Term of the Week: Governance Model

What is it?

Guidelines that determine who has ownership and responsibility for various aspects of an organization.

Why is it important?

Makes it clear who has authority to make which decisions about content and contributes to smooth operational decisions and processes.

Why does a content strategist need to know this?

Having a governance model is a critical aspect of implementing a successful content strategy. It is important to have a clear chain of command and a clear understanding about who is responsible for which decisions.

Often, organizations leave the task of determining the governance model until the very end of the process—almost after the strategy is complete. People in the organization assume that everyone knows who the decision makers are along the content lifecycle. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case.

When the governance model is not clearly defined, even the most well-thought-out content strategy will become stuck, unable to move forward, because the decision maker(s) are either unaware of the decisions that need to be made, think that someone else is responsible for making the decisions, or do not understand the urgency of their role.

By determining the governance model early in the development of a content strategy, organizations can ensure that workflows and decision trees are clearly delineated, agreed to by all parties, and strictly adhered to as the strategy is put into action.

Additional Resources:

“Content Strategy: 5 Essentials for Governance Success,” By Ahava Leibtag, CMSWire May 31, 2011 http://www.cmswire.com/cms/web-engagement/content-strategy-5-essentials-for-governance-success-011426.php

“Governance Model: Defined,” Cognizant 20-20 Insights, October 2011 http://www.cognizant.com/InsightsWhitepapers/Governance-Model-Defined.pdf

"Web Operations Management Primer" http://www.welchmanpierpoint.com/article/web-operations-management-primer

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