Digital Workplace Governance

What is a governance plan?

With mutually agreed upon principles and policies, everyone is on the same page regarding the ongoing use of the digital workplace. Governance is the underlying framework which facilitates decision-making within your organization. When implemented properly, the governance of your digital workplace provides a clear, strategic approach for making important future decisions as the digital workplace grows and evolves.  

Governance levels

There are three levels of corporate governance that should be considered when deploying a digital workplace solution:

  1. Strategic: governance at an executive level – ensuring the digital workplace aligns with your vision, mission and strategy
  2. Operational: governance at the line of business level – ensuring it is delivering on key business objectives
  3. Tactical: governance at the execution level – ensuring it is delivering on the digital workplace plan

Governance models

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

Governance team

Regardless of the governance model you choose, you should set up a team(s) to manage and evolve your digital workplace solution. This can be in the form of a steering committee, communities of practice or a dedicated digital workplace team. Be sure to define clear roles and responsibilities for every member of the team.

Key roles 

  • Executive sponsor
  • Digital workplace manager
  • IT and security
  • Data analyst(s)
  • Key stakeholders 
    • Business owners
    • Content contributors/publishers
    • Digital workplace specialist
    • Advocates
    • Designers

Key responsibilities

  • Providing direction and vision
  • Setting policies and objectives
  • Responding to inquiries
  • Prioritizing projects 
  • Planning future development and continuous improvement of the digital workplace
  • Resolving conflicts, risks and issues

Key takeaways

  • Governance is essential for effective implementation and functioning of a digital workplace.
  • A digital workplace’s underlying framework facilitates how decisions are made and implemented.
  • Consider a hybrid/collaborative model of digital workplace governance.
  • Focus on the needs of your digital workplace members.
  • Promote change through user engagement.
  • Encourage and actively seek out user feedback.
PlaybookTip_Icon.png Playbook Tip: Top 10 best practices for digital workplace governance
  1. Select a model and appoint roles and responsibilities.
  2. Develop a content strategy. Think about creating a playground to instill innovation and new ideas.
  3. Have a road map for your digital workplace and be sure to publish it.
  4. Apply specific roles and permissions. Try to have a blend of open/adhoc and structured areas. 
  5. Focus on the needs of your digital workplace members and actively seek and act on their feedback. 
  6. Publish clear digital workplace guidelines.
  7. Create a living governance document.
  8. Appoint and train the right workplace roles including administrators, publishers, advocates, etc.
  9. Make digital workplace training part of the employee onboarding process.
  10. Encourage engagement through two-way interaction, feedback, and recognition.

Networked Enterprise Tip: Consider spoke management 

When it comes to governance planning for a networked enterprise, it’s important to keep in mind that governance may be slightly different for individual spoke sites. Make sure you identify potential governance requirements for individual spokes during the planning stage. For example, will key stakeholders have input/direction/mandate over content or engagement within the spoke site? If so, you’ll need to incorporate processes for this type of spoke management into your governance plan. 

Other considerations include: 

  • Will the central hub and every spoke site use the same governance model? 
  • Who will be the administrator of each spoke? 
  • Should global settings be consistent across all spokes or are there unique cases where global settings need to be adjusted? 

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