Governance - A framework to facilitate decision making

By Diana May posted 9 days ago

Hello everyone! 

As our Customer Community Manager, I often write thought leadership articles for our customer care site. As Governance is a hot topic lately, I thought I'd share my latest with you. Enjoy!

The term governance often carries a negative connotation due to its association with the ideas of "rule-making" and "strict guidelines". But imagine a city street without traffic signals; without a common understanding of right-of-way, chaos would ensue. This simple analogy helps us to understand why even a simple governance plan is necessary to guide the decision-making processes of your digital workplace. Here I share how Igloo applied our own governance methodology to our Customer Care site.

Early on in the Igloo Playbook, Playbook, Stage 2, Plan, we focus on Developing a Governance Plan. Why so early in the process? Simply put, it is during the Implementation stage when you will be discussing elements of your digital workplace with many people in your organization. These people will most likely become a part of your governance team. Their initial decisions and feedback will help set the course along your digital transformation journey.  If you've already completed implementation and you're well down your digital transformation journey, do not be discouraged, it's never too late to start!

At Igloo, as we went through the Evolve Stage of our Customer Care Site (complete content audit, visual redesign, revamped architecture), we also added a robust Governance Plan. (We don't want chaos or a traffic jam either!) 

busy highway

As traffic rules guide vehicles, your Governance Plan guides your digital workplace.

So, what is our advice after being in the trenches? Don't let the term "Governance Plan" overwhelm you. A Governance Plan is nothing more than agreed upon principles and policies regarding the ongoing use of the digital workplace. When implemented correctly, the governance plan of your digital workplace provides a clear strategic approach for making decisions as the digital workplace grows and evolves.  

Our Governance Plan consists of looking at the following three steps:

1. Start with considering all governance levels

  • Strategic: governance at an executive level 
  • Operational: governance at the line of business level 
  • Tactical: governance at the execution level 

All three levels are essential to the success of deploying your governance plan. 

2. Choose the governance model that suits your organization best

  • Centralized: one central body governing the digital workplace
  • Decentralized: a set of disparate groups who govern the digital workplace
  • Collaborative: a collaborative team approach with shared responsibility and no single owner (the most popular governance model)
  • Hybrid: centralized ownership, policy making, and decision-making, combined with decentralized content publishing and ownership

At Igloo, we've chosen the Hybrid Model of governance for our Customer Care Site. We found that because we have experts truly owning the various areas: Playbook, Igloo University, Support, and Igloo Community, it was important to have these voices heard.

3. Identify your governance team members

Typical team member roles include Executive Sponsor, Key Stakeholders, and Designers. Be sure that you've covered your bases and have included all areas of responsibility. Define these roles and responsibilities to ensure that the correct team members are consulted and informed promptly as decisions are made.  

For the Customer Care Site, our Executive Sponsor is our CEO, and we have a group of Key Stakeholders on the Steering Committee that meet monthly. Our areas of responsibility align with our areas of expertise, and this works well for us. 

4. Use the governance solution to collaborate

At Igloo, we use our Governance Solution to collaborate as a governance team, manage meeting notes, assign tasks, and discuss ideas. This solution provides the ideal framework for helping the governance team keep everyone informed and up to speed. 

I hope you found this helpful!