Web governance, strategy meets operations

Newsflash: The Internet isn’t going away.

Your organisation’s website is now at the core of business operations.

In best practice, web content management is a process of continual redesign based on user-centred feedback. Its goal is to benefit your customers and service-users and it all begins with better web governance.

But governance sounds boring

No – its powerful.

Website governance means understanding how the web content strategy is aligned with the business goals. Governance facilitates the conversation between strategy and operations.

Strategic inputs

To get started you need to situate your website within the mission of your organisation. You need to discuss and document answers to these questions:

  • What are the organisational goals?
  • Do we have a written web strategy?
  • How does the organisation secure funding and how does the website fit in to that? How is that measured?
  • How much do our website cost and how much income does it generate?
  • What is the decision-making process for the web?
  • How do you know changes to the website are effective?
  • Do we have any guidelines and policies?
  • Does everyone involved have clear roles and responsibilities?
  • Who’s in the web team and how is it resourced?
  • How are we measuring success on the web? Are web measurement linked to the organisation’s performance indicators?
  • What are the legal, financial, and risks to reputation?

These are the strategic inputs but what about the other side of the coin – the operations?

Operational inputs

Reporting to the governance body should account for:

  • web analytics
  • donations and funding
  • data from annual reports like KPIs
  • site search
  • web case studies like usability testing or A/B split testing that demonstrates how a design change influenced customer engagement or furthered the organisation’s mission
  • feedback from social media
  • accessibility audit and testing
  • web content writing
  • daily, weekly and monthly management tasks

Website governance needs to be tailored to the organisation’s needs, resources and appetite for change.

Without governance I can guarantee your website will drift, your management will suffer and staff working on the website will have lower satisfaction.