I have seen many intranets over the years. One thing that always makes me sad is when I see a new intranet launched with a great design, clear structure, interesting content……but no or poor governance.
It is sad to see all the time, effort, and money slowly being wasted away as the effects of little or no governance inevitably start to take effect with more and more problems appearing as the weeks go by.
What governance problems? Where do they appear? What is their impact? Well, I’m thinking about these examples:
There is content published everywhere but no one to contact if you want to find out more or query anything that you have read. You spend lots of wasted time trying other people and ways to find out who is the right person to speak to.
NO REVIEW DATE
You are not sure if the information is still up to date. It may be a policy, a news article, or a guide to help with a work activity. You don’t know if it is the current version and no one else seems to know either so again, you waste time trying to check if it can be relied upon.
REVIEW DATE IS OUT OF DATE
Even worse than having no review date can be finding it has been passed and the information is available but could be out of date. You waste time checking it is still reliable and wonder why it hasn’t been updated or removed. Maybe your confidence in the integrity of other content drops and you waste more time checking or use other sources?
NO LAST UPDATED INFO
It helps reassure people that a site is active and give them confidence the content is reliable and up to date if a last updated date is shown at the bottom of each page of content whenever it is edited.
It saves time if you have a standard feature for feedback in the same place on every page. It means people can easily ask questions, offer extra information, or clarify its use. Without it, people waste time trying to look for a feedback box, link, or heading. If there isn’t then people try to use other ways to find out what they need to know and can get dissatisfied with the intranet.
These are just some of the problems poor or no governance can cause when you launch a new intranet or site. It is possible to have a good, strong, governance in place for your intranet launch for no extra cost or time taken.