Filed under: Intranets
It’s a universal truth that to be both successful and sustainable, intranets need strong and practical governance. In 2016, we introduced the Intranet Operating Model, which we believe to be the most comprehensive — and the most practical — governance model for intranet teams.
This draws on over two decades of our experience as intranet consultants and advisors, and it’s designed to help teams make real progress on something that’s proven so hard to wrestle in the past.
Other than its distinctive hexagonal shape, the Intranet Operating Model is unique in a few key ways.
- As a framework, it covers both the policy side of governance, and the practical management side.
- The framework provides a best-practice set of templates, with an extensible set of governance modules underneath.
- As a methodology, there’s a practical engagement that we can provide as consultants that quickly establishes the foundations of good governance.
- The methodology accelerates you through the fundamentals of governance, so the focus can be on stakeholder engagement to ensure outcomes are sustainable.
A master governance document
We’ve written in the past about the elements of the Intranet Operating Model, so let’s get straight into the practicalities.
The Operating Model isn’t just a set of slides that look great a conference, it’s a set of real-world artefacts that can be used by intranet teams to rapidly establish strong governance.
A master governance document sits at the heart of the Intranet Operating Model. It addresses the key considerations that all teams must put in place, such as:
- Business and technology ownership of the primary aspects of intranets, such as content, communication and collaboration
- Accountability model that determines how decisions are made, including the role of the intranet, the intranet sponsor and the steering committee (or equivalent)
- Roles & responsibilities for all parties, with templated best-practice material as a starting point
For each of these elements, there’s a solid starting point for teams to build on, so you’re not starting from a blank sheet of paper.
Needless to say, we’ve written an extraordinary amount of content about intranets over the last two decades, and this templated framework draws on the best of this material. It’s also carefully designed to address the day-to-day challenges for teams, such as documenting common scenarios and how they’re resolved (eg, someone wants to put a new link on the homepage).
Intranet governance is potentially huge, and this typically leads to a long and sprawling governance document that runs out of steam before it’s ever ‘finished’.
The Intranet Operating Model addresses this by breaking governance into an overall master document (as shown in the previous section) and a set of governance ‘modules’. Each module addresses a specific governance consideration, allowing teams to target the issues that are most critical for them, as well as allowing them to ‘eat the governance elephant one bite a time’.
Examples of governance modules include:
- intranet content guidelines
- intranet metrics and success measures
- intranet team composition
- search management guide
- intranet community guide
- … and so on (there are 23 modules in total)
Each of the modules has a templated document to start from. The often-misunderstood ‘homepage policy’ is a good example. For a start, it’s not just rules about what goes on the intranet homepage, it’s about the management practices that keep the page living and useful.
To that end, the Intranet Operating Model provides an ‘intranet homepage management’ module. This contains details on each homepage element and how it’s governed, along with decision-making processes and an overall homepage lifecycle.
As with the master governance document, these modules distill the hard-won lessons learned from hundreds of intranet consulting engagements over the years. So they don’t just document your intranet practices, they leap them forward at the same time.
A practical methodology
As consultants, our job is to help our clients to succeed, beyond just writing and publishing articles.
To that end, Step Two has a ‘governance refresh’ package designed to get you the fundamentals of great governance. The package consists of:
- Initial half-day meeting with your core intranet team to allow us to get quickly up to speed on your organisation and intranet.
- Producing a draft ‘master’ governance document that gives you a modular approach for establishing great governance.
- Running a half-day governance workshop that brings your stakeholders along the governance journey, structured around the Intranet Operating Model.
- Identifying further governance quick wins, where small efforts can deliver big governance benefits.
- A check-in point within 2-3 months of the engagement to discuss any challenges and ensure you’re staying on track.
We’re not starting from a blank sheet of paper when it comes to intranet governance. We’re therefore able to offer a governance quick start for just AU$4900/€3900/US$3900.
Best of all, we can provide this service across Australia and around the world, in person or using video conferencing.
Want to know more? Get in touch