between Intranet and Extranet? Make sure to learn more.

If you are interested in adding SharePoint to your side, please contact us.

At Alcero, we offer personalized advice on everything you need to know to make it the perfect management tool for your company. Learn more about the benefits of using SharePoint. Ask for more information about our EDM services at 514-316-5064 or [email protected]

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