Thursday, September 14th, 2017 / by Excel Expert
Have you ever watched a sports match on television where you have little to no understanding of the rules? The players on the field know how to play the game, but you, the onlooker, are woefully confused about it all. Imagine, then, what might happen if the players themselves didn’t know the rules? It wouldn’t be a very easy game to watch and the score would be difficult to tally. So why, then, do so many businesses decide not to invest in a set of rules for their content management systems (CMS) by not writing a governance plan?
Governance is the policies and procedures that guide the acceptable usage of a system. For example, when you log onto your email client for your organization, you presumably have checked a box with stated user policies. Things like “Don’t send spam” or rules on the size of attachments. These are the governance that keep your email client working smoothly, and keep your users out of hot water.
For your content management system, there’s more to consider than just legal or size issues. Your CMS is a living, breathing environment where multiple people touch the same files and folders. When everyone in your organization is “rowing” in the same direction, the system runs much smoother. Your governance plan can cover everything from size limits and security groups to what kind of document goes where. It should be the document your users flock to when they have a question on how to use the system.
For example, if you’ve got a CMS with a thousand sites, how does a user request a new site? Are they allowed to create it on their own? If so, are there limits to which sites can be created where? If this seems like micromanaging, consider the idea of site creep, where every user in your organization creates levels of their own sites. Soon, you could end up with hundreds of sites that no one uses. Imagine what that could do to your storage!
Governance should also cover security—especially important if your business works with sensitive information, like personally identifiable information or content covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The plan should specify who should be able to look at what, and what level of access they should have.
Finally, governance should contain a section for training, and the plan should be included in your organization’s on boarding information. Governance is only beneficial if it’s enforceable; after all, the best laid plans that aren’t implemented are useless. Your plan should also indicate how much training for your content management system is needed for each level of user. For example, the plan could stipulate that all users with full control (that is, the ability to modify and delete sites and settings) must complete a minimum level of site administrator training.
Depending on the size of your organization, a robust plan could be needed, or even a one-page section with bullet points. The key is to write it down and share it amongst your employees so you can reap the full benefits of your content management systems.
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