Archive for November, 2011

Elements of an Intra / Extra / Internet Governance Plan

November 1, 2011

In my previous occasional posts I’ve talked about important success factors in getting the most business benefit from Content Management System based applications. Intranets, Internets, extranets and ultranets (ie. an integrated fusion of knowledge management systems) aside, you can happily build line of business solutions using CMS, especially using content management, forms and workflow. Even better with metrics and reporting. I’ll expand on that in a future blog.

Factors contributing to success (and for that matter issues and risks to be overcome) should be part of a Governance Plan. Your Governance Strategy should cover two main parts: Implementation and operation (ie post-implementation).

The main elements of a Governance Strategy / Plan are shown below:

Main components of a content management system implementation and governance plan

Generic model for governance of ECM / CMS based solutions

We have developed a detailed Governance Plan, which includes many templated resources, and found this invaluable as a starting point for new projects or projects which are in strife. Don’t get too hung up that is says SharePoint – the model is generic and can be applied to any enterprise content management project.

There are many different variations of governance plans, and each project / organisation will have differing needs. It’s important that each element is considered.

One common characteristic of content management projects, far more so than for other IT solutions, is that you find yourself in a constant state of discovery. Just about every day you will find ideas for new applications of benefit in support of business processes. You can’t do them all at once, but it’s important not to lose track of these ideas, and to have an evaluation process that assesses ideas and turns them into reality. In the Governance model above, this is covered under the Benefits Realisation Strategy.

In my experience, it’s rare to see much if any attention paid to a Benefits Realisation strategy, or to have it as a formal part of an ECM project. But like most things, if you don’t actively manage benefits, then you’ll rarely fulfil them. Aspects of a Benefits Realisation Strategy include: Establishment of a Benefits Register; mechanisms to gather feedback and ideas; an assessment and approval process; funding; reporting and post-implementatino review.

At one client, the approval process was tied into general project approval and funding processes, owned by the Finance department. If an idea was assessed as meeting or exceeding a threshold value then it was mandatory to formally consider it, and if approved, funding was automatically assigned.