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Governance in intelligent content projects


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You're at your client site. You have a good handle on the problem. You can see a clear, viable future state. You have a solid content strategy. You also have a big problem: the client won't move forward with implementation. What happened? The most sophisticated of strategies and implementations can be thwarted by the elephant in the room: governance. In intelligent content projects, where content crosses boundaries - from departments to publication boundaries - the disruption to the status quo is significant. This brings out not simply an elephant in the room, but sometimes an entire herd. And since governance tends to be outside of the project scope, it remains unspoken and unaddressed. Learn how to spot the elephants, some language to discuss the problems, and techniques to prevent derailment.

Published in: Business
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Governance in intelligent content projects

  1. 1. Governance in Intelligent Content Projects Running a Herd of Elephants Rahel Anne Bailie @rahelab © 2014 Intentional Design Inc.
  2. 2. • Relates to processes and decisions that seek to define actions, grant power, and verify performance. • All processes of governing, whether undertaken by a government, market, or network, whether over a family, tribe, formal or informal organization, or territory, and whether through laws, norms, power, or language. Wikipedia - Governance
  3. 3. • The need for governance exists anytime a group of people come together to accomplish an end. Though the governance literature proposes several definitions, most rest on three dimensions: authority; decision-making, and accountability. Institute on Governance
  4. 4. • Web Governance refers to the way people make decisions about the organizational Web presence. It determines who gets to sit around the table when those decisions are made and who has final decision making authority when consensus cannot be had through discussion. Web Governance also includes writing Web-specific polices that will reduce risk to the organization, and forming appropriate teams to write the Web standards that will raise the quality of the organizational Web presence. Lisa Welchman
  5. 5. • • • • • • • Lots of moving parts Affects many departments Need buy-in from multiple teams Need teams to work together for end-to-end processing of content Is needed to get systems working together Needed to establish ownership and responsibility Need to enforce the work that comes with responsibility
  6. 6. • • • • • Entrenchment Death by silos Benign neglect Willing but unable Misunderstood goalposts
  7. 7. • • • • Power struggles between teams Gatekeepers Expediency over efficacy Lack of business acumen MITIGATION • Executive management-level sponsorship • Cross-functional steering group with authority
  8. 8. • • • • • Small projects discovered within in each silo Each department trying to solve problems in isolation Objectives and solutions don’t mesh Weak links within the chain Project profile compromised MITIGATION • Business analysis mapping end-to-end processes • Demonstration of future state
  9. 9. • • • • • Passive-aggressive form of sabotage Leaving project at business unit or department level No group to take oversight Lack of expertise, bought or borrowed Fear MITIGATION • Ongoing support through change management • Cross-functional steering group with authority
  10. 10. • • • Project inertia Fragmented discussions Discussions happening at other tables MITIGATION • Executive commitment – governance and budget • Strong project management and project plan
  11. 11. • • • • Lack of understanding of (often) technical aspects Putting authority into inappropriate hands Consolidating responsibility in odd ways No formalisation of workflow or escalation paths MITIGATION • Executive commitment – governance and budget • Cross-functional steering group with authority • Performance management and change management support
  12. 12. Questions? Comments? Want more content strategy? 1-day intensive bootcamps and 2-day practitioner workshops Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand and benefits The Language of Content Strategy Book defining 52 essential terms, deck of practitioner cards, website, and discussion forum Rahel Anne Bailie @rahelab © 2014 Intentional Design Inc.