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Getting your governance plan ready (BP)
This best practice provides recommendations to help you create a governance plan for managing and administering your digital workplace solution. Successful digital workplace solutions all have guidelines to ensure the safety, privacy and overall well-being of its users. Depending on the scope of your strategy, you may decide on a more formalized approach to compliance and governance for your digital workplace solution.
Regardless of your governance strategy, here are five must-haves for any digital workplace solution:
- Getting started video
- Best practices
- Standard operating procedures
- Policy index
- Feedback forum
For those organizations looking for a more formalized process, it is recommended that you create a governance plan. To help you create your plan, here are some key questions it should address:
- Have you set up clear roles, access rights, and permissions?
- Will there be strong and defined rules, or more general and casual guidelines?
- How will you communicate this information to your employees?
- Will there be problem resolution procedures in place? How will you share these?
- Will there be a "Code of Conduct"? Will there be a process in place to handle misconduct?
- Will you need a copyright policy to protect individual content rights?
- Will you need to deal with external users? e.g. contractors
- How will you add and remove users?
Advisory Council and Steering Committee
Establishing an Advisory Council and/or Steering Committee promotes buy-in across all stakeholder groups and helps to identify and prioritize key challenges across the company and within the digital workplace solution. It also proves to be invaluable for support, marketing, partnerships, and strategic inputs. Members of the Steering Committee aid in the development of rules and a code of conduct for online interactions, as well as guidelines for submitting content.
- Have you identified a need for a Steering Committee?
- Have you identified a need for an Advisory Council?
- What backgrounds should committee members have to maximize the value of these groups?
- What do you want to accomplish with these groups?
- What are their strategic goals?
The Steering Committee: This Committee acts as the governing body for your digital workplace. It is charged with the task of setting out strategic goals, developing expected outcomes and monitoring and evaluating the project as a whole. This Committee has a high level of decision-making authority over the strategic priorities and operations of the solution.
The Advisory Council: This Council is comprised of a panel of senior executives who meet on a regular basis (quarterly, semi-annually or annually) to provide strategic guidance, direction, and planning advice to your specific target markets or stakeholder groups. Advisory Council members should be representative of your key stakeholder groups.
It is crucial that you create guidelines for proper content posting and allow members to provide feedback or rate the validity of an idea. A common fear amongst organizations is the risk of misuse or overuse. It is important to make it clear that discussion forums and blogs are not intended for personal discussions. They are tools designed to increase business productivity by providing members with the relevant information they need in the quickest amount of time possible. Care must be taken to ensure that these tools are not viewed as a networking device first and a productivity tool second.
When establishing your Steering Committee, include people who will bring unique skill sets and perspectives to the project. You might want to include people with specific backgrounds such as marketing and communications, internet-based technology expertise, group facilitation, and project management skills. It would also be wise to include key members or participants of your solution in the Steering Committee.
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